"I chose this book, ‘Standing in the Sunshine’. It's a history of New Zealand women since they won the vote. It was first published in 1993 so the book’s kind of dated, but it covers people like Rita Angus, Jenny Shipley – women doing things for the first time and leading the way.
My grandma always had it on the coffee table. When we were little, she’d flick through it and read wee bits. I really appreciate that she had this. When she moved into a home, I got the book. It’s really nice to have her copy.
Grandma is a really independent woman, so I suppose this book was relevant to her in that sense. Her name is Joan and she is an amazing chef and baker. Looking back on the treats and dinners she made for us as kids, we were treated to five-star food all the time, it was amazing!
Grandma had two cafes in Mornington, Dunedin. The first was a tearoom called 'Joan's Place'. Then in the early 1970s she opened ‘Joan's Delicatessen’. Apparently the deli was very popular and ahead of its time in Dunedin. Before that she owned various other cafes and catered across the city, she seemed to be unstoppable. This was all before her and grandad Jim took over the Mill House and Mill Cottage where they offered boutique accommodation South of Oamaru in Waianakarua. Those days sounded pretty fun, and that was amongst her involvement in many women’s organisations such as Altrusa."
What does sentimentality mean to you?
"As we know, New Zealand has this mentality of being tough, in a broad sense, which makes it hard for people to connect with sentimentality. I suppose it’s really important actually, to stay connected to your past, it’s nice to have something you can connect to.
As I’ve gotten older I definitely value things like the possessions of my grandparents more, but I found it really hard to pick an object for this. Some of my family are really sentimental, even of the smallest things, but I don't think I am so much. I feel that memories, smells and stories are probably more sentimental, or nostalgic for me." - Beckie, Te Whanganui-a-tara/Wellington (Interview: Chloe Mason) Find Beckie: @faceitnz