It has been a busy Christmas break. Work has been very busy right up to the last day, then straight after Christmas it has been busy with the Waipu Highland Games, then travelling south to Blenheim visiting some cemeteries on the way for some family research.
First there was the Northcote Invitational competition on December 30th, which featured some of the pipers who will be competing in the Waipu Highland games. This consisted of 6 competitors who each play a double MSR and an own choice medley. The winner was Stuart Easton, who was supposed to be judge this year but one of the other players pulled out, so he was asked to play while Brian Swatala was asked in to judge.
Next was the Helen McGregor Memorial Trophy competition held on December 31st before the Waipu Highland games. This had quite a few contestants with a lot of young people giving it a go. The piping quality was definitely up there.
During the Highland Games, I helped tune one of the other band members, Jenny, playing D grade. There was a variation in the weather causing the tuning to be different, I also found that her blowing pressure was different between her March and S + R, to her Piobaireachd, Jenny’s pressure was lower for her Piobaireachd. Her C was also not in tune which I didn’t find out until her last competition. She won the Piobaireachd and came 3rd in her 2/4 March.
The rest of the day was to help put up the Clan Cameron tent, and help bring it down at the end of the day. The opening included a March through the town which my parents took part in, and an opening ceremony which started at 1pm. The clans would march in, then the massed bands would join. Having not competed this was the first time my pipes were used during the day.
I had some leave approved for a week after the new years week so I decided to travel back to Blenheim with my parents, and use this to research some cemeteries. Earlier in the year we tried to look at a cemetery in Marton, however the rain was pretty bad and we weren’t able to complete this. This cemetery was back on the list to go check.
The first cemetery we stopped at was Taihape Cemetery, this was to check on Morell Stanley Deighton and his wife Charlotte Ethel Valintine. It took a while but we found them. There is also an infant buried at this cemetery but we could not find it.
Next cemetery was Mangaweka Cemetery which had Francis Morris Deighton, the father of Morell Stanley Deighton. This was a small cemetery so it was easy to find.
We stayed with my Aunt Marianne over night then progressed to some other cemeteries the next day.
One cemetery of surprise was Fraserfield Cemetery, a private cemetery for the Fraser family. The Frasers were a large family having the first generation born in New Zealand for my line having 18 siblings. Lots of photos were taken here.
The final cemetery we visited was the Rangietea Church Cemetery in Otaki, this had some Cootes, who are on my Mothers side of the family. This cemetery is stretched out over a large area, however we were able to find a few people. One of my ancestors, George Cootes, we were not able to find.
Now is the task of cataloguing all the photos I have taken and updating any new information to the family tree. This information has not previously been the main focus of my genealogy before and I have learned a lot of new information in the process. It has been great.
I will be updating some new pages in this blog once I get the information I want out of this research, hopefully before I go back to work.