A story in the Hawke's Bay Today about a time capsule found in the relocated Havelock North Cricket Pavilion has uncovered a family connection with Hastings District Council that spans more than 80 years.

Earlier this month builder Ernest Harding discovered a tobacco tin lodged in a kitchen wall of the historic pavilion. Inside was a piece of timber inscribed with several names including an Arthur Clapperton, dated September 1, 1938.

The story prompted Arthur's son Don to come forward with photos, and a list of family members who had worked for the council over the intervening years.

Don's dad, better known as Sam, worked as a council builder (then the Hastings Borough Council) for 19 years.


Don did not remember the pavilion job, but did recall the other builders named on the piece of wood, J A Gardner, D Joll, A Lindsay, and their families.

"Alec Lindsay - we knew him well, and the Joll family - a really big Havelock North family."

Don was one of 16 siblings; nine boys and seven girls.

Three of the boys worked for the council (Lindsay, Percy and Frank), as did one of the sisters (Diane), and the husbands of three of the sisters (Bunny Taylor, Bob Le Compte and Bruce Craft).

In the next generation, Percy's son David worked a holiday job painting for the council, and another niece, Lynette Sangster, was a receptionist.

There are still Clappertons working for the council - Lindsay's son Nigel has been there for more than 40 years, 20 of those in the roading division and as senior landfill operator since 2000.

His cousin Lynne Cox (Lindsay's niece) also works for the council as a business support officer, and she believed there could have been more family names on the council staff list over the decades.

Nigel Clapperton said he had "just ticked over 40 years", while his father was a mechanic at the council for about 40 years.

He remembered his grandad Sam, "but I was only very little".

"It's pretty amazing that we go back that far with council."