Emma Harriet and Jack Drummond   Family Chart

Emma (Dot) Harriet Guilford      Marriage Dot and Jack Drummpnd

We Drummonds are Proud of our Tarata Past!

Our grandparents, Robert and Ellen Mary Drummond left Rongotea and bought a farm on Junction Road, the "Highland Home" at Tarata, in the 1890's.

When they retired, John known as Jack, took over the farm. On April 5th, 1915, he married Emma Harriet (Dot) Guilford who had arrived with her parents William and Ann and their family from Pleasant Valley in South Canterbury in 1902 and first lived on Autawa Road, "The Oaks."

Our recollections of those first years were "Life on the Farm at Highland Home". There was no power and the nearest telephone was three miles away at the Tarata store. The cows were milked by hand on a slab floor. Milk was carried to the dairy and separated by hand.

Many years later, a new shed was built using pit metal from the farm and engine driven milking machines were used. In 1939, electricity was installed in our district and the days of kerosene lamp and candles were over.

But the wood stove still required fuel and Brian, long before leaving school, would harness the horses and take to the bush, cut down a straight tree, hook it up and be back before Dad got back from the sale yards - it was up to us kids to chop the firewood    Brian and Colin Feeding out(Photo: Brian & Colin feeding out with sledge)

Gradually the herd increased to about 35, sheep numbers to 1000 and the thirty-five pigs were fattened on apple, swedes and skim milk. For a while, horse breeding was the order of the day.

Our four acre orchard was a wonderful asset not only for our family but for many poorer people in those hard depression years between 1930 and 39. Folks came and filled boxes and sacks of fruit and distributed them to those in need. We always had many callers and Mum continually made cups of tea. Our larder was always full of bottled fruit, nights of preparation.

Our woolshed, being one of the largest in the district in those days, had draughting yards and the concrete sheep dip was shared by many other farmers. In stormy weather, new born lambs would be rubbed down, wrapped in sacking and placed around the kitchen floor in front of the stove restoring their warmth and then came the feeding and finding the right Mum's the next day.

Our mother was a marvellous cook and there was always enough for an extra mouth or two. Our place seemed to be a refuge for swaggers as they passed through the area. Some would stay the night in the woodshed and their job was usually to cut up a large pile of firewood, much to Mum's and our delight. They would be sent on their way with thick home made bread and meat sandwiches and their billy full of tea.

Because of the hilly terrain. Dad rode everywhere on those beautiful horses and often would not get back from the farm till well after dark. A man's best friend in those days were his horses and his dogs. Dot in Church robe

Dad's interests were looking after the gas lights for the Tarata Hall committee, rifle club shooting, dog trials and the local sports club. Mum and Dad always worked with all the district's committees - mother organising district balls, church teas and helping to decorate the hall. And of course all that cooking and was always worried if the cream would whip!

Almost from the time dog trials started in the district, Mum and Dad were there helping. Mum was a founder member of the local Women's Institute and that required her to take a three mile walk at times to attend meetings at the hall. Sale days, she would be working with the ladies - more cuppa's.

Mother was a very good seamstress and was kept busy with her old "Victory" treadle sewing machine, often until midnight, finishing a wedding dress. Her beautiful singing voice was in great demand. Evening sing-songs around the piano were commonplace with friends and bachelors, enjoying tennis or playing cards in front of the good old open fire. There were always bowls of apples in through winter months. Sundays were days of church, rest and visiting Liz and Will Ludemann before evening milking. Time has gone on and all the family has left the Tarata district, but many wonderful memories live on.

Dot in the robe - she made robes for all members of the Methodist Choir.

Written by the children of Dot and Jack Drummond:  Avis, Colin, Dawn and Brian in 1995..

Dot Drummond's family celebrate her 70th Birthday (May 5, 1961)
Standing: Colin, Ted, Dot, Dawn, Avis, Brian; Seated: Joyce and Nelda.

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