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Clogs, kilts, tikis and leprechauns

My name is Hetty and I currently live in Wellington. My Mum’s family is of Dutch, Scottish and Maori heritage and my Dad’s family is European. My Great Grandad on my Mum’s side was born in Canada and moved here as a teen. My Mum and Dad both grew up in Auckland - Dad in South Auckland and Mum also lived in Mount Maunganui as a teenager. Why did we move to Wellington?

When I was 2 months old, Dad applied for a position at Massey University here in Wellington. And to sum up, he got it and we moved here from Coromandel where I was born in a house on the beach. Our first house in Wellington was in Island Bay. Later we moved to Newtown and my older sister and I attended Clyde Quay School in Mount Victoria.

In my Mum’s family, we have unique characters to spare: A Canadian Mountie, a Mayor, a

Jockey, a Chief, and my Great Great Grandma used to live on Stewart Island her mother died when she was young so she lived with her father. He was a surveyor and was away for long periods of times so she was left to fend for herself. She soon got sick of the closed space of the island and ran away on the first boat she saw. A couple who were passengers on the boat found her and ended up adopting her. My grandad, John, grew up in Canada and he used to cry a lot. His Mum never knew why. While he was growing up, his Mum let him carry around a rifle to shoot rabbits and he was allowed to camp outside in winter.

My Dad has a younger brother and sister whom he grew up with in a large house on Great South Road and my Grandma still lives there. My Dad got sent to boarding school called Dillworth (along with his stuffed Basil Brush) when he was 12 (I think) and he HATED IT. Then he decided he wanted to get into music so he started his own band. He got into the finals of Rock Quest, which was against the school rules and he was asked to leave. He changed schools to Papatoetoe High School and met my Mum. She used to go to his thrash metal gigs. Then a few years later he and mum got married and had my older sister Elsie.

So to sum up, my family’s a cool bunch like my Grandad with his smelly goat curries and ongoing support of the world’s sesame farmers, or my Aunty with the same name and birthday as me (purposeful). But let’s just say Wellington’s better than Canada - freezing Canada. We found out why my Grandad was always crying. It’s because he was always so cold. My other Grandad was cold too. In Holland he used to put newspaper inside his jacket to keep warm because they were so poor during the war, but that’s another migration story.

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