1911 to 1955 Croll family

Managing the Alison Farm

Floating house

John Croll, and later his son Don, were managers of the Alison farm. They lived in a smaller house (closer to where the road is now), which was brought across from Auckland in 1911 – also on the scow Mabel. The Croll family lived in this house until 1955.

Ironically, in their first years on this farm, the Crolls were among the most isolated European people on Waiheke.

Families on the southern and eastern coasts of the island were able to access steamers travelling regularly to the Coromandel. The Croll’s isolation was eased when Fred Alison provided them with a launch Makora, and a scow Rita, used for moving livestock.

  • <p>The Crolls mustering ewes and lambs to the woolshed, 1950s.<br><em>Bruce Croll Collection.</em></p>
  • <p>Bruce Croll and spaniel friends, Matiatia beach, late 1940s.<br><em>Fred Alison, Bruce Croll Collection.</em></p>
  • <p>Bruce Croll's mother at the Matiatia wharf on her way to town, c1940s. <em>Fred Alison, Bruce Croll Collection.</em></p>
  • <p>Bruce Croll mustering near the woolshed on the Matiatia foreshore, c1961. <em>Olaf Petersen, Bruce Croll collection.</em></p>
  • <p>Ian and Bruce Croll with with Sam the dog at Matiatia, late 1940s.<br><em>Bruce Croll collection.</em></p>
  • <p>Alec Alison, Renzo Patterson, Albert Dacre and John Croll on a fishing expedition between Matiatia and Church Bay, early 1900s. <em>Bruce Croll collection.</em></p>
  • <p>Don Croll enjoying a picnic in front of the woolshed with Terry Robertson. Bruce Croll's boat is anchored off shore, c1970. <em>Bruce Croll Collection.</em></p>
  • <p>The pubils of Surfdale School, Blackpool. Bruce Croll is seated front right, c1947. <em>Bruce Croll collection.</em></p>
  • <p>Ian and Don Croll with Bunty Brown after loading the scow Esme with wool, c1955. <em>Bruce Croll collection.</em></p>

Audio - Bruce Croll remembers

  • Bruce remembers the day American soldiers came ashore.

  • While working in the woolshed, Bruce Croll and his brother would also have fishing lines out...

  • Dad would row to Devonport for a drink.

  • Bruce talks about the many yachties who came ashore

  • When the Croll family first came to Matiatia.