Ramblings of a much published New Zealand author

15 March 2010

Open 7 Days 21. Inangahua Junction One Stop Shop

I wrote and illustrated ‘Open 7 Days’. It was published in 1991. It’s a series of freeze-frames of some historic New Zealand general and convenience stores as they were preserved in the last decade of the 20th century. Bit by bit, on this blog, I re-publish some of the entries from that book.



INANGAHUA JUNCTION ONE STOP SHOP
Main Road, Inangahua, Buller.
Proprietors: Pam and ‘Taff’ Tawhara
This is the youngest general store in my collection. The building was a garage for forty years until, in September 1989, it became the all-encompassing store it is today.

Hoia Apiha ‘Taff’ Tawhara comes from Coromandel and is of Ngati Porou (East Coast Maori) origins. He and Pam met when they were both in the NZ Army’s 1st Battalion, in which Taff served tours in Malaysia, Borneo, Vietnam and Singapore. In 1984 they bought the small Inangahua Store and Tearooms a bit farther down the road, but later acquired the garage, sold the old building and combined both businesses into the present ‘One Stop Shop’.

The first garage was built in 1920 by Tom Southon, but was rebuilt in 1950 following a destructive fire, then taken over by Tom’s daughter, Fay, and her husband, Johnny Stuart. It was then the district agency for Atlantic and Mobil products, and Johnny used to deliver fuel as far afield as Karamea and the Stockton mines up near Granity.

After Inangahua’s devastating earthquake in 1968, a lot of the old identities moved out. But Pam insists that the old values have remained; the community is close-knit and comfortable while staying aware of the outside world. ‘The kids here… seem more open, bright and cheerful. The adults are more “laid back”… having time to chat… and help each other in times of trouble. Perhaps a lesson for the world.’
For some inexplicable reason, Inangahua is visited by disproportionate numbers of German cyclists, who, professing not to read English, used to lean their bikes against the store’s pristine paintwork. Pam fixed them: she speaks German!

© DON DONOVAN
donovan@ihug.co.nz
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Blurb

RANDOM SAMPLINGS F...
By Don Donovan