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Glory days . . . A Makikihi Transport truck in 1954. PHOTO: SUPPLIED

Waimate man John Foley has brought light to old stories of laughter, loyalty and companionship in and around South Canterbury.

His self-published book, Good as Gold – In The Age Of The Carrier, tells stories about rural carriers in the district and what life was like for them and their families from the late 1800s to near the end of the 1900s.

Showing off history . . . Waimate man John Foley with his book about rural carriers in the South Canterbury district. PHOTO: TYSON YOUNG

What was originally to be included as a story within a previous book, If They All Came Back, ended up becoming its own book, inspired by the stories of rural carriers and fond memories of assistance they gave to Mr Foley’s family farm in Studholme during his younger years.

“It was more than appropriate that a tribute be paid to them and a record of the hard manual work, the companionship and the loyalty of those recorded,” Mr Foley said.

He also thought it was important to record the special understanding of life that existed between rural and town people.

Encouragement from family and friends also helped Mr Foley get the book to publication.

He said he never worried about trying to make money from the book.

“Putting together a social history is never a profitable business,” Mr Foley said.

He is hopeful the book will also be something people will want to pick up as a collectable.

Mr Foley already has plans to continue writing more books.

A series of books about social history in New Zealand, called Such Was Life, is in the pipeline.