Reminders good and bad

My grandfather was nominally a Presbyterian. However, although he rarely attended church he wouldn’t attend the marriage of one of his sons because he was marrying a Catholic.

Last night’s Sunday Theatre Tangiwai was a reminder of the religious bigotry that was common in the 1950s.

The story of Nerissa Love and her fiancée New Zealand cricketer Bob Blair was a moving portrayal of one of our country’s greatest tragedies and it was also a reminder of how good television can be.

If you didn’t see the film last night, the link above will take you to it.

Jacqueline Smith tells the story behind the film here.

The Tangiwai blog is collecting personal stories of the disaster.

NZ History tells the story of the Boxing Day cricket test.

3 Responses to Reminders good and bad

  1. pdm says:

    My cousin in Scotland was dating a Catholic (Italian) in the 60’s in Glasgow. My fathers spinster sister a devout Church of Scotland attender chased him down the street in Glasgow one day yelling `no niece of mine is going to marry any eyetie catholic’.

    True story and perhaps she was right as they did marry and had four children before divorcing in the late 70’s – not long after we visited them in 1977..


  2. Inventory2 says:

    The cricketing side of the story is probably New Zealand cricket’s finest moment, and one of the most memorable and courageous sporting moments in New Zealand’s history.

    I haven’t had a chance to watch Tangiwai yet, but it’s sitting safely on the MkSky disc.


  3. JC says:

    Been there done that. 40 odd years ago her father threw a huge barney about her marrying a Catholic, grabbed her and threw her into her bedroom.

    I gave him the night to settle down (he was drunk), went back the next morning, broke three of his ribs and took my fiance to live with my parents.

    Her father and I ended up great mates.

    On Tangiwai I thought it was all going to turn to mush when they brought out all the Maori stuff, and some of the sayings didn’t fit 1953.. a girl describing another as “horny”?

    But after that it was lump in the mouth stuff as I remembered our neighbour’s girl who died. Her mother was only able to identify her by a ring she was wearing. And as for Bob Blair.. Boys Own stuff, wasnt it!



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