Dad originally created this web-page / blogsite, on the above date:
(re: December 9, 2012 )
It has thus just been updated (by his son Keith), today – being the 20th of July, 2017.
People just called my Dad:
This is the story — of my Dad’s (?) GREAT OE & FREE POW overseas holiday..?
Which he partook of between Jan 1940 & Aug 1945
It was a full circumvention ” Tour” ..
Which took Hec around The World .. (albeitly) for FREE.
The ONLY thing he had to do .. ?
Was to follow a few orders .. eat some food !!!
Oh … & ??? JUST SURVIVE .. WWII.
Well Hec survived a LOT more than just WWII, as he survived a considerably lot longer than just the End of WWII, attaining the ripe old age (in extremely good health mind) of just 103 years, 4 months and 4 days – until Tuesday, 18th of July, 2017.
Hec will now be interred alongside his late wife (my Mum) on Monday, the 24th of July, 2017, in the Alexandra Cemetery, Central Otago, New Zealand.
Dad was born in Oamaru, North Otago, New Zealand – on the 14th March, 1914
In a private maternity home called Asphodel House.
When Hec turned 102, he asked to be taken back so he could see what it looked like now.
Unfortunately, that establishment was closed many, many years ago – ?
But eventually we discovered WHERE, and went to the old site.
It’s now that of MacDonald’s – so he received a birthday cake there, when they learnt that it was where he was born – 102 years earlier.
Hec then shifted to Spotis Creek in Omakau, aged just 4 yrs old, when his parents moved back to the Manuherikia Valley (where they had both originated from) – for work.
Shortly thereafter Hec’s family moved into the 500 acre run-hold (which later became known as the Clare Estate) up in the Crawford Hills, where he lived until after he left school.
My Dad (HEC) achieved the DUX medal awards for both his primary (Galloway) School, as well as for his secondary (Alexandra District) School.
Then he shifted up to Nelson to “work” on fruit orchards in that area, to gain the knowledge he needed to run his own orchards in Galloway – which he had “planted” when still at school.
Later, he returned to the Crawford Hills, and established another orchard and built his own house there too (out of “Mud Bricks” which he himself also made with Mum’s help)
Then – as a returned serviceman, he gained an allocation for the lowland farmland, behind the Galloway Railway Station – which I was later able to work for him, when he “retired” into Alexandra, at the young age of just 86.
My Dad (HEC) lived there “alone” (as Mum had passed away due to cancer in Dec, 1994), until he “decided” in 2013 that he had been alone long enough, whereby he came to live with me and my current partner, here in Roxburgh, Central Otago, New Zealand (just a little further DOWN the catchment valley, from the Spotis Creek / Manukerikia River areas of his life, to still be in the same catchment – of the Clutha River.
Thus, when eventually he became unable to walk properly, and he recognized that we weren’t able to physically look after him as we wanted to do, he “moved” on down the river towards it’s mouth, to then reside in “Clutha Views Lifecare facility”, in a “room” overlooking the mighty river itself, at Balclutha.
There dad enjoyed reading his beloved ODT Newspaper every day (mostly without glasses as he had become accustomed in doing, as he frequently forgot to “put them on”).
WE got the dreaded call on Tuesday Morning, telling us that Dad had suffered a non-survivable medical event, so we spent his last remaining hours with him, holding his hand and attending to him, as he slowly progressed through his “walk” into his next life.
Dad was fully conscious and lucid (to the extent possible under the circumstances) in absolutely no pain whatsoever – and thus knew his time had come and that he’d WON.
I told him he was the best Dad I could have ever had, loved him totally, forgave him for anything he may have regretted doing, and that to me he was the best soldier ever.
AND that he was a winner.
He enquired as to what I meant, and grinned a lot and laughed a little, when I said – that he was the ONLY ONE in our entire family who had “made it” (past 100) and that he could rest easy, knowing that he had succeeded.
I explained that it was a proud achievement to reach the age he had done, and that he could leave us if he wished, whilst doing it with both dignity and pride.
I also told him there was no shame in now finalizing his “race” as even the longest marathon runner knows, the end of the race is regarded as getting PAST the finish line.
I also had to explain to him why he couldn’t move or swallow, and thus he knew he’d had a massive stroke and was grateful that I had told him.
He also then knew why, and smiled as he joked about the silly noises his breathing made as it “rattled” every time he took a breath.
Thus I told him to ask Jesus to lead him home, so that he could be with Mum and the rest of his family.
He then settled in – closed his eyes, relaxed and kept squeezing my hand (with his good one) until just after 5pm – when he started to breath slower and slower, eventually expiring at 5-08pm.
He went as happily & as peacefully – as anyone could ever want to go.
Thus – this (now) memorial page – is more simply stated …!!!
This is the story.. of:
My Dad’s Life – (as a private) – Whilst He Was: At The 2nd World War.
As well as his long life thereafter.
Hec’s New Zealand Army (1st Echelon) Number was: N8242
& (whilst in Germany) Hec’s POW prison number was: 24219
My Family & I are slowly continuing with the writing of this blog (now).
To record Hec’s WWII memoirs, and other things he achieved in his lifetime, for the preservation of such details as Hec wanted to be kept known, for future generations.
We will thus add to this blogsite, as time goes on ..
But for now..
Just the basics are being added here (to update this blog, which Dad started off).
Sometime in the future, when we have more “time” (alas not yet):
The family may add snippets, and even Hec’s – entire “life manuscript” that Dad wrote about, when his Late Wife, (my Mum) was creating her four poetry booklets.
Just because he wanted to write something for “publishing” too.
But other things (such as the rest of his life) somehow got in the way – and thus it’s now in a dusty big box somewhere, waiting for someone to scan into his blog (for him) here.
Over a year ago.
Dad wrote this about himself:
I am now almost 102 years of age, in extremely good health (considering my advanced years) and until two years ago, was even fit enough to still drive my Brand New (1973) Hilman Avenger – most days of the week. (which is of course “now sold” = for about exactly the same price, that I originally bought it for, just on 40 years ago), as I stopped driving when I turned 100 (!) although, for posterities sake, and for a memento, I decided to retain my New Zealand Drivers Licence – (although expired, it now is).
And yes – (the car) IT WAS STILL BRAND NEW = until I sold it – ?
As it didn’t become “2nd Hand”, until the next person bought it.
Sadly, Hec has followed on, to be where all of his “older” ancestors have gone before him (to lead the way home), so that he could eventually follow them.
My Dad had a very tough life, but one which he fully participated within, and thus he enjoyed every moment thereof.
Please feel free to contact (me = Keith Clare = QUIX4U) – & just refer to this blog which was started by my Dad …
As being the wordpress page – for = Hec.
We (Hec’s immediate family) will also continue to update his page at Facebook, for the foreseeable future.
As well as somehow continuing a little of his Twitter account and/or any other web pages (which he created for himself), until we can figure out how to memorialize all of them, for him.
As far as the family is currently aware, Hec appears to have created just the following three pages for himself.
This one here on WordPress for his war memoirs, as well as one on Twitter and another on Facebook (the later two created so that he could keep abreast of his extended family’s activities – worldwide).
You can leave a comment here, on Hec’s ABOUT page:
Or – ?
Place Feedback, Comments and/or Contact “requests”:
In the comments section (shown = off to the RH side >>> ).
If you wish – now you can even:
Share this via:
You can also… (just)…
Like “this” = by pushing the little: Like ? Button here:
& Be (one of) the first to like this.
Don’t go to Hec’s “old” house addresses in either Galloway, Alexandra, or Roxburgh.
Nor look for him at the Clutha Views Lifecare facility – down in Balclutha.
My DAD “Hec”, is to be interred with my Mum in the Alexandra Cemetery.
His graveside service will be on Monday 24th July at 11 am.
Anyone who wishes to attend, is welcome to do so.
Alexandra Cemetery, Central Otago, New Zealand
He will thus rejoin all of the old members of his closest family, including his Dad & Mum, as well as his Brother & Sister, and his Brother-in-Law along with his wife, (my Mum).
Hec’s only son “Keith” (QUIX4U = myself) will thus now be his remaining earthly contact here 4U – should you ever wish to enquire about any aspect of Hec’s extremely long life.