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​Meet Peter T. Wilson - local historian!

Taranaki, New Zealand

Born and raised within these country districts Peter T. Wilson began his working life as a school teacher before marrying and becoming a dairy farmer in Huirangi for 40years. With his wider family and that of his wife living in the area, interest in the history of the local area grew, recording the events of the past because they impacted the activities surrounding them became a time absorbing past-time.

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'Another family member started a book writing project and on his untimely death the project was passed down to me. While still actively farming for the next 25 years, a gradual accumulation of information built up but  not until retirement did I spend a dedicated time actually interviewing as many  residents and ex-residents as possible and researching the past did the book really begin to take shape. I think a common thread with all who undertake such work is that I wish I had asked a lot more questions of the older people in my life. My grandmother (I descended through her second marriage) told us stories of the cottage her father built for her and her small children after she was widowed and how she barricaded the door in fear at night. My childish imagination had all sorts of pictures of the cottage near some dark and fearsome bush but it was not until writing the book did I find out that I had walked past that cottage every day on my way to school.

Being a pupil, a resident and a teacher at the school gave me a very real interest in finding out as much as i could about the place I lived in. After the successful publication of “Even the Dogs Have Forgotten to Bark” friends in the neighbouring district of Tikorangi asked me if I would do a similar history of their district. I had worked on a farm there during my school holidays and got to know several people so began the marathon journey to gather information about an area and people I was not quite so familiar with.'

P.   T.   Wilson