An alien in Tauranga
I thoroughly enjoyed John Cousin's article on Brigid Gallagher (Back Page, August 11), as I enjoy her museum programme, but I was sad to read her comment about people coming from Auckland who would have no connection to a museum here, as they had no roots in the area.
I, in fact, came from Wellington, but the inference no doubt applies.
Tauranga 's history is relevant to me. My great uncle came as a military settler and farmed here, and agitated for a school at Greerton, before he taught at the Maori School at Ōmaio.
My great aunt married Adela Stewart's son. I have researched and written about this history. Fateful Choices and A Very New Zealand Family.
My grandchildren were born and live here, my family I hope has a future here.
I appreciate from Brigid's viewpoint and, more importantly, that of the mayor and other local officials, that I do not belong here, it is not my home, and my welcome here is equally dubious.
I am an alien, who, probably illegally, crossed the border, which says, "Welcome to the Bay of Plenty". I accept that, but I think it is a very sad thing.
'Good bloke' farewelled
I would like to add my congratulations to Bay of Plenty Times doyen John Cousins on a career well lived.
John was a valued colleague during my more than a decade at the paper. He was widely respected for his accurate and well-sourced news stories and yet, despite his dedication to the job in hand, he could always find time for a bit of good-humoured banter.
When the lights were burning late in the newsroom there was a good chance it was John, writing up his stories from that day's council meeting.
His celebrated council "report cards" rightly struck terror into the heart of many a councillor (and relief into those who came out of them well), but they were always compiled with a depth of knowledge and robust impartiality that was in the finest traditions of journalism.
I know I will speak for many of his former colleagues when I say he is a bloody good bloke who was a pleasure to work with. Come on in, John, retirement's lovely.