Topic: Audrey Jean Robinson (nee Govan) (1921-2005)

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Audrey Jean Govan was a radar operator stationed with the army on Motutapu Island in Auckland during World War II. She was my second cousin twice removed - Debbie McCauley.

Audrey (Jean) Jean Govan was born in Auckland on 3 May 1921. Jean won a scholarship to the Auckland Academy of Arts and used to enjoy drawing and painting. She learnt to play her mother’s piano accordian when she was fifteen and her mother was bedridden with asthma. Along with her mother, and a Mrs Meikle, Jean joined the Devonport Concert Party in January of 1940. They often used to play music for the troops. Jean also did canteen work through the YMCA.

On 4 August 1942 Jean joined the army (No. 809591) and was attested on 26 September 1942. She requested anti-aircraft service, but it appears that she was at North Head from 18 December 1942, being transferred to Motutapu Island (Auckland’s WWII Guardian) on 27 March 1943 to work as a radar operator during World War II. She was discharged on 3 August 1943, although the Advice of Discharge was actually written up on 10 March 1948.

Jean married Ainsleigh (Buster) Leslie Power (1919-1982) on 24 October 1942 in Auckland. Buster was a driver for the American officers stationed in Auckland during World War II who gave him the nickname. Originally in the Air Force (No. 40283), he changed to the army (No. 809518) when he saw Jean on stage playing the piano accordian with her mother. The couple had three children together.

Warren Power writes; ‘Jean moved her two boys to live with her parents at Weymouth on the Manukau Harbour in 1948. She had kicked Buster out because of his liking for other women. In 1959 Buster changed his name to Richard John Mead. He was to have further marriages and children with Maria Luisa Durante and Mrs Gloria Sorrel (née Wilson) before he died in Melbourne, Australia in 1982.

On 8 December 1951 Jean married Robert Gibbons Robinson (1910-1976), the family moving to Papatoetoe in 1953. One of her jobs was painting colour into black and white photographs. Jean went to England for a year in 1970 and after returning home bought the business ‘Shears of Sandringham’, in Auckland, where she sold women's apparel. She later suffered from dementia, and in 1995 Ralph was forced to put her into care’ (personal communication, 22 January 2012).

Jean died on 7 July 2005 in Tiverton Rest Home, Blockhouse Bay, Auckland. She was cremated and her ashes scattered.

 

References:

The McCauley Family of Katikati, New Zealand: 1876-2012 by Debbie McCauley (Mauao Publishing, 2012).

Warren Power (son of Audrey Jean Govan)

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Audrey Jean Robinson (nee Govan) (1921-2005)


Year:1942
First Names:Audrey Jean
Last Name:Govan
Date of Birth:3 May 1921
Place of Birth:Auckland
Country of birth:New Zealand
Date of death:7 July 2005
Place of death:Tiverton Rest Home, Blockhouse Bay, Auckland
Place of burial:Waikumete Cemetery
Occupation:Radar Plotter
Spouses name:Ainsleigh (Buster) Leslie Power
Spouses date of birth:22 February 1919
Spouses place of birth:Wellington
Spouses date of death:12 March 1982
Spouses place of death:Lilydale, Melbourne, Australia
Date of marriage:24 October 1942
Place of marriage:Auckland
Fathers name:Joseph Alexander Govan
Fathers date of birth:16 December 1896
Fathers place of birth:Coromandel
Fathers date of death:28 June 1969
Fathers place of death:Auckland
Mothers name:Monica (Mona) Emily Mayall
Mothers date of birth:2 April 1895
Mothers place of birth:Waipu, North Auckland
Mothers date of death:5 April 1972
Mothers place of death:Papatoetoe, Auckland
Name of sibilings:Lillian Maude Govan and Joseph Arnaud Govan
Name of the children:Warren Owen Power, Iris Catherine Power, and Ralph Alexander Power
Military Service:World War II (1939-1945)