Opotiki History

Tuesday 1 May 2012, 11:49PM

By Joseph Rooke



I daresay but a handful of readers would know anything of the following!  Joseph Rooke bought a bicycle in Sydney in late 1974 and with it took a ship to Auckland.  Three days after landing he found himself in the Opotiki Council Caravan Park run by a Mrs. Walker.  Close to the park was George Shalfoon's shop  which he often frequented and besides the odd purchase he flirted with one of the employees, Marie.  It amused Joseph that the shop sold half of a pound of butter, yes, cut in front of the customer!  On one visit Joseph asked for a half of a half of a pound of butter claiming that the police were not far behind.  He'd have to make a hasty retreat and cycling out of town with butter wouldn't be a priority.  Anway, their friendship blossomed to a point where Joseph one day romantically said to Marie, "Well, I suppose we'd better get married!"  A meeting with Reverend Parkinson took place and a date was set.  Marie handed over money so that Joseph could have new shoes and she a wedding ring.  All went well until a call from the good reverend revealed that  the planned date would be a Black Friday and we should reconsider.  That brushed aside, the day eventually arrived and brought about Joseph's most shameful admission.  You see, he shaved, where his beard allowed, with a cutthroat razor.  He found it awkward and he usually did a lousy job and even shed blood.  On this particular occasion he vowed that, if he was to cut himself, he'd hastily pack his few possessions amd head off out of town. Well, he didn't have need to!     (editing, and more to follow)