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PRESTON, GWENETH ALBERTA (GWEN)

nee CHADWICK

 

Gwen Chadwick was born in Hawera on the 29 May 1913, the second of seven children of Leo Harry and Florence Gertrude Chadwick nee Cabes.

 

Gwen was educated at Tawhiti Primary School and the Hawera High School before leaving school to become a music teacher and seamstress, sometimes cycling as far as Ararata to give piano lessons.  Her parents were far from wealthy and even the cost of Gwen's piano lessons were a considerable hardship for them.  Because of her love of music, and to ease the cost, Gwen, as a young girl made paper flowers which she then sold to make enough money to pay for music lessons.  She achieved her LTCL in December 1934, and became well known, both as a teacher, and for the many concerts she held in St Mary's Anglican Church hall.  She also arranged concerts which were held in the Hawera Opera House and she was often in demand as an accompanist.  As well as being a music teacher, Gwen owned and ran a florist shop in Glover Road

 

In 1937, Gwen married Ashley Harvey Preston, and the couple farmed in Normanby.  In their early years of marriage, the couple also owned and operated a glove factory in Regent Street, Hawera at time employing up to 16 staff as well as a traveller on the road.  They also had a florist shop in Union Street and a clothing shop in New Plymouth.

 

Gwen had many interests over the years, on being to follow her husband's rugby career and using her musical talents organised many of the Okaiawa Rugby Club social events.  Floral work was another interest and many hours were spent perfecting entries for the Egmont A & P Shows.  She was a competent seamstress and entered many "Make and Model" competitions, some of which she gained top placings for.

 

Her main interest was golf at which she spent many hours of practice.  She became a life member of Te Ngutu Golf Club, was a club captain of the Ladies committee, and took out many championship titles, as well as accomplishing a "hole in one".

 

Gwen Preston died on the 29 July 1991 at Hawera aged 79 years and is buried at the Hawera cemetery.

 

SOURCE

Nigel & Eleanor Preston, Normanby (son)