Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Family reunion

John's Aunt Mimi traveled with the boys to Australia, not to enjoy the music of the boy she raised and his friends, but to meet up with family members that lived in Eketahuna, New Zealand.   Mimi was with the Beatles at the beginning of the tour, but left for NZ a week earlier and spent time with her cousin Jim  Mathews, whom she had been corresponding with through letters for many, many years. 

On June 23, 1964 Mimi came along with Jim Mathew's daughter Lynda and three other cousins to the St. George hotel to visit with her nephew and his friends.   Mimi was also there to tell him that she was going to stay in New Zealand longer than originally planned and that she would find her own way home to Liverpool.    While this has never been confirmed in any way, I can't help but wonder f the fact that Mimi's boyfriend, who was a former boarder at Mendips, was also living in New Zealand at this time.  Mimi ended up staying in New Zealand for 3-4 more months.

Mimi and the family she stayed with in New Zeland

Anyhow---back to the visit with John's relatives from his mother's side of the family.  John's second cousin, Lynda recently spoke about her visit with her famous cousin

Getting through the crowd was really hard because the police had to take us through and girls were spitting and obviously there was anger that we were getting through and they couldn't. Then we were just sitting in their bedrooms and drinking and talking. And they all came in to see me as they came out of having had a shower," she said.
"He just kissed me and said 'hello, love' straight away. He spoke of seeing my sister and about how Aunt Mimi was getting on. Because Aunt Mimi at that stage had been here with my parents for a week nearly."
Fifty years later, Lynda Mathews finds the experience more surreal than she did then.
"Just holding onto the memories. It's been good to share with other relatives and remember those who aren't here with us as well. Just remember the really good times about it and that the music still goes on and on."

Autograph John signed for Lynda

John's cousin also got to meet the other Beatles!
I already wrote about Lynda's story for this blog, and you can find the story here 

John and Mimi with Mark, Susan and Helen Parker "The Dominion Post Collection, Alexander Turnbull Library".

John with his 2nd cousins Mark, Susan and Helen Parker "The Dominion Post Collection, Alexander Turnbull Library".

Mimi and John with Mr. F. Parker "The Dominion Post Collection, Alexander Turnbull Library".