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The Erdman Family

Posted by SC Comments Off on The Erdman Family
Erdman bach

Erdman bach

The Erdman family was associated with Piha for around 50 years, but the association came to an end with the death of Paula Erdman in 1995.

The Erdmans originally came from Budapest, Hungary, and were one of a very few Hungarian families to arrive in New Zealand before the Second World War - the large influx of Hungarian refugees arriving in the 1950s following the Hungarian Revolution.

Raymond (or Rajmond) Erdman was a dental technician, his wife was Christina or Tineke, and there were two daughters, Paula and Ilonka. Ilonka was born 3 December 1920 and Paula 12 October 1922.

The exact date of the family’s arrival in this country is not clear but the parents were naturalised in the mid-1930s. Their arrival could have been as early as the late 1920s as an R Erdman was fined for riding his bike on the footpath in Auckland in March 1927.

Erdman bach centre top

Erdman bach centre top

Raymond was a dental technician in New Zealand, and he also bred and showed pedigree Angora rabbits, as did the children. He was also a skilled chess player who competed for his club over many years.

The family lived at 43 Taylor Road, Mangere.

Some time around the mid-1940s, Raymond bought some land at Piha from Ivy Phillipson and built a bach in what the family called Blowhole Road, the little road that turns off to the left just before the lookout at Piha. The bach had a long view down to Piha beach.

Tineke Erdman

Tineke Erdman

Around 1960, Raymond and Christina retired to Piha, where Raymond was involved in the Bowling Club of which he became treasurer.

Christina was very dedicated to the Piha Library which was started in a shed that stood by the entrance to the Domain.

Raymond died in about 1970 and Christina lived on at Piha, developing a garden around the small cottage. She died in 1979, aged 88 years.

Paula never married and made a career as a typist, her last job before retirement being with the Waterfront Commission. Devoted all her life to animals and the outdoors, she was when young a keen horsewoman and dressage trainer of show horses.

She retired to the family house at Piha.

Paula Erdman at Arataki with Ladies Leisure Group

Paula Erdman at Arataki with Ladies Leisure Group

Like her father, she became involved with the Bowling Club and was described as “petite, gentle, sweet natured and generous” and “held in great affection at the Piha Bowling Club”.

She also had many friends in the handcraft section of the Piha Ladies Leisure Club and was a valued member of the Neighbourhood Watch.

Paula was found dead in her garden, where she had passed away while gardening, on 4 December 1995. The Piha Bowling Club in their club whites formed a guard of honour for her funeral. Paula was 73 when she died.

Christina or Tineke Erdman at Piha Library

Christina or Tineke Erdman at Piha Library

 

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