20 Jun 2014

Fifty years ago, the Beatles came to New Zealand

From Morning Report, 7:39 am on 20 June 2014

A family connection was a part of the attraction of New Zealand for one of the Beatles.

John Lennon's New Zealand family includes his second cousin, Upper Hutt resident Lynda Mathews. She grew up reading about her English cousin in letters, and got to meet him for the first time in Wellington's St George Hotel.

John Lennon meeting his second cousin Lynda Mathews at the Hotel St George Wellington Photo supplied
John Lennon with his second cousin Lynda Mathews of Levin at the St George Hotel, Wellington, 1964. Photo supplied.

"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."

Reporter Christopher Gilbert revisits the beginnings of the Beatles 1964 tour, and tracks down John Lennon's local relative Lynda Matthews.

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