Gerald shares wonderful memories of his time growing up in Ranfurly, “that upstart dusty railway town” as it was apparently known by the locals from Naseby. He recalls the activities of the families living in the town, how they supported each other during the war years, and the development of the town to include water, septic and tar sealed roads, flourishing shops and services, and irrigation expansion to surrounding farms. A number of well known families are mentioned and their valuable contribution to the district. Of particular note, Gerald goes into detail on his Uncle John (aka Jack) Hanrahan’s time as a prisoner of war during WW2, recalling some of the memories Jack relayed after his joyful return home, jumping off the train at the Ranfurly station before it came to a stop to greet his fiancé and family. (More information on John Hanarahan is available in this collection under his name; and additional WW2 documentation is also available from the Oral History Manager).

Interviewer: Judy Hinsley
Interview Dates:
January 2022

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Heritage Central Otago acknowledges the generous support from the following organisations.

Central Lakes Trust