Recollections and Recordings
For 50 years, Phyll Moore has been somebody's wife, mother, housekeeper and cook - and now widow and grandmother. But for twenty-five of those years Phyll was in charge of her very own international club… the Silver Fern Tape Recording Club.
As a young woman in 1961, Phyll saw her first tape recorder while on holiday in Australia, and thought hat'd be a great way to correspond with overseas family.
Back on her dairy farmer near Palmerston North she joined a local tape recording club to learn what to do. She then set up her own club and signed up sixty people as members around New Zealand and the world.
Each month by post, Phyll would receive recordings made by members, dub them together on to cassettes with her own introductions, and post a bunch of them off round New Zealand and the globe for listening. Each club member was instructed to send the cassette to the next address on an accompanying list drawn up by Phyll
"Through the stories and interviews, the music and poetry, it was a wonderful way to build bridges between people all round the world", says Phyll. "We learned about life in Israel. Sweden, Germany and America, and they all learned about life in New Zealand."
An interview with pop singer Donovan is one of Phyll's highlights. He came to her house and she made scones. A woman who arrived in New Zealand as a Polish refugee child told Phyll her life story on tape. The tale of the Napier earthquake was recounted by a man who lived through it. Then there was a day at the stock car races in Rotorua. All immortalised!
Phyll had to close her club because the price of postage got to be too expensive for her. "It may never happen again in this world of push buttons and email," she sighs, "where the spelling is beyond belief!"
Producer: David Steemson