History of DORA JOYCE

The Life of DORA JOYCE

Dora Joyce Metcalfe
Born: 19 Feb 1921, Patea, North Island, New Zealand

 Dora Colour

Growing Up:
Dora was from a family of eight and they lived on a farm at Alton (small community in South Taranaki, New Zealand) two miles away from the local school.

The children were able to travel to school on the milk cart, but had to walk home and in the winter, they would walk to and from school an unable to afford shoes, they would get up early to go to school in the cold mornings and wait until the cows got up off the ground and would warm their feet in the grass.

Dora Family Colour

World War II:
In 1939 the war had started, so instead of a career, Dora (18), her older sister Hazel and her younger brother Derek (14) had to replace the men who had gone to war and run the farm, as their father had fallen sick and could only supervise.

During World War II, Dora volunteered to make ammunition for the war effort.  She moved to Wellington to work in an ammunition factory.

A New Start:
After the war, the men arrived back and Dora started a new life leaving New Zealand and heading to England.

The following year Dora meets and married John Ernest Moore and lived in England for a further year when she found out John was already married.  Dora decided to go back to New Zealand and while on the boat back, she found out that she was pregnant with Darlene.

Homeward bound:
Dora’s brother, Derek picked her up from the Wharf in Wellington and Dora went back to Patea to live.

With her Father’s inheritance, Dora bought a farm in Dudley Road, Inglewood, New Zealand.  This was a very productive farm because it sold shingle from the river to the Ministry of works, the dairy farm, pigs and a fruit orchard.

Dora had trouble coping with the farm work so hired a Farmer worker, Peter Smith, a farm hand from England and having a motor bike, would often take Dora for rides. This lead to a physical relationship and when Dora found out she was pregnant with Colettee.  Peter denied having relations with Dora and left the country not long after finding out.  However, not before Dora took him to court for maintenance as Peter did not want to pay or provide for maintenance of a baby.  Dora brought Colettee and Darlene up as a single mother and in those days there were no benefits to help mothers.

Dora then met Ian Willing through friends and they got married.  He would always give Dora grief about being a single mother and became very violent towards Dora.

Time to move:
Dora’s brother Derek had moved to the Waikato and he wanted her to move to the Waikato so he could help her with the girls.  This was her way out of getting away from Ian and she sold the farm and moved to the Waikato where she brought a boarding house in Windsor Hotel, High Street, Frankton, Hamilton in 1962.

She met her husband to be Eddie Marsh (his māori name is Eurera Maihi from Tapapa, South Waikato area.  Raukawa Iwi) at the Windsor Hotel and they were together for 15 years before they married.

In 1964 Dora and Eddie whangai a niece Suezette (they picked her up from the Tokoroa hospital as a new born baby).

Dora and Eddie both did share milking for the Gecks family in Swan Road, Te Kauwhata and then moved to another share milking job on Orchard Road, Te Kauwhata, NZ for the Goodins family.

Dora also ran a few more boarding houses, in Rostrevor Street and Thackeray Street, Hamilton in 1969.   Eddie’s parents became very sick so they decided to move back to Putaruru in Rotorua Road, South Waikato area to help the whanau (family).

Finally settled:
Dora and Eddie moved around a lot within Putaruru (following work) e.g. renting a farm house on Arapuni Road, Putaruru where they attended to Turkey’s and chooks.

Eddie started working for the Railway in Putaruru and they were able to rent the Railway house in main street of Putaruru.

Dora Joyce Metcalfe (Nana) passed away 25th June 1985 aged 64, at Tapapa, South Waikato, NZ and buried in Putaruru cemetery.

Dora Favorite colour is Mauve.  She had a flare for fashion and when she was young, she would wear peplum two piece suits, circle, tent and sheath dresses, stockings, gloves, hats - pillbox, cloche and turban.

Her daughter Colettee was gifted her vintage mink wrap/shawl 1950s which has now been handed down to her eldest daughter Joanne. 

Dora would also buy her daughters Colette, Suezette and Darlene bolero furs and tartan pinafore dresses.