Topic: Sarah Rachel May Nolan (nee Lomas) (1895-1977)

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In 1969 May Nolan recollection's of her life in Katikati were printed in the Waihi Gazette. She was my first cousin twice removed - Debbie McCauley.

John Nolan & Sarah Rachel May Lomas (1918)..

Looking strange? see an archived version here

Sarah Rachel May Lomas was born in Katikati on 4 May 1895 (reg. 1895/16197. Her parents were William and Jane Lomas (nee Hamilton).

On 31 August 1918 Sarah married John Nolan in Paeroa. John was born in Arrowtown on 4 September 1885 (reg. 1885/15339) to Mary and John Nolan. Sarah and John's wedding photograph is pictured to the right. They had five children together:

  1. John (Jnr) Nolan.
  2. Stanley Owen Nolan.
  3. Keith Nolan who was born in Paeroa on 13 May 1926. He died, aged 16, on 2 August 1942 in Rotorua.
  4. Joyce Lorraine Nolan.
  5. Audrey Jane Nolan was born in Paeroa on 20 February 1924. She died, aged 84, on 4 September 2008 in Rotoura and is buried there.

In 1969 Sarah was interviewed about her life, and her story featured in the Waihi Gazette (20 February 1969):

EARLY RESIDENT RECALLS PAST IN KATIKATI: A recent visitor to Katikati has been Mrs May Nolan, better known to many people as the former May Lomas. Mrs Nolan was born in Katikati and makes no secret of the fact that she is 73 years old, adding that it is no use trying to hide one’s age in Katikati when so many of her school mates are still living in the district. Her parents were the late Mr and Mrs Welcomes, her mother being the former Miss Jane Hamilton.

The Lomas family lived at Aongatete for many years the younger May attended the tiny Waitekohe School and recalls that two of her teachers were Mr J. Boswell and Mr Joshua Leech. Dances in the old school were always a delight and her father used to be in great demand with his accordion playing and singing. These functions often used to end in the early hours of the morning and then they would go home by buggy or riding horses through the dawn. Picnics and other district get togethers are among Mrs Nolan’s memories but she also remembers the harder times, when she helped milk 40 cows by hand and turn the separator, also by hand.

Her father, usually known as Billy Lomas, was well known for the ‘hard knocker’ that he wore, but his greatest fame came from the smoked fish which he cured to perfection. For some time he sold fish and rock oysters, taking them from door to door in a horse and cart, with his large butcher’s basket ever present. His smoke house was on the banks of the Uretara River, near where the Homewood Building stands today.

Perhaps Mrs Nolan’s most vivid memory goes back to the day she was kicked by a horse when she was 13 years old. At that time the family was living in Katikati almost opposite the present dairy factory, and the accident happened on the flats by the Uretara River. The side of her face had been deeply cut, with the wound reaching up to her temple. As there was not a doctor within miles, all her father could do was to put a mattress on the back of the buggy and hurry the poor child to Waihi. The road was rough but they were comforted by the fact that there was a wonderful doctor at Waihi. His name is Dr Robertson and he performed the difficult operation with skill so that Mrs Nolan said that she had no ill effects, and has only a small scar. The doctor who quite possibly saved her life was later to become Sir Carrick Robertson, the specialist who did so much to further medicine in New Zealand.

After she left school Mrs Nolan became a general help at the Katikati Hotel, working for Bob Ascott. Her tales of the incidents which took place are most amusing and her lively sense of humour must surely have been inherited from her Irish ancestors.

Mrs Nolan’s husband Jack was a coach builder, and the couple lived in Paeroa when they were first married. Later they moved to Hamilton and later still to Rotorua, with Mr Nolan still carrying on his trade. he has now passed away but their eldest son, also named Jack has followed in his father’s footsteps, and their other son Stan is head carpenter at a large Rotorua hotel. There are also two daughters, Mrs Joyce Hensman of Hamilton, and Mrs Audrey McFarlane who lives in Rotorua. Another son, Keith, died when a youth.

The school reunion held nearly three years ago in Katikati gave Mrs Nolan a wonderful opportuniety to meet old friends and she enjoyed every minute of the function. When she visits Katikati she is always the guest of her cousin, Mrs Muriel Bellamy [Aunty Girlie] and her aunt Mrs Rachel McCauley [my great grandmother]. Mrs Nolan certainly believes in making the most of her life, and every Saturday night she attends old time dances at Rotorua. her energy is amazing, and her slim figure and immaculate grooming gives the impression that she is far younger than her years. Idleness does not become this lively woman and her hobbies include needlework. Her exquisite embroidery has taken many prizes throughout the years and Mrs Bellamy displayed a beautifully worked supper cloth which Mrs Nolan had worked as a gift.

John Nolan died in Rotorua on 19 June 1957 from pneumonia. Sarah died in Rotorua, aged 82, on 13 July 1977 (cardiac arrest, diabetes, chronic renal failure). She is buried in the Rotorua Cemetery.



Births, Deaths & Marriages.

Waihi Gazette (20 February 1969).

This pagewas archived at Perma cc may 2017

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Sarah Rachel May Nolan (nee Lomas) (1895-1977)

First Names:Sarah Rachel May
Last Name:Lomas
Date of Birth:4 May 1895
Place of Birth:Katikati
Country of birth:New Zealand
Date of death:13 July 1977
Place of death:Rotorua, New Zealand
Place of burial:Rotorua Cemetery
Family Surname:Nolan
Spouses name:John Nolan
Spouses date of birth:4 September 1885
Spouses place of birth:Arrowtown
Spouses date of death:19 June 1957
Spouses place of death:Rotorua, New Zealand
Spouses place of burial:Rotorua Cemetery
Date of marriage:31 August 1918
Place of marriage:Paeroa, New Zealand
Fathers name:William Lomas
Fathers date of birth:1 April 1869
Fathers place of birth:Thames, New Zealand
Fathers date of death:15 April 1942
Fathers place of death:Katikati, New Zealand
Mothers name:Jane (Jennie) Hamilton
Mothers date of birth:1874
Mothers place of birth:Ballygawley, County Tyrone, Ireland
Mothers date of death:15 June 1936
Mothers place of death:Tauranga Public Hospital
Name of sibilings:William George Lomas, Alfred Lomas, Joseph Henry Lomas, and Charles Lomas
Name of the children:John Nolan, Stanley Owen Nolan, Keith Nolan, Joyce Lorrain Nolan, and Audrey Jane Nolan

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