I thought I would write and let you know how much I enjoyed reading your book, Whatever Happened To Ishtar?.
My husband and I were on holiday in the North Island and we went into the museum (Te Papa) where they had the Gallipoli display which was amazing to say the least. As I was reading the history of the different soldiers my eyes glued to a piece on your relative, Ateo Frandi especially when it mentioned they [Frandi family] arrived as settlers in Jackson Bay and settled in Okuru. I drew my husband’s attention to the article as we had never heard his parents mention that name [Frandi]. His grandparents also arrived in Jackson Bay with all the settlers and it was far from being the paradise they were all led to believe. It was certainly tough trying to eke out a living for all the families and they had much to combat; rain, bush, swamp, mozzies, and sandflies to name a few.
Reading the book we assume your relatives settled at Okuru – what the oldies always referred to as ‘Cuttances’, where Neroli Nolan’s Collyer House is. The land was ours but we sub-divided it a few years ago.
Kerry’s, (my husband) grandparents were August Henry Frederick and Annie (nee Nisson). His great grandparents were Ludwig Frederick Christian Eggeling and Johanna (nee Sander).
Your story was very moving, emotional and enlightening. I read a book by Lesley Pearce years ago about the true stories she collected from the children who ‘lived’ in the Catholic orphanages in Australia and what they had to endure. Sickening! And no doubt it still goes on although I like to think publicity and media outlets help to get people’s stories out into the open. You are a strong lady and I admire you telling your story.
Fay Eggeling – 16 November 2015