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Fanny Bertha Good was born in North Taranaki in 1860, one of nine children of Captain Thomas and Sarah Emily Good nee Gates.  Thomas commanded troops in the Maori wars in North Taranaki, and when the order was given to Taranaki women to leave and go to Nelson, Sarah was one of those who refused to go, and stayed to share all the dangers of those times.


In the 1870s, the Good family came to live in Oeo, where Thomas farmed in partnership with Hone Pihama.  It was another daughter, Amy, who rode the five kilometres to Pihama to raise the alarm when the Lizzie Bell was wrecked off the Oeo coast on the 24 July 1901.  In 1903, the Goods moved to Hawera and purchased the Dive's property at Ramanui.


Fanny Good became cut off from normal life when deafness struck her in her early youth and she began to paint. Her reproductions of the heavy bush surrounding Oeo at that time became her life's love. Fanny's ability was entirely self developed, though she received tuition from her father, himself no mean artist.  All her life when busy at her painting "she was going to have lessons" but her deafness constituted a barrier that always led her to put off their commencement. 


Fanny never thought that her study of trees and flowers would be of general interest but at the Dunedin and South Seas Exhibition in the 1930s, some of her work was exhibited.  In the 1940s about 180 of Fanny Good's paintings were donated to the Taranaki Museum by Miss Good and many friends, the gift being sponsored by Mrs W H Skinner. 


In 1949 when Miss Good was 89 years old the museum held an exhibition of 100 of these canvases.  In 1984 a further exhibition was held which attracted a great deal of attention. 


Fanny Bertha Good died on the 15 December 1950 at New Plymouth and is buried at Te Henui cemetery with her family.



Oeo Through The Years compiled by Diana O'Brien

Obituary "Hawera Star" 16 Dec 1950

Obituaries "Hawera Star" 20 May 1907 (Thomas) 27 Dec 1913 (Sarah)