New Zealand 1973-1980
Basketball First day of school I was made the coach of the boys basketball team and I was playing a game that night in an adult league. Next thing you know I was on the Papakura and South Auckland Indoor Basketball Associations committees. I did the stats (which hadn't been done before I arrived), was the Jr Men's rep coach and later on Vice-President and for a short while the President. A good way to meet many people in the town. I played on the school team, but usually less than half a game. We were 8 - 10 in the B-grade and were awarded "Most Improved Team". Here is an example of a team stat sheet from the Summer League 1973: click. From memory the main mens teams in the A grade were: Eagles (tall), Army (fit), and Rosehill (boys). The '73-4 summer teams also included: D.B. (a beer), Southerners and All Sorts. Rosehill lost all their games.
TV When we arrived there was only one channel (black and white) run by the government. As the 1973 clipping shows, it was only on for part of the day. The other thing you notice is the odd start times. That is because there were no commercials and shows from, say the States, were 23 minutes to accomodate 7 minutes of ads. Colour arrived in 1974 in time for the Commonwealth Games being held in Christchurch. TV2 started on June 30, 1975. In 1977 the hours were cut back 16 hours/week due to an energy crisis. A private station (TV3) began on November 27, 1989 and forced the other stations to improve their offerings and broadcast 24/7.

The number one most important thing to a kiwi.It is the nation's rugby team. The first game that I listened was in Fiji. Since the game was being played in England it was on the air in the middle of the night. No electricty at that time, so the interested parties huddled in a darkened living room listed to the scratchy sounds out of a battery powered radio. During our first week in New Zealand we slept in the McDougall's living room. Twice we had to get up in the middle of the night so the family could watch the game. I was an All Black supporter until 2002 when I discovered Rugby League. Over the years I worked, played and dealt with some All Blacks. Bob Lendrum was a teacher at Rosehill with me and one summer I coached/played on a basketball team comprised of Bob and his Counties teammates that also included All Black Bruce Roberston. In 1986 we bought a house from Ted Barry (1932) and his son, Kevin (1962).
McDonalds 1977 - There weren't any Golden Arches when the first one opened on Queen St in downtown Auckland. In fact, I walked right past it because it is inside an old bank building. When you walk in it looks like a bank with 1000 people waiting in lines. This was on a Sunday when nothing else aside from theatres would have been open. A cross-cultural experience. Takeways sell "real American shakes" and I laughed because they weren't. People were complaining about the McD shakes because they were too cold (from the ice), too thick (from the ice cream) and couldn't be drunk - one needed a spoon to eat it (from using way too much ice cream). A surprizing number were digusted thinking that they were being ripped off when the French Fries turned out to be skinny and too crisp (not at all like the big fat chips).
Beep Beep When leaving friends or family, once on the road, the driver will toot the horn twice. Our kids waited in anticipation and always enjoyed hearing the "farewell".
Left Since vehicles drove on the left pedestrians also walked that side. On the main footpath in downtown Auckland there was a white line painted down the middle to help keep you on your "side".
Too Fast Radio Hauraki played The Doors "Hello, I Love You" and made me pull my hair out. Why? Because it was obviously the 33RPM played at 45RPM. Almost sounded like a cartoon. I couldn't believe that someone didn't complain until I did. Had they been playing it that way for the 6 years until I showed up?
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