Ramblings of a much published New Zealand author

18 March 2011

New Zealand Odyssey: Centennial Ladies' Rest Room, Greytown, Wairarapa

'New Zealand Odyssey', published in 1989 by Heinemann, was authored by me, Don Donovan (who did the text and illustrations) and Euan Sarginson, who did the photography and design. In this series of blog posts, I will publish some of my drawings.

There was a war going on in 1940 so the installation of a war memorial from public funds would have been premature. But it was one hundred years after the foundation of the town so they decided to build a commemorative loo for ladies. ('Rest Room' is a New Zealand euphemism for lavatory, a word the locals find hard to say). What the local men were supposed to do escapes me; I guess go in the bushes like most Greytown farmers had for the last 100 years?

The thing that fascinated me about this strange little edifice was not so much its raison d'ĂȘtre as its ambiguity: one could be forgiven for thinking that it was for the use of 100 year-old ladies only, in which case it's just like new today!


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By Don Donovan