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Our place . . . Margaret and Arthur Rawcliffe in front of their home in Glendale Cres. PHOTO: JOHN COSGROVE

Margaret and Arthur Rawcliffe came back from their honeymoon in 1960 to a newly built house in Glendale Cres, one of four in the then-new Glendale subdivision at Awamoa.

They live in the same house, 57 years later.

Mr Rawcliffe, a draper at the time, had bought the lot just two years earlier for four-hundred pounds.

“When we moved in, there were only four other houses on the road,” he recalled.

“We were surrounded by bare farmland and our boundary was the Oamaru town boundary.”

Mrs Rawcliffe shared her own memories of that time.

“They told us it would 20 years before they built next to our southern boundary and here it is, 57 years later, and they still haven’t built anything,” she said.

The couple raised three children in the young subdivision, which took nearly 15 years to fill up.

“Everyone around us were just like us – young families with children.”

Mrs Rawcliffe said all the local children used to come up their circular driveway to ride their bikes around because their family homes were built on smaller sections with no driveways.

“They even used our back yard as a shortcut to get to Awamoa School.

“But everyone knew each other in those early days. Now we don’t know who is living in our street. They all seem to buy, stay for a short while then move away,” Mrs Rawcliffe said.

When the Rawcliffes first moved into the area, they raised goats on the spare properties until they finally all filled up.

“They kept the gorse down but we didn’t sell them – we just gave them away,” Mr Rawcliffe said.

They named their property Doniver, an amalgamation of family names McDonald and McIver.

In 1964, the couple built a two-car garage on their property and later added a gazebo – their tea house – constructed from the front section of the old Edna McCulloch Kindergarten, which Mr Rawcliffe picked up and recycled.

The couple said the community had evolved over the years. Families moved away, and the closure of local shops was hastened by the new supermarket being built on the nearby main road.