Adelaide Hutchings (nee Mitchell)

    Adelaide and her brothers and sisters grew up "Whiteford" Springdale  Adelaide came to  New Zealand to help look after one of her cousins children and ended up in Houhora, where  she must have met her future husband there as that is where they were married.  She married Herbert Henry Hutchings in 1914, presumably she arrived in New Zealand in about 1913 at the age of 29 Years. She went North by "SS Apanui" Herbert Hutchings 's parents lived in Houhora and he was a gum digger/carpenter
    When Gladys was about 5 years old (1920) the family moved back to Australia. To North Preston in Melbourne, they spent about 5 or 6 years there, then returned to New Zealand (1926) on "Manganui" 23/4/1926 . In July 1926 they moved to Waimauku. Settling on the small farm behind the school (then 1 room) till 1943. Herbert being a carpenter  he did the first extensions to the Waimauku Hall. For a short period he had a small cream run, which he did with a 1/2 ton model T Ford truck.
    Adelaide was for some years caretaker of the Memorial Hall, and during the years pictures were shown weekly by a travelling show, she and her daughters ran the sweet stall during interval. Adelaide also understood music , and although not an exceptional musician herself, was able to pass on her knowledge to many children in the district.. Her three children could all play the piano at an early age. During the depression in the 30's there was a relief camp opposite the farm, where about 6 men lived in tents and corrugated iron shacks, year round, working on the road with preparation for sealing with picks and shovels. Adelaide gave them milk every day.
    Herbert and Adelaide divorced about 1947. Then Adelaide lived in Kiwi Esplande, Mangere for many years where her grandchildren and family used to go an visit or stay with her. There is many a tale that could be told of her life there. She used to be the caretaker of the Mangere Bridge Primary School and she always rode her push bike every where. Adelaide use to bike over the old Mangere Bridge at least twice a week, one day to do her shopping an to go to a League of Mothers meeting with Gladys and the other was on a Sunday where she use to go to church at the Onehunga Methodist Church.There are many memories of the times staying there. Des (grandson) has some vivid memories. Adelaide use to make soap out of dripping, she also had hens, which she had no problem of wringing their necks. She never owned a washing machine so the washing was done in the copper and with a wash board. She also had a huge flower garden and a very large lawn which she used to mow with a hand mower. She cooked in a Coal Range only, plus a primus. She took her first plane flight in 1947 when she went back to Australia to visit all her family.
    In 1966 she sold her house in Kiwi Esplande to her grandson Leo and moved to Trafalgar Street where she still rode her bike at the age of 82 yrs.Living in Onehunga she had no T.V. she sometimes listened to her old valve radio but mostly she played her piano or the organ. At the age of 83yrs she went to a nursing home as she was unable to look after herself properly and she died 2 months before her 84th birthday. She was certainly a grand old lady.
Extracts from letters sent to Adelaide from her sister Flossie.(Florence)
    "One day I was talking to Ern( her brother) about our lives at Whiteford. I told him that you an I were slaves. I told him about all those kerosene tins of milk you had to carry down from the yard and all the calves I had to feed with the big buckets of milk. I had to cut the sheep down, cut chops and cook them. When there was bread to bake, I had a big dish of dough to mould up, then run up to the yard to milk twenty cows. The morning I am speaking about, we had ten in the family all the time, but this particular time there were three extra men carting crops from the hill Paddock. I ran from the yard with a tin of milk in each hand, put them down, and ran down to the house. The bread had run over on to the floor (which often happened), It was 10am and a very hot morning. The bread had to be put into tins, eight or more tins, or it would not be fit to eat. The meat, a leg of mutton, had to be put into the stove, but first I had to light the stove. When I came into the kitchen first I looked through the window and there was the first dray-load of hay. Tom White(Step-father) and one of the Northey boys would be in for a cup to tea in about a quarter-hour's time. Also thirteen people had had breakfast and the dirty dishes were piled up pretty high. The pudding had to put on Adelaide, That morning I would never forget if I lived to be five-hundred years old. Ern and Len (Brother) didn't know I worked hard. Ern reckoned he was the one who worked hard, and I suppose Len thought the same. Ern was 16 years old when we left Whiteford. The first year after he left school he used to bail up the cows. I told him we two never got a rest. One Sunday though, it was very hot. I lay on the floor and you got on your bed, but it was rattling. I couldn't get to sleep, nor could you. we were both very tired. You had to get off the bed onto the floor too, then we both went to sleep quickly. Another day I well remember- washing day. The boys put the horse in the dray, same as they always did, the wash-basket and all the tubs piled high with dirty clothes. I walked down to the hole where we used to do the washing. I felt I couldn't walk over to them on the dray. I can remember how I felt. I just, felt too tired and worn out to touch them. I was three days washing. I hope you never felt as tired as I did. I told Ern about our slave times. Bob (half-brother) says he can remember Lily in the kitchen. Lily was married a couple of years before we left Whitford. Bob was very young, strange that he can remember that, and he also remembers you in the kitchen. The only time mother was in the kitchen, was when I  was down washing, or making Xmas cakes and puddings. Maggie (Cubitt) used to wash up the dishes, peel vegetables, and bail up. Jean was just ready to leave school when we broke up the home...............
    I remember that Tom would not have Bob in his bed. You and I had to have him in our bed. One night  we could not stop him crying, you were walking up and down the floor. Still he cried and cried. Tom came in swearing. He chased you. I must have put Bob on the bed. he kicked you in the stomach and caught you by the hair, You pulled away, and you told me the hair came out of your head. He kicked out  at you and you ran down behind the mud fowl-house. The frost was thick on the ground and you in your nightdress. Mother came out and spoke to Tom and ordered you inside. Then he just went back to bed. We used to loose our sleep and had to walk all the way to school with all the hills to climb. (5 miles). He hit Lily in the eye, and she had a black eye for a long time.  But he was good to Mother in the finish. We were only children, and he did put on us. I've never told Tom or Norm a word about our terrible lives at Whiteford.
(Maggie is Maggie Cubit, daughter of  Arthur, Ellen's elder brother)
Notes from Norm Martin (2004)
    In the early days of the partnership it was Adelaides task to drive in a spring cart with the previous nights and that mornings milking to the Holdsen & Nielson butter factory on the edge of the Murray river beside the bridge from Albury ( this factory finished work many years ago, but the building is nor part of the information centre).  The milk was separated, the cream bought by the factory and the skim milk carried back to Whiteford for the feeding of the pigs and poddy calves.  Each days run had to be done with a different horse to the previous day.
Adelaide's Husband Bert Hutchings
    Herbert Henry Hutchings is the eldest son of Francis and Mary-Anne  Hutchings. He had two older sister (Mabel and Florence) and six younger brothers and sisters. Frank (Jnr), Sydney, Ivy, Arthur, Albert and Reginald. From what I've been told and read the Hutchings family started out in Wairoa in the Hawkes Bay then moved to Rotorua, where Francis Hutchings was a Baker.They headed north to Herekino and Houhora when "Mt Tarawere" in erupted 1886. Herbert was born at Puhate Herekino on Christmas Day in 1887, and his older sister was born in Rotorua in 1885, so the move must have taken place somewhere between those two dates. Francis Hutchings being a baker was able to make bread to substain the family during the harder times, but refused to do any of the other cooking. I've been told that he was mainly a gum digger and an orchardist; as was Herbert  from the age of about 10 years old. Herbert was still a gum digger in 1910 (as shown in photo of him carrying a big piece of gum.)  It is believed that in about 1920 the family moved to Australia presumeably for one of the gold rushes and also to see Adelaide's Mother and family. Because the family went to Melbourne and lived in North Preston, and also at some stage they were in Ballarat.
    While in Australia, Herbert built the house they lived in while there, this was in North Preston. In about 1925 -26 the family returned to New Zealand and brought a farm in Waimauku, North Auckland.. Herbert and Adelaide Hutchings divorced in 1947. Herbert moved to Whenuapai and married Dolly Hutchings. When Herbert was about fifty years of age apparently he developed Asthma (probably from the dust etc over the years. ) He was a excellent carpentar and had a great workshop, where he use to tinker away for hours.


Adelaide's New Zealand family supplied this information

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