Kakanui history remembered

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People whose stories are included in a new book have called it an absolute master-stroke.

Murray Turner officially launched his book Kakanui’s People 100 Oral Histories at Kakanui School yesterday in front of about 50 people.

The book is about people prior to 1960 who attended Kakanui School, with one or two exceptions, who had strong links with the town.

Alan Dennehy, who attended Kakanui School fin the 1950s before heading to Waitaki Boys’ High, said it was an honour to contribute to Mr Turner’s book.

“I was absolutely privileged to have been asked to provide some stuff for the book, so I gave Murray a whole heap of photographs to use and wrote a piece about my time in Kakanui and to my delight he used it all.”

Mr Dennehy said the book would be a winner.

“I think this book was a magnificent idea and will be hugely popular.

“It’s history of people who have been to the school and a bit on their life is exactly what so many people would love to read about and because of this the book is a fantastic creation.”

He said it would sell really well.

“I’m not sure how many copies were made, but I’m picking Murray to need more copies of the book.”

Mr Dennehy, who spends about three months a year in Kakanui with his wife Glenys, said he was looking forward to sitting down and reading the book.

“It’ll be such a great read. I came down from Christchurch where I now live especially for this launch. Reading people’s views on the school before 1960 will be fascinating.”

Every moment at the school was special one, Mr Dennehy said.

“I just can’t believe how the book looks considering he didn’t know how to use a computer and had all his information in an exercise book.”

Beryl Beckingsale, who attended the school from about 1931, said she had paid close attention to the book.

“I think it’ll be well worth reading, It’s a lot bigger than I thought and I can’t believe all the effort Murray went into.”

Mrs Beckingsale said it would be interesting to see what other people had said.

“I’m not terribly exciting with what I’ve said, but I’m looking forward to reading people’s views opinions and thoughts on the school prior to 1960.”

Mr Turner’s wife Monica Turner was very proud of the book.

“Murray’s done a fantastic job and I’m really proud of him and all the work he’s done.”

Mr Turner himself was pleased with where he had come, considering in his fifth form year at Mosgiel High School he came last in English.

“I placed 13th out of 13 in that class and now I’ve written two books, so you could say I’m quite happy.”

Mr Turner is thankful for the work done by Waitaki Creative Arts, and everyone who helped with the book.

The Kakanui Ratepayers also donated $200 for four books to go to the Kakanui School Library.

The book is available from Murray himself on (03) 439-5905, Kakanui School on (03) 439-5837 and the Kakanui store for $50.

By Brayden Lindsay

PHOTO: BRAYDEN LINDSAY – At the launch yesterday were (back from left) Alison Ludemann, Murray Turner (author), Ken Sinclair, Dorothy Hunter, Alan Dennehy, (front from left) Beryl Beckingsale, Diana Sinclair, Barbara Simpson and Glenys Dennehy.