29 December 2012


Had it not been for Ross Jackson, it is quite possible that I would not now be living in Pukekohe.  I have said   that it was on my visit to Ross in the winter of 1980 that he, Richard Flinn, and I decided to work towards the establishment of a Reformed church in Pukekohe.  No such decision would have been imaginable if my and Susan's relationship to Ross and Glenys Jackson had not been as close as it was.

That closeness was not obvious from the beginning of our acquaintanceship.  Ross and I are rather contrasting types of person.  My interests are wide-ranging, and I have a fair ability to acquire knowledge of a number of subjects.  In this, Ross and I are very much alike.  What I lack, and Ross possesses, is any real talent for the practical side of life.  It is, nevertheless, the case that from early on, he and Glenys became Susan's and my closest friends.  During the three years we lived in Auckland before moving to Yap, we helped one another in very many ways.  When either of us had need of counsel, each turned to the other.  It is, perhaps, simply the case that, though I am 8 years Ross's senior, he and I were at comparable stages in our spiritual history during those three years.

In 1976, Ross and Glenys moved to Balclutha for a three-year stint as a rural schoolteacher; Sue and I moved to Yap.  And during the four subsequent years, our families grew pretty nearly synchronously.  They and we exchanged endless communications by the exchange of cassette tapes.  We were both Calvinists in outlook.  We both home-schooled.

And we were both involved in computing.  When Ross went to work for Interactive Applications Ltd, he advised me to send them my curriculum vitae.  And in September, 1983, by pre-arrangement, I talked to Ross on the telephone.

Telephonic communication between Yap and the rest of the world was, in 1980, not trivially easy.  There were two places that could talk, via radio, to telephone links via Guam.  One was the Yap Communications Stations, at the airport; the other was the United States Coast Guard station in Gagil.  We went to the Coast Guard station.

IAL wanted to hire me.

The business had rather a relaxed air about it, in fact.  I told Ross that I could not simply give a month's notice and leave.  That was all right.  IAL would take me on whenever I was available.

It must be understood that these were early days in commercial microcomputing.  It may not be the case that anyone who was capable of writing, say, a noughts-and-crosses game in BASIC could call himself a programmer and get a job - but this was not far from the truth, I think.  I had done a fair job of doing what programming was needed for us in Yap during the two years previous.  I had, after all, had a significant amount of programming experience using mainframe computers before that.  And I had Ross's recommendation behind me.

I gave Ross to understand that I would get back to him soon, with a final word.  I would talk with Susan.

I did talk with Susan.  It was clear that I was fairly keen on the idea.  It is quite likely that Sue's own positive feelings were as much negative ones about living in Yap as positive about moving back to New Zealand.  For her, life in Yap - and life with me in Yap - were very difficult.

I recall saying to her, rather as a comment in passing, that she understood, naturally, did she not, that this was almost certain to be a one-way trip - that if we moved back to New Zealand, it was very unlikely we would ever leave.

She burst into astonished tears.

Grandma Stretcher

My Grandmother Stretcher was a character.  I remember her being involved in numerous activities but the one that stands out the most was her involvement with Christian Science.  I do not know when or how she developed this but it was the centre of her life when I was growing up.  I don't think that my grandfather was involved in it.

There were many practices that she commited herself to:  served at the Christian Science Reading Room in the village of Bybee near Sellwood in Portland.  Read all of the publications of CS - mostly "Science and Health" by Mary Baker Eddie and her copy of this was marked in many, many places.  Attended the Sunday morning service and the mid-weekly one, too.  Would not go to a doctor if she was ill - my mother had to almost call the police to get her to go into a hospital when she was really sick and then the whole time she was there, she threatened to "escape".  Taught Sunday School at the church - and she talked about CS all the time.  Her faith was very strong.

I admired my grandmother for this but we all thought it was a bit nutty.  Nutty or not, my grandmother got action from God - most of the time.  I can remember one summer afternoon when my cousins were visiting from California and all of us (my sister Candace, my two cousins, my grandmother and I) decided to walk to the local Safeway grocery store.  It was hot and we all wanted ice cream cones.

On the way home, dark clouds overhead burst into rain that was strong and seemingly unending.  We were soaked and had quite a way to walk home.  My grandmother told us that we were all going to gather under the big tree up ahead and pray to God for the rain to stop.  She told us to pray the Lord's prayer - and just keep praying it.  I can remember thinking that this was never going to work and we were going to be stuck under the tree for the next hour or more.

So we started praying outloud - in those days you never-ever told your grandmother that what she suggested wasn't going to work.  Well, the rain stopped - quite quickly.  The sun came out and dried up the sidewalk and we walked home.  When we arrived our clothes were dry and everyone was happy. 

My grandmother never said a word about it.  She had "perfect peace" (a phrase she often used) and that was it.

Grandma had grown up in Canada and most of her brothers and sisters still lived there.  My mother often took all of us up there to visit them.  It was fun and they spent a lot of time laughing and tell stories and eating amazing food.  I loved the food and the fact that they always had dessert.  There was also morning and afternoon tea with piles of muffins, cakes, etc....

One summer Grandma's brother  Uncle Arthur visited Portland.  I can remember being scared when I first saw him.  I wasn't that young but he was from "another time".  He had been living in Montana and working on farms.  He was huge with a handle-bar mustache.  What really impressed me was when  my grandmother asked him to tell my sister and me about the years he was a stagecoach driver in the midwest of the US.  She had photos of him driving the coaches with the horses.  It all seemed a bit unreal.

We wanted to know if he ever got chased by robbers.  Of course, they would have had to have guns as we had seen on television.   I remember thinking that maybe he had know Davy Crockett - I didn't know much about history when I was nine. 

No he didn't know Davy Crockett or Kit Carson but he had been the main driver for Theodore Roosevelt when he travelled the mid-west.  Now, this didn't impress me at all - who was that?  Oh, okay, he was President of the United States at the time and I did end up going to a high school in Seattle named after him - but I didn't think much of it then.

And every year - at least, I suppose, until I was about ten, she took us on vacation!

24 December 2012


New trousers can be a problem.  I have worn the same type all through the autumn and winter  and carried my cell phone in the deep, front, left pocket.  Great place and always handy.

Two days ago I decided to switch trousers - it is getting hotter and I wanted to mow the lawn.  I finished the job and decided that these different trousers needed a wash. Sadly, I didn't only wash the trousers.  I also washed my cell phone as I had placed it in a new location - back pocket - and didn't think to check.

John had been trying to call me and got no answer.  He rang me on our home phone and asked why he couldn't get through to my cell  phone and I didn't know.  Panic - looking all over for it and knowing I would find it under papers, in my purse, etc....

Just to double check, I looked into the washing machine.  I hadn't seen it there when I took the trousers out to  hang up. .....well, I wasn't looking for a cell phone then, either.

Oh yuk - was it really in there?  Face the truth - it was there.

I rang John and told him and he was very straight forward about it - he reminded me that we had been talking about getting me a different phone.  Okay - it was my choice but he really thought that I needed a better phone.

These types of plans always make me nervous.  It's the unknown.  If I got a better car, no worries.  I know how to drive a car.  If I got a better house, no problem.  I know about living in a house - but new machines - it's not the same.

The next day,  Saturday, John and I went to the Vodafone shop - this place makes me really nervous.  Most of the people in there speak a foreign language that they all seem to effortlessly understand.  All I can do is look at the phones on the display racks and think about what colour I might like if I were buying one.

Somehow we ended up looking at the Samsung Galaxy S III - why would I need a cell phone like that?  It looks complicated.


I have to tell you that I am in love with it.  These Samsung people really know what they are doing.   

All of you foreign language speakers already know what it does - the email, the camera, the GPS, the apps (that is my new vocabulary), the weather - just too deluxe.

John helped me to download some of the books off my Kindle.  I now am reading John Grisham's latest  book while waiting in line at the grocery store.

One of the apps I have got is the the Opus Dei readings, etc that I use.  It is all there and it is wonderful.   There are even photos of Saint Josemaria. No more having to sit with a book - I now carry one in my front pocket - note - in the front pocket :-)

The first night after I got the phone, I kept waking up trying to "find" it - I kept seeing water and couldn't grasp the phone as it was bobbing on the waves.  That's my continual concern, that I will wash this one, too.

Time will tell.

23 December 2012


I remember so very well the birth of Adele.  It is not surprising, I suppose, that the closer to the present time I write, the clearer memories become; nevertheless, a major reason I remember more about Adele's birth is because of the involvement of Johnny, Helen, and Eddie - and particularly of Helen.

When Helen was born, Sue was in Palau.  When Eddie was born - well, I don't know where Johnny and Helen were.  It is possible that someone - possibly Ken Atkinson - stayed at the house to take care of them. But when Adele was born, although, it is true, the three other children stayed at home, possibly, again, with Ken, or with George Smith, they were very much involved in the few days afterwards when I would go to visit her in hospital.

The most moving memory I have from that time was in relation to Helen.  Sue was in hospital, in labour.  Dr Andres (Filipino doctor) was her doctor.  I put the children to bed and prepared to go down to the hospital. I kissed Helen good-night, and she asked me, whether the new baby would be a girl.  I said that I didn't know, of course, but that whatever the baby was would be just right, because the new baby would be God's gift to us.  Helen - just five (Adele was born 14 September, 1982) - said, "All right.  But God could give us a girl if He wanted, couldn't He?"  "Yes, darling, He could."  It was one of the most wonderful moments of my life, next morning, when I was able to tell Helen that, yes, God had give her a sister.  The four of us - me, Johnny, Helen (we three walking), and Eddie (in a push-chair) went down to the hospital together, Helen singing "we are going to the hospital."

Adele was to be our last child.  Even at the time I was beginning to see, very dimly, the goodness of having children.  I had accepted, early on, without thinking, the 'normal' view that children are a burden; that contraceptives are there to help prevent that burden's becoming too heavy; that four children is a large family.  By the time Adele was born I was very much changed.  I do not say that I consciously hoped we would have more children.  I was not so aware of any but the 'normal' view.  I do just know that, even then, I would have been glad if we had had more.  We did not.

Johnny had been born in Auckland, and, of course, baptised in the Reformed Church of Avondale.  I had actually forgotten that Helen, like Eddie, was baptised in Guam.  In Helen's case, we had waited over a year.  Eddie was born in March, 1980, and we went to Guam in June.

But Adele was born 14 September, 1982 - shortly after our furlough, and long before our next.

I talked with the Harold (can't remember his last name), junior pastor at the Yap Evangelical Church.  Would he baptise Adele?

Harold was upset.  He said that, officially, the Yap Evangelical Church probably did not have a position on infant baptism; he himself was Lutheran, and would gladly baptise her; but Heinz, the senior pastor, would definitely not be happy if he did.

I wrote to the elders of the Avondale Reformed Church, where, officially, at least, her membership still lay.  I was deeply touched by the response.

They sent me a letter, signed by all of them, with their encouragement for the performance of the Sacrament. They sent the rite to be followed, from the Reformed Psalter Hymnal.  On Friday the 20th May, 1983, with Father Paul Horgan SJ and our friend George Smith as witnesses, I baptised her in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.

It cannot have escaped me at the time - it certainly does not now - that it was strange that I did not ask Father Horgan to baptise Adele.  I can only say that the idea was unthinkable to me then.  I was, by this time, deeply committed to Jim Jordan's writings.  Only two years later (as I recall) I was to receive a letter from Jim that, had I had it at this time, might well have led me to ask Father Horgan to perform the Sacrament.  That was to come.  Nonetheless, Adele was baptised - and it is God Himself Who bestows grace in baptism.  It is not dependent on the minister himself.

This was in May.  About this time, my friend Ross Jackson had quit his job teaching at Pukekohe High School, and was working as a programmer in a small company called Interactive Applications Ltd, started only two years before.  In September, 1983, an event took place that was 'high-tech' for Yap: I telephoned Ross.

15 December 2012

Eggs and things

That I had decided to leave Yap and move to Pukekohe is shown by the fact that, although four years, nearly, passed between my overseas trip and our leaving, in my memory the time seems much less than that - a few months, perhaps.  Yet during those four years:
  • Adele was born
  • Johnny received his first four years of education
  • Helen received her first two years of education
  • Ross Jackson resigned his job as high school teacher and began to work full-time as a programmer
I returned from my trip in July or August, 1980.  Poor Susan had been sick with the 'flu the whole time I was away - and she had taken in a housemate, our dear friend Ken Atkinson.  Ken had been a Peace Corps Volunteer; was now, I think, working somewhere in Yap.  He was - is, I trust - a deeply faithful Christian, and was terrified lest anyone should suppose he was staying at our house with Susan with improper designs. Sue had been then, still now is, very uneasy when sleeping in the house if I am away.  Ken was, therefore, her 'security blanket.'  Each morning before dawn he stole out of the house - poor Ken!

It was, I suppose, about now that Sue began home-schooling Johnny in earnest.  The Christian Liberty Academy in Arlington Heights, Illinois, is a Christian school with a home-schooling programme for sale.  We started to use it, and, although it was somewhat overpoweringly fundamentalist and right-wing, found it very good.  Johnny, and, later, Helen, were taught using their materials from then until, I suppose, the end of our first year returned to New Zealand, 1984.  Indeed, from about late 1980 until around 1998, our lives revolved in a major way around home-schooling.  The person who received the greatest educational benefit from this may have been Susan herself.  She has done considerable work during the years since our children grew up teaching others.  Had she become a trained educator early on, I think she would have found her deepest secular vocation in life.

In March, 1982 our biannual furlough came around.  This time I stayed at home (with, it turned out, a - relatively mild! - typhoon for company), whilst Susan went to the US, with four children.  Well, three of them required tickets.  She was three months pregnant with Adele, but no one asked her about that :-)

This trip Sue did not go to Los Angeles.  She went to Seattle, but stayed most of the time with her sister Candace and her husband Ross (they had no children then) in Oak Harbor on Whidbey Island.  Things must have been crowded, as Sue's mother flew up from Los Angeles and stayed with them.  She thinks it possible that Ross may actually have gone to stay with a friend whilst they were there; one can hardly blame him!  Excluding him, the house contained three adult women and three (born) children.  During her stay there she was able to see her 'best friend' Mary Lee (now Mary Barton - or was she perhaps married at the time already?).

A week or ten days there, and then to Hilo.  My mother and father had a house in Hilo on Hilo Bay; my sister, and sometimes my father, lived on the farm in Pa'auilo.  I wonder if Johnny may actually remember something of this trip.  He was not quite seven at the time, old enough to have some recollection.  Susan tells me that my sister Robin took Johnny and Helen up to the farm for most of that time; Sue remained in Hilo with Eddie.

My mother was very keen on birds.  All birds.  Every sort of bird.  She raised some sort of exotic chicken and sold them - at, I am sure, a good profit - in Hilo to fanciers of this breed.

Never one to rely simply on nature, she had had my father build a quite-large incubator for the eggs of these creatures.  I remember seeing it once.  I think it had two trays with wire bottoms, each of which might have held - I have only my visual memory here - perhaps two dozen eggs.  There was a tray of water at the bottom to keep the humidity correct.  And there was a thermostat.

The thermostat's setting was controlled by a dial that could easily be twisted by hand.  It could, in fact, easily be twisted by a two-year-old boy's hand.

I am sure my mother forgave Eddie.  It was, nevertheless, difficult.  Fifty or so cooked fancy chicken embryos take some forgiving.

Sue returned home in, I suppose, April, 1982.  On 14 September, Adele was born.
Portland, Oregon has many old neighbourhoods.  Sellwood-East Moreland is the one my mother's family lived in.  She was born (1914) in their home.  I am not sure when her parents moved into the house but I think that they were the first family to live there.  I have looked at the house on Google maps and it is just the same.

Just like my other grandmother's house in Laurelhurst, my sister Candace and I roller skated a lot when we were younger when staying there.  We also walked to the large park nearby and played on the swings and swam in the outdoor  pool.  It was a lovely neighbourhood and quite frankly I just took it for granted.  My parents had both grown up in these good places, knew a lot of people there and to me there was a sense of belonging.  I can remember being "forced" to talk to a lot of the people my family knew there - to answer questions they asked me - so boring - but I am glad about it now and it contributed to my sense being part of something.  I never had the same feeling about Seattle when our family later moved there.

My mother's mother (Clara) was from Canada and my mother's father (Everett Stretcher) originally from Indiana.  Both of them migrated to Portland, met and were married there.  My grandfather came from a farming family in Indiana. He worked in a management position for the Portland Public Schools for many years and during that time he  bought a farm outside of Portland.  He spent time there during the weekends and then when he retired,  the farm was his "job".  My sister and I have a lot of good memories of the farm.  I never really knew my grandfather; he died when I was just two.  I did know my grandmother quite well.  She died when I was 18.  She was a bit of a character.  I loved her; I do think she was sometimes a fair bit of a problem for her daughter, my mother.

Candace (my sister) and I are not too clear about many of the details about our grandfather's family.  Some of them also located to Portland and we would  go to their farms outside of Portland for Thanksgiving, Fourth of July, Memorial Day, etc...  I remember the food - when the adults weren't looking, there would be "let's see how many rolls we can stuff in our mouths" contests - or "how much pumpkin, pecan or apple pie could you eat" contests - the kitchens were often in separate rooms and the adults would be sitting in the lounge and kids roaming around - near the kitchen.  This is the truth.  There was so much food, no one ever really noticed that we had taken some of it.

The adults wouldn't let us watch TV during these family occasions  and of course there weren't DVDs, etc. so what else we were to do but eat? 

The home where we often met belonged to my great-aunt Hazel Stretcher who lived in Hillsboro, Oregon outside of Portland.  It was a sleepy little town then.  Aunt Hazel played the organ and in the corner of her dining room was one.  It had various levels of keyboards on it with all kinds of pedals - it was huge.  It was amazing to watch her play it - hands and feet moving very fast.   Of course we wanted to "play" it too but were not allowed to touch it.

It reminds me of my other aunt's piano - Aunt Haddie (my father's mother's sister) had a grand piano, a Steinway, in a room off her lounge.  The piano took up almost the whole room.  There was only enough space for a couch at the end of the piano.  My sister and I played house under that piano when we were small.  There was a "support" under the piano in the middle of it.  The support divided the areas of the piano into "rooms" for my sister and me to play in or that is how we saw it. 

One incident that I will always remember is Candace and I going under the piano to play and me realising that something was different than before.  I looked up into the underside of the piano and saw many, many hooks that had been placed into the piano - they all had rings hanging off of them.  Most of the hooks had two or three rings.  There were also strings of pearls and other stones strung along the hooks - I wasn't sure why any of them were there but I knew that they belonged to Aunt Haddie.  I can remember getting up from under the piano and telling my father, who was sitting on the couch in the room, what I had seen and all he said was "Judas Priest" - his favourite remark - then later telling me it was my aunt's way of hiding things - what robber would look under a piano?

As I said, my maternal grandmother was definitely a 'character.'  Perhaps that has something to do with my parents' later move to Seattle.

09 December 2012


Laurelhurst is an old neighbourhood in Portland, Oregon. My great-grand parents and some of their children lived there from 1912.  No one from the family lives there now but it is such a memorable backdrop to my memories of my grandmother.

Her parents lived in the first house built in Laurelhurst - 805 Hazelfern Place - phone number BE 4 8675.  It is easy for me to remember these things.  I sometimes look at her house on a google map - it looks the same as does the other houses in the neighbourhood.

The house was large and had a big basement that my sister and I used as a roller skating rink.  We put things in the middle of the floor and spent hours skating in a circle with our friends.  It rains a lot in Portland so during the winters we had to play inside.

My grandmother Lois Parker Peery (we called her Lolo) married when she was older - over 25 - had my father in 1914 and the next year  left her husband and returned with her son to Laurelhurst.  We do not know much about my grandfather. I never met him.  My sister Candace has told me that my father told her that his father was an alcoholic.  We don't know much.  This person's name was never mentioned in the family.  Never by my grandmother.

By the time I was born, she was sixty, still living at 805 (my father's name for her house) and working.  She continued to work part time until she was over seventy.  This was unusual for women at the time.

She was lovely to me and I have fond thoughts of her.  She was a quiet person but also very determined.  I was told that she was a very good Bridge player and was always popular (a word that I found funny as a kid to describe my grandmother - that word was reserved for my friends) but I believe it was true.

Good social training was important to her and very important to her sisters - my great aunts.  They were constantly after my sister and me to have good manners - they never let up. It was a drag but I am grateful for it now.  They told me that I would be.

I spent quite a lot of time at Lolo's house when I was younger.  She never learned to drive so we were often walking home from the bus or walking to an aunt's house and I got to know Laurelhurst well.

There are many stories that I could share.  One that stands out clearly is the Christmas we had  at her house with all of the relatives in the area who could attend. There was a large Christmas  tree standing in one corner of the living room and there were many gifts sitting under it. Very exciting as the gifts were piled up -  My sister and I got to hand them  out to the those there. 

All of a sudden the tree started to tilt - it sort of tilted one way and then another - and before anyone could grab it, the tree fell on  the ground - ornaments, lights, water from the container holding it - tons of "rain" - thin strips of shiny light weight foil that were put on  the tree branches  for added decoration - all of it a mess. 

My sister and I grabbed gifts and tried to salvage what we could - my father was helping while most of the relatives sat there looking on - it was crazy.  My Dad was able to get the tree back up and things went on all right after that - but it turned out to be family memory that was often talked about.

Lolo was a very good cook and she and my father made chocolates together, too.  There had been talk of them having a business making candy. It never happened but they did buy a lot of equipment and made candy during the holidays for friends.  Any holiday was a reason for this - Easter, Mother's Day, Christmas, etc...  When I learned to drive, I took boxes to friends for them.

I remember having chocolate, walnuts, hazelnuts, special boxes, brown paper candy cups, measuring scales, steel covered tables, copper bowls, temperature gauges, huge trays, Kitchen Aid mixers, flavourings  - all kinds of things around to make candy with.

Of course I have two parents - and so I have four grand-parents.  My mother's father, Grandpa Stretcher, I never knew, because he died when I was only two.  But Grandma Stretcher I certainly knew well.

08 December 2012


When I had arrived as a new linguistics lecturer in Auckland in February, 1973, I had been a Christian a little over three years.  I was beginning to feel I knew something of the faith, but was certainly still very much a beginner.

I quickly became close friends with two younger men (I was just 30), men who had been brought up as Christians, and, therefore, not beginners.  Yet I think that for Christian University students, there is a sense in which they are beginners as well.  Indeed, both were new graduate students; had been undergraduates for three years; were, thus, in something of the same condition as I.

Ross Jackson was doing his MSc in chemistry; Richard Flinn was working on an MA in political studies.  Both were Baptists; both were destined to play central roles in my and Susan's lives.

By the end of the three years - 1973-5 - that we lived in Auckland, and I lectured in linguistics at the University, Ross was a Reformed Christian.  Was Richard?  He had, in any case, gone to the United States to study theology at the Reformed Seminary in Jackson, Mississippi.  When he finished his studies, he was Reformed.  He returned to Auckland and started the North Shore Reformed Church.  Ross, after graduation, had taught high school in Balclutha, and then returned to his home town of Pukekohe, where he taught chemistry.

By June 1980, therefore, Richard was minister of North Shore Reformed Church; Ross was chemistry teacher at Pukekohe High School; and the three of us had been in copious and serious discussions for five years through the exchange of letters and of cassette tapes.

I don't know that I had anything very specific in mind by including Pukekohe and the Jacksons in my itinerary, except that I was very definitely looking for an alternative to what we were doing in Yap, and Auckland was quite definitely the place we (or at least I!) considered home.

I had acquired my first microcomputer in early 1978.  Ross was not far behind.  When I visited him in June or July, 1980, he had set up a little computer lab at the high school - of, as I recall, Commodore computers - and had, in fact, invented something like Ethernet's Collision Detection scheme for sharing a single floppy drive amongst several computers.  Ross and I were very much interested in computing technology by this time.

We had another concern in common.  Our oldest children - Johnny and BethAnna, respectively - were born 12 days apart in July, 1975.  Each was five years old now - and in each case (his and mine), we were concerned about education.

Richard's church had started a Christian School - this one, I believe.  Ross told me that he and Glenys intended to sell their house in Pukekohe and buy a house in Auckland, probably on the North Shore.  In this way they would be able to send their children to the school, worship at a Reformed church (the nearest in Pukekohe is St James Presbyterian.

Why, exactly, did this not seem right to me?  Perhaps it was because by now Sue and I were very keen on home-schooling.  For whatever reason, I urged Ross to stay in Pukekohe, where he had grown up, and where, therefore, he had roots and might have influence.  He could home-school, as Sue and I were proposing to do.  And, I said, if there is no suitable Reformed or Presbyterian church, one should be started!  Why, after all, should Pukekohe be deprived of the benefit of Reformed Christianity?

I was a week at Ross's house.  On the day I left to return to Yap (via, I think, Honolulu and Guam), Ross and I had lunch, or, perhaps, afternoon tea, with Richard Flinn.  I pressed my idea.  Richard was, at first, a little doubtful, and he asked me whether I was ready to be a part of the idea of starting a Reformed church in Pukekohe.  He would, he said, support the idea if there were two, or, preferably, three families as the nucleus; he would not do so for one.

I would have to start to look for work in Auckland - and I knew it would have to be computer work.