Spectrum 092. Smell of the sawdust
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Spectrum was a long-running weekly radio documentary series which captured the essence of New Zealand from 1972 to 2016. Alwyn Owen and Jack Perkins produced the series for many years, creating a valuable library of New Zealand oral history.
In this episode of Spectrum Jack Perkins accompanies Rhoda Reichel and Marjorie Berry as they revisit the site of the Symes timber mill at Horopito near Ohakune, where they lived as children 60 years ago.
Perkins sets the scene with descriptions of what is left in the settlement – old foundations, rusting saws and leftover nails – while Rhoda vividly recalls her memories of the people, sights and smells of times past.
Near the close of the programme, upon finding the remains of a previous year’s burn-off, Marjorie Berry recalls the catastrophic Raetihi bushfire of March 1918 which devastated the milling industry.