Nola Liege Clifton born at the nursing home in Dublin Street, Wanganui o n 18 July 1914, married Jimmy Girvan on 29 March 1937 at the Methodist C hurch in Hastings. Jimmy was 27 and Nola 22.
Jimmy Girvan was born in Belfast on 7 February 1910, to James and Sarah Girvan - the second eldest of six boys in the family. The family emigr ated to New Zealand in 1927. Originally settled in Wellington, shortly a fter, the family moved to Napier.
One of Jimmy?s first jobs was in Humphries Grocery store in Carlyle Str eet where he first met Nola who was in Napier on holiday.
Jimmy was a loyal and respected member of the local Albion Lodge for 63 years, joining in August 1934. He achieved the office of District Pres ident, serving the Lodges in Napier, Hastings and Waipukurau. In common with his five brothers, Jimmy was an ardent enthusiast of firstly moto rbikes and then cars. Even when he had half of his index finger cut off in the chain of his motorbike, his enthusiasm was not affected.
Nola was born in Wanganui and spent all of her childhood and completing her schooling there. In her teenage years, she often spent her holiday s in Napier and stayed with relatives( Auntie Edie- Edith Phillips) in C arlyle Street. Opposite the house where she stayed was a grocery store a nd one of the employees in the store was a handsome young Irish lad who had emigrated from Belfast to Napier five years previously ?Jimmy Girv an. Even in those days Jimmy had a flair for chatting up the customers a nd he and Nola soon developed a relationship.
On her return to Wanganui in February 1931, Nola must have had a premon ition as the day after she left, the Napier earthquake struck. Fortunat ely for all of the family, the Irish charm and magnetism of Jimmy drew h er back and they were married at Easter 1937. In 1940 their first child Wendy was born and two years later Jimmy was called up to serve overse as in the War. Tragically, during his overseas service, Wendy died of a brain haemorrhage ? one month before her third birthday. Wendy?s illne ss and death must have been a traumatic experience with her husband ser ving overseas but she handled it all in her determined way with the hel p from her sister Muriel. Myles and Cheryl?s arrival into the world fol lowed Jimmy?s return from the War. Myles being born in 1947 and Cheryl i n 1949.
In 1951 Jimmy was given the opportunity to buy the Clive Grocery Store f rom the Weathered family. He had worked in several shops ? Waipawa, Wha katu, Napier and decided he wanted to go into business himself. He was q uite shocked at the run-down state of the shop but took Nola out to see what she thought anyway. Conditions were spartan ? only two 40 watt bu lbs to light the shop and no hand basins. The toilet (no lights) ? was o utside at the end of the building. It had been previously operated as a Bakery. The site was later developed and Motels built on it. The condi tions of the shop and living facilities presented a challenge to both J immy and Nola but they made the decision to buy the shop. This decision was very significant to Myles and Cheryl who did all of their Primary s chooling in Clive and established lasting friendships there. Myles now l ives three doors down from where the shop was on the other side of the r oad.
The shop soon became an established meeting place in Clive where custom ers met and passed the time of day in between getting their groceries. N ola contribution to the success of the business was considerable ? cook ing meals for Jimmy and two staff members every weekday and also provid ing morning and afternoon teas for all the commercial travellers who ca lled in.
In 1966 the shop was sold to the Devon?s and the family moved to Napier . Firstly to Logan Avenue and then to Alpers Terrace.
Nola was very community minded and was a driver for Meals on Wheels, wa s involved with the Crippled Children, and helped with St Augustine Chu rch work and Wanganui Old Girls Association.
Nola died on 2 September 1994 and Jimmy on 2 November 1997, aged 80 and 87 years of age.
They were both cremated and their ashes are in the Memorial Wall at Wha rerangi, Napier (Park Island)