By all means go to the website and read the synopsis. It has many photos to scroll through. His name and fame has been written about over the years as I recall, but I did not know about the sudden quit in 1947 to grow tomatoes.
What some people don't know is that they don't know enough to know that they don't know anything
Post by planewriting on Jun 13, 2019 22:24:08 GMT 12
I have been in email contact with Mary Garden today and am pleased to say that she is planning a book launch at Classic Flyers, probably late July.
Once I have the details I will add them to this thread. Her father and mine had similar flying careers - both starting on Gipsy Moths and finishing on airline flying boats. What they had particularly in common was that my father started his flying lessons on Gipsy Moth ZK-ACK and later as NZ510, which is the same aircraft her father, Oscar Garden, flew as G-AASA from England to Australia in 1930.
Hi everyone, Mary here. My book will be launched at Classic Flyers Aviation Museum in Tauranga on Sunday 11th August at 2pm. Bookings essential via me at email@example.com or Gillian MacColl firstname.lastname@example.org The book is available from bookshops or direct from me for $35 including postage. (Gillian will post as I am in Australia.). I will have a flyer for the launch ready in a few days.
I tried to insert a photo of the full cover but with no luck. There was also an excerpt published in the Weekend Australian Magazine of our national newspaper. I might email Dave to share. And Maurice Gee's long review should be published soon, perhaps in New Zealand Herald. (Maurice married my father's first daughter, Margareta - so, my half-sister.)
Mary says: "It is behind a paywall so my cousin has cut and pasted it below. A few mistakes in it. Dad left aviation in 1947; I was born in Whakatane and my father grew tomatoes; he was not a vegetable farmer! "
Graeme Hoete, or Mr G, is creating a portrait of Kiwi aviation legend, Oscar Garden. Photo / George Novak
By: Jean Bell email@example.com bay_times
One of Tauranga's favourite artists will create a huge life-like tribute to honour a local aviation hero, thanks to a turn of serendipitous events.
Graeme Hoete, or Mr G, is creating a circular 2m wide portrait of the late Oscar Garden, the first New Zealander to fly from England to Australia.
Garden made the historic journey in a tiny Gipsy Moth aeroplane named Kia Ora in 1930, aged 27. He died in 1997 but lived for some time in Tauranga as a vegetable farmer.
Now, Mr G will create a portrait of the aviation hero for Tauranga Airport's new terminal.
"I love using my art to tell those stories."
"I say no to a lot of projects and I only take on projects that I feel guided to take on."
In April, Mr G said the airport invited him to paint something for the freshly upgraded airport.
There was a bit of "humming and ha-ing" about the different possible concepts that the painting could follow, but Mr G said nothing stood out to him and he decided to shelve working on the idea until a good idea popped up.
But in a turn of a coincidence that might only be called fate, a family friend who had a connection to Garden came knocking on Mr G's door asking if he would be interested in doing an art piece on the pilot.
They met up at a cafe where the family friend told Mr G "the guts of it" and Mr G was immediately on board.
"I said, 'I know the perfect place for it,'" Mr G said.
"There's an epic story there and it connects to aviation."
Aside from the meticulously spray-painted art piece, Mr G will carve a frame out of wood for the tribute portrait.
"The portrait is to represent someone and the frame is just as much a part of it as the painting," he said.
Mr G, who was in Edinburgh last year, said he would work small parts of Garden's Scottish heritage into the painting in the frame.
"I'll incorporate little things that connect to his heritage."
The unveiling will coincide with Garden's daughter launching a book, Sundowner of the Skies, she has written about his life.
Tauranga-born Mary Garden will travel from Australia for the launch and unveiling on August 11.
She believes there is no better place for the tribute to be placed and anticipates the ceremony will be an emotional affair.
"I'm going to be in tears."
She said the book revealed the "warts and all" of her father's story. After quitting the aviation industry in 1953, he moved to Tauranga to be a tomato grower where he stayed for 25 years.
"He was a perfectionist and I was told he grew tomatoes like he flew planes," she said.
"He was one of the few that survived that kind of flight because of it."
For example, he did not land in a bog in India. He crashed between some trees. It rained heavily overnight and turned the field into a bog.
Also, he decided to fly to Australia in 1930 not because he was bored flying around England after obtaining his ‘A’ licence, as she says, but because he didn’t want to pay for the hours needed to get a commercial licence. It was cheaper, he reasoned, to buy a second hand plane and fly it out to Australia, and accumulate the hours needed that way. This is all well documented in interviews he gave at the time and these details are in my book, Sundowner of the Skies: the story of Oscar Garden, the forgotten aviator (New Holland) released in May last year.
In the interview, she points out his optimistic trait (throughout his life). It is clear, especially from the last two chapters of my book, that my father was a very pessimistic man, not OPTIMISTIC! He suffered clinical depression for much of his life and was clearly traumatized by events that happened in his childhood.
Anna began writing “furiously “ after my book was published. I did not know about her book until the day before its release! Nor did anyone else in the family, except my brother. It was a huge shock, and very distressing at the time. Other family members were also surprised, especially my half-sister Margareta Gee and Maurice Gee, who both gave me so much help over years to track down our father’s story.
In her book, my sister only wanted to focus on our father’s flying career, and not include personal details, especially his years as a father and husband. Fair enough. Anyone can write whatever book they like. She and our brother Robert were not happy that I revealed details of our dysfunctional and unhappy family life. Mum and everyone else wanted them in my book!! Mum called our father ‘a bastard of a father and a bastard of a husband’.
And yet it is the personal story in my book which has appealed to readers. When short-listed for the NSW Premier’s History Award 2020 the judges noted: ‘Beautifully written, Sundowner of the Skies is no hagiography ... This cathartic family history is a profound exploration of inter‒generational trauma and its effects on individuals, families and their shared memories.’
My father was an unsung hero of pioneer aviator until I began to dig up his story in 2005. There was virtually nothing when I started. Even though the internet had arrived, a Google search revealed only one entry on Oscar Garden: a piece in the Dictionary of New Zealand Biography by Margareta. My book was a long slow journey to publication; I gave up on it for some time in order to help Mum and my aunt in their last few years. Margareta and I gifted our extensive collection of memorabilia, photos, family letters, log books etc.: mine went to Auckland’s Museum of Transport and Technology, Margareta’s to Turnbull Library in Wellington. Anna made many trips to access them. Authors, historians and biographers do this all the time: piggyback the research of others.
My sister’s book is the book, the hagiography, that Dad would have wanted. He would not have been happy about the skeletons I uncovered, nor mentioning his failures as a father and a husband. He only wanted people to know what an extraordinary aviator he had once been!
My book is the warts and all account. My father didn’t just soar through the skies. He crash-landed the one-way journey of his life on earth!
This morning I shipped to my sister the old leather suitcase that Dad took with him during the 1930s and 40s. I put inside all my remaining folders of research material, as I have no need for them now. She is very excited about this. I am just glad to get rid of unneeded baggage!
Yes, it is very odd!! 'The mad Gardens', Mum called us. I didn't know about her book until the day before its' release. It was written very quickly. The oddest thing though it that NZ media don't seem to know how to use Google. Aren't they wondering about the back story. After all, my book was widely publicized last July. Anyway, I've recovered from the shock of it all now.
Post by johnnyfalcon on Nov 23, 2020 18:29:02 GMT 12
Well done Mary! Congratulations on your effort and accomplishment, I look forward to reading your book and adding to my understanding of NZ aviation history, and take on board any lessons that can enhance one's interpersonal skills.