[p9] [The Jeans Line]
In 1919 Dorrie suffered the distress of losing her father in tragic circumstances. The family broke up, and Ruby, Zena and Jean went to live with their maternal grandmother, Mary Ann Ormiston in Flat Bush near Auckland. The house in Thornton Road was sold. All Dorrie had known was now lost to her. She worked in Auckland and life went on.
Jim and Dorrie married on 24 November 1920 in St. Aidan’s church, Remuera, Auckland. That same month Jim bought one hundred and fifty-nine acres three roods and fifteen perches (No. 1 of allotment No. 1 of Block X1 of the Cambridge Survey District) from his brother Ernie, for £450. Several years previously Ernie had bought the land and buildings (creamery and house) owned by the New Zealand Dairy Association at the junction of the French Pass Road. Ernie and Alice and their young family lived in what had been the manager’s house. The old creamery was dismantled and the material used to build the home Jim and Dorrie Jeans were to live in for the next forty-three years.
On 25 September 1921 their first child Ida Loris was born. Always known by her second given name, Loris was born the day after her mother’s birthday and on the birthday of her Aunty Ida. Wallace Lloyd was born 1 June 1923 and on 1 February 1926, Bruce their third child, completed the family.
Those first few years on the farm were hard. A cowshed was built, a petrol engine purchased and a small herd milked. After a year or two, electric power became available in their area of Whitehall and the nearly new petrol motor was superfluous. The power connection carried a minimum use charge; an electric motor made economic sense. Electric light brightened the house.The coal range held pride of place in the kitchen, for cooking, heating water and general warming of the house. The mortgage was a struggle but by working hard and keeping their wants to a minimum, Jim and Dorrie met their dues. In the days before the guaranteed price for butterfat, the spring price could fall rapidly later in the season, causing real hardship. Jim still worked off the farm on occasions to earn a little extra. At one time he contracted to supply clay fill for the approaches to the new concrete bridge over the Waiarumu Stream. He fenced on Peter Muirhead’s farm and fenced and top-dressed on the Craig farm. Dorrie also contributed to the budget, making butter to sell to a store in Cambridge. As Jim brought more land into productive pasture, more cows were milked. Dorrie helped with the routine milkings and together they weathered the hard times of the twenties and the even harder times of the thirties.
Plan 13726. Land Information New Zealand. Hamilton.
Jim’s farm is the triangle of 159 acres 3 roods and 15 perches.