Ramblings of a much published New Zealand author

13 May 2010

Open 7 Days 37. Okains Bay Store

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.
OKAINS BAY STORE
Okains Bay, Banks Peninsula.
Proprietor: Chris Stanger.
Chris Stanger is a solo parent. He finds living in Okains Bay perfect for his lifestyle because while he works the shop, his sons go to the school whose front gate is less than a gumboot’s throw across the road. Chris, a mechanic by trade who has served time as a truckie, took over the store in 1987 for a bit of peace and quiet. He now looks after the needs of about forty families, but gets very busy for eight weeks in the summer when the local camping ground accommodates about 400 holidaymakers.

Because Okains Bay is so isolated, Chris doesn’t quite suffer the problems other country storekeepers have of competition from big-town supermarkets. That means he carries a more comprehensive inventory of groceries, dairy lines, petrol and oil, hardware and home-brew supplies. The store has the postal agency and is the fire group’s call-out point. It also provides a focus for news and advice, and Chris often finds himself consulted about marriage guidance, household budgeting, fixing the car, employment and how to achieve a successful home-brew.

It’s a great old building, very original, with two old kauri counters in the shop. When things are quiet in the winter, Chris manufactures garden gnomes – a gang of seven plaster dwarfs – which he sells, either naked or painted, both in the store and to garden centres in Christchurch – The Big Smoke north of the Port Hills beyond Lyttelton Harbour.

© DON DONOVAN
donovan@ihug.co.nz
.

Paypal

Blog Archive

Hits Counter

Blogdash

Loaded Web

Blog Directory for Albany, New Zealand

BlogThisHere.com

Blog This Here

Blog Flux

Commentary blogs

Comments

  • <$BlogCommentAuthor$> // <$BlogCommentDateTime$>

Blurb

RANDOM SAMPLINGS F...
By Don Donovan

About Me

My photo

Don Donovan: Biography

I was born on 20 January 1933, nine days before Hitler came to power in Germany, I grew up in south London. Although evacuated during the phoney war and the quieter times I lived in and out of air raid shelters during the blitz and experienced both V1 and V2 attacks on London. Left grammar school in 1948 aged 15 substantially undereducated. I wanted to go to art school but because of family ‘poverty’ joined a commercial art studio in the West End. I was, thereafter, variously a messenger boy, commercial artist and typographer. I was in the Royal Air Force from 1951 to 1953 when the only useful thing I did was to take part in King George VI’s funeral parade.

In 1955 I married Patricia O’Donnell, a RADA graduate, at that time playing opposite Derek Nimmo, they were juvenile leads in a touring repertory company. He went on to great success because he had a funny voice.

We came to New Zealand in 1960 where I worked in advertising. At length I became managing director of one of the companies of whose holding company (the largest domestic advertising complex in New Zealand) I was also a proprietor and shareholder. I left the industry in 1990 when my company was bought out by American interests. My timing was brilliant, at that point my first book had been published and the next was on its way.

We have two daughters and four grand-children.

Now, apart from writing, I function as a self-educated grumpy old man.

Books & Writings

‘New Zealand Odyssey’, with Euan Sarginson, Heinemann-Reed, 1989.

‘One Man’s Heart Attack’, New House, 1990. (A special edition of this book was purchased by CIBA-Geigy for distribution to NZ doctors).

‘Open 7 Days’, Random Century, October 1991.

‘The Good Old Kiwi Pub’ by Saint Publishing in 1995 followed by:
‘New Zealand House & Cottage’ in 1997. (Saint Publishing have also published calendars for the years 1994 to 2004 using my watercolour illustrations).

‘The Wastings’, my first novel was published in July 1999 by Hazard Press. Although an international subject it had very limited distribution, only in New Zealand, and the rights have reverted to me. (Colin Dexter read 'The Wastings' and wrote to me: 'I enjoyed and admired "The Wastings"... a beautifully written work... a splendid debut in crime fiction... More please!'.)

Also the texts of photographic books:
‘Auckland’
‘Colourful New Zealand’
‘New Zealand in Colour’
‘Top of the South’
‘Aoraki-Mt.Cook’
‘Above Auckland’
‘Hauraki Gulf Destinations’
‘Otago’
‘Bay of Plenty’
and a compilation of photographs and quotations titled ‘Anzac Memories’ 2004 all published by New Holland.

My written and illustrated book, ‘Country Churches of New Zealand’ was published in October 2002 by New Holland, who also published ‘Rural New Zealand’ 2004 (photographs and text), and a series of four humorous books of photographs and quotations in 2004 and 2005 titled ‘Woolly Wisdom’, ‘Chewing the Cud’, ‘Fowl Play’, and ‘Pig Tales’. My most recent book was published in August 2006 by New Holland, titled ‘Political Animals’.

Over the years I have written for NZ Herald, Heritage Magazine, Next Magazine and various local and overseas travel and general interest media.

[ENDS]