In the early 1960s raconteur Roland “Roly” Venis arrived in Erua - a bushmill and railway workers settlement in the King Country. In conversation with Jerome Cvitanovich Roly recalls his days in Erua and some of the characters who lived there.
Roly recalls the Maori community and his work at the steam engine mill performing engineering maintenance. He talks about the town’s drinking culture and some of the amusing incidents in the town.
He describes one incident during a long weekend where 2 wagons had come off the tracks in an accident.
He also relates travelling to Wellington to see a football match, travelling the rails on a ‘jigger’ with a crowd of people. On the return journey, they came head to head with a steam train, causing panic and confusion.