Post by Dave Homewood on Aug 27, 2020 20:18:55 GMT 12
In this episode Dave Homewood and Gary McGuire have a chat with wit WWII veteran Cliff Taylor of Pukekohe. Cliff was born in Palmerston North, and grew up in Wellington. He studied aeronautical engineering, and he got a job with de Havilland New Zealand Ltd shortly after they opened at Rongotai. He is quite likely the last living member of their wartime staff at the time of this podcast’s release.
Cliff joined the Army and served for a while, but with the influence of his uncle Lew Taylor, who was a pre-war RNZAF pilot with some standing in the service, he managed to switch to the RNZAF. Eventually he got overseas and served in the Pacific on Green Island with a Ventura Servicing Unit.
Cliff was a prolific athlete, representing New Zealand at the 1950 Empire Games were he won Bronze in the men’s six miles event; and also competed in the three miles event. He also boxed, and e raced cars well into later life. In fact he’d just finished a gym session before this interview, aged 96!
This episode is a little different and less formal than the usual WONZ Show. It was recorded up on Pukekohe Hill Reserve, overlooking Pukekohe township – during a picnic lunch. There’s a bit of background noise from birds, the breeze, and race cars on the Pukekohe track. So please forgive the slightly different take on this show.