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2 EAST & BAYS COURIER, OCTOBER 24, 2012
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State of play at
By CATHERINE HEALY
Much-loved life member at 99
Life member: Hartley Joel enjoys the friendships
he's made at Remuera Bowling Club.
Hartley Joel is 99 years old
and up until recently you
could still find him on the
green at Remuera Bowling
Club, where he is a life
I broke my leg last year.
It was a bad break, just from
a simple fall in the kitchen.
I had 10 weeks in hospital
and now I have this walker.''
Still, he's pretty fit and
gets about the place at
Grace Joel retirement vil-
lage, where he's lived for 10
years. Incidentally the vil-
lage is named after Mr Joel's
aunt Grace, the early New Zea-
He still gets over to the gym and
uses the exercycle and the rowing
Well, it's not much good living
if you're not reasonably fit,'' he
says. I stopped driving at 96.
That clipped my wings a bit. I
can't be bothered with taxis.''
Remuera Bowling Club presi-
dent Dennis Skelton says Mr Joel
is a much-loved member of the
He virtually knows all of us by
name. He'd do anything for the
club. Everyone would have been
through his hands as a coach. He's
an absolute giver.''
Mr Joel and his late wife lived
in Ridings Rd in Remuera after
they moved to Auckland in 1959.
Mr Joel is originally from Dune-
din where he and his five siblings
grew up three blocks from the
beach at St Clair.
It was a good life in many ways
but the Depression era was tough.
It was really hard. Nothing
was handed out. To get unemploy-
ment money you had to work with
pitch and shovel and get blisters
on your hands.
I felt sorry for people who
broke the law sometimes.
They'd break windows just
to get food.''
He spent four years serv-
ing in Egypt and Italy dur-
ing the war.
I didn't like Egypt
much... They were good
years out of my life. Italy
was more interesting. The
Italians were happy and
always singing. When you
were on leave you could go
to an opera or hear an
When he returned to New
Zealand he got a job in tex-
tiles and built a career buy-
ing and selling furnishings.
As a 22-year-old he had a sec-
ondary job playing the flute in an
orchestra at Dunedin's Regent
Theatre. The orchestra would play
before the film and during the
We'd get together to rehearse
on a Saturday evening. It was
light music and not difficult, but I
also played cricket on a Saturday
Back then you worked a
44-hour week, so you worked Sat-
urday morning from 8 to 12. I'd
take my cricket gear to work and
rush to the cricket ground and
then to the theatre at night.''
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