WALTER AND EVELYN HOOPER
Walter Henery Hooper was born on the 4th December 1885 in Carterton, New Zealand to parents William and Charlotte Hooper. Walter married Evelyn Ellery Tacon in 1917 at Carterton. Evelyn was the daughter of Charles William Tacon and Eliza Ellery. The Tacon family were connected to the 'Tacon's' who owned the Eye Brewery in Eye, England. Evelyn's sister, Thelma Lila Tacon, married Walter Hooper's nephew Arthur William Hooper (Artie), son of John Thomas Hooper.
Evelyn and Walter Hooper on their Wedding Day in 1917
Walter and Evelyn Hooper lived at Dannevirke, Foxton, Carterton and in her final years Evelyn lived at Masterton. Walter tended a very large vegetable garden to ensure his family was never without fresh vegetables. It has been said Evelyn could make a meal fit for a king from the produce Walter grew. The eldest daughter, June, was often to be found peeling a mountain high pile of potatoes for the evening meal freshly dug from the garden. With sixteen children to feed one can imagine this was a very time consuming chore. Meat, in the Hooper household, was often said to appear mysteriously. Walter being a man of high morals would never eat this meat but permitted his wife and children to do so. It was not a crime, during the depression years, for a man to kill another mans sheep, providing he left the flece hanging on the fence, if he was doing so to provided food for his family. Walter certainly did not agree with this practice but with nine son's it can be imagined some of them did.
Walter Hooper in his Foxton Beach vegetable Garden.
Walter and his family moved into the old Dalefield family home. It had become very run down. Many of the sixteen children were born in Carterton. They attended the Dalefield School when of age to do so. They had an old horse on the farm and this was a daily means of transport to school. The horse was often ridden by three or four of the children at a time. During the day the horse was left to graze in a paddock at the end of the road. The first of the children up and ready for school got to ride it and the first back to the paddock got to ride it home. Another early morning 'race' took place between the Hooper boys. This was a race to see who could be first up and best dressed. There were not enough pairs of boots for all the boys so, inevitably, the first up got to claim and wear the boots for the day. This was a day and age of barefoot children and often shoes were not worn, by choice, even when they had them to wear as can be seen in the photograph below.
June nursing Valerie,Evelyn (mother) holding Maurice, Hazel, Ernie, Norm, Henry, Evelyn Joy, Stan and Robert (abt.1935)
Walter spent many hours in his garden but his other hobby was a love of woodwork. A love that was past down to his son's. He spent long hours making beautiful musical instruments, for the family's enjoyment, in his garden shed. Two Mandolins, made by Walter, can be seen in the photograph below being held by his wife Evelyn, on the left, and his eldest child, June (Edna) on the right. Walter was a diabetic and administered his insulin injections to himself. Walter was not alone with having diabeties as more than one Hooper family member was known to be a diabetic. After Walter's death on 5th October 1959, thought to be diabeties related, Evelyn moved back to Masterton to be near her children. Many of her grandchildren, at one time or another, lived with her for a time. Evelyn had been preparing an evening meal for one of her grandchildren and with pots boiling on the stove laid down for a rest on the couch. Evelyn never awoke from her 'cat-nap' (as she called them) and died peacefully in her sleep on 29th May 1969. Evelyn was reunited with Walter when she was buried along side him at Foxton Cemetery. Together in final rest.
Evelyn and daughter June with Mandolins made by Walter
FAMILY TREE OF WALTER AND EVELYN HOOPER
(a) Walter Henery (Wally) Hooper (1885-1959) married 1917 Evelyn Ellery Tacon (1897-1969)
(b) Edna June (June) Hooper (June) (1918- ) married (1) Raymond (Ray) Pettigrew ( - )
(2) Claude Bennett ( - )
(b) Raymond Roy (Ray) Hooper (Ray) (1920-1996) married(1) Zona Cresswell ( - )
(2) Betty Probert ( - )
(b) Hazel Ruby (1921- ) married James McKie ( - )
(b) Ernest Walter (Ernie or Baggy) Hooper (1922-dec) married (1) Beth Knowles ( - )
(2) Dorothy (Dot) Reid ( - )
(b) Henery Alec Hooper (1923- ) married Vincensa (Vincey)Vodanovich ( - )
(2) Margaret Kidd ( - )
(b) Evelyn Thelma May Hooper(1927- ) married (1) Trevor Abbott ( - )
(2) Joseph (Joe) Mealings ( - )
(b) Dorothy (Joy) Hooper (1928- ) married Jack Collins ( - )
(b) Stanley Murray (Stan) Hooper (1930- ) married Teresa Box ( - )
(b) Robert Collin Hooper (1931- ) married Claire Murphy ( - )
(b) Valerie (Val) Hooper (1932- ) married Robert Buckley ( - )
(b) Maurice Hooper (1933- ) married Marilyn Unknown ( - )
(b) Jack Hooper (a twin) (1934-dec) never married
(b) Jill Hopper (a twin) (1934- ) married (1) Burt Wix ( - )
(2) David Carrol ( - )
(b) Frances Rose (Fran) Hooper (Fran) (1935- ) married Ronald Fuller ( - )
(b) Peter Barry Hooper (1938- ) married Evelyn Ellis ( - )
Walter and Evelyn's sixteen children (left to right)
Peter, Francis, Jack, Jill, Maurice, Valerie, Robert, Stan, Joy, Evelyn, Norm, Henry, Ernie, Hazel, Ray and June
Walter and Evelyn Hooper's headstone at the Foxton Cemetary