Grandad Dale becomes a grown-up

Dale (photo taken by his schoolfriend Bill Killen using colour film, ~1959) #4I finished at Whangarei Boys High School at the end of 1959 (the year the Auckland Harbour Bridge opened) and our family moved south at the same time.  Dad bought the Martinborough chemist shop and recommenced life as a pharmacist, my sister Lynne started her working life (as a hairdresser), and I went to university in Wellington.


In my first year at Victoria University (when I was eighteen), I boarded with the Harrington family in Oriental Terrace.  To cut a very long story extremely short, that was where I met their daughter, Julie.

Julie and I married in 1965 and within five years we had four particularly nice children, Jeannie, Paul, David, and Anna.  Later, they in turn had children, giving me seven delightful grandchildren (Kate, Sharn, Aaron, Alex, Sam, Danielle, and Manuka) and (so far) one beautiful little great grandson (Reid).


It’s been so much fun doing this blog, remembering the past and trying to illustrate how much life has changed since those long ago days.  I started it because my son and daughter-in-law asked me to, but I’ve ended up doing it for myself.  Thank you, Paul and Linda, it was a lovely idea and I’m so very grateful you suggested it.

And thanks, also, to Mandy Lee, who in 2017 very generously welcomed us into what is now HER home, the Maungaturoto house built by my grandfather and uncle in 1946.


And, now, 25000 words later, the story of my childhood has ended.  Nearly six decades have passed since I left school and I’m now seventy-five years old.

Wow, where did all those years go to!!!

  1. #1 by Martin Perkinson on 27 September 2017 - 4:30 pm

    Hi Dale,

    What a fitting end to a most informative and detailed summary of your younger years. I enjoyed reading them all and look forward to the release of the movie “The Tale of Dale”.

    Thank you for including me in the loop. Paul and Linda (and the rest of your family for that matter) must be very pleased with the result.

    Well done and congratulations.

    Kind Regards,



    • #2 by Dale Lacey on 27 September 2017 - 6:08 pm

      Thanks, Martin. It really has been fun doing the blog. I can recommend it to all 75 year olds (well, actually, I started in earnest when I was 73)!!!

  2. #3 by Lucette Poulin on 4 January 2018 - 3:20 am

    Hi Dale,

    Thanks so much for all the stories and information. I’m building a tree for John Oliver Hooper, who turned 87 last year. He had no idea that part of the Hooper family lived in New Zealand. His father Edward James Hooper was a first cousin of John Charles Hooper.

    Edward James Hooper born in 1892 in Mere Wiltshire England to Oliver and Sarah Jane Newton. He left England in 1911 for Manitoba, Canada to work as a farm labourer on a work visa. He wasn’t there long due to the hard work and the cold. He eventually ended up in Ontario, Canada were he met and married Clara. Edward James Hooper and Clara immigrated to Michigan, USA around 1920. Which is where John Oliver Hooper was born.

    • #4 by Dale Lacey on 4 January 2018 - 8:11 am

      Thanks, Lucette. I remember my Grandad Hooper so very fondly. I guess he was the same generation as your Edward James, and I’m the same generation as your John Oliver.

      I’m travelling at the moment, but will email you in a week or so with more information about “John Charles”.

      Best wishes

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