Summary: In a time of rapid change, some explanation, our city is being demolished after a series of devistating earthquakes, fifty percent of the CBD is going. So in this change what can we hold onto what can we be sure of. This is a youth service sermon. Use of
[Change] Smelly Socks the sermon! James 1:16-17.
I was born in ward three of Nelson Hospital on the 10th of October 1963. In the same year the tape cassette, something that is pretty much redundant was invented, the Beatles released a single “I want to hold your hand” and on my birthday they attended the play `A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum’, at the Strand Theatre.
That year was the year that the troll doll became available for 90 cents, the Underwood Manual Type writer went on the market at $74.40, ladies could buy a bee hive hair piece for $30.99 and a real African leopard collared jacket for $36.90. All of these values are in New Zealand dollars, though the New Zealand dollar did not exist until 1967.
New Zealand’s population was around two and a half million, and was increasing at 2.1% per year. There were four television stations operating in the country at the time, one each in Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin, each of them operated for 35 hours per week, if you lived outside these main centres there was no telly. But there were forty radio stations, three of them were in Christchurch, none of them FM they were all AM stations, have any of you listened to an AM radio station?.
The average minimum weekly wage for a male was New Zealand 10 pound, 3 shillings and 6 pence per week or in today’s currency around $20.65 cents , that’s New Zealand currency the dollar and decimal currency was not to come for another four years when the New Zealand dollar could buy $1.62 US. Sorry ladies but for a female the weekly wage was $13.65 cents It was going take a fair amount of saving to get that racy leopard collared jacket or the stunningly gorgeous bee hive hair piece.
The average state house was valued at 5600 dollars and 20% of people still cooked their meals on a wood, coke or coal fired ranges, micro wave ovens became available to the public in 1967. Of interest is that if you earned more than 875 pounds a year you could not get a state house. The average house mortgage was 5300 dollars. Also of interest is that 6000 ton’s of Asbestos was used nationwide in housing construction.
New Zealand’s highlight for the year was the visit of Queen Elizabeth the Second and Prince Phillip, her highness attended the races at Addington and presented a cup for a race named after her to the winning jockey, it was a great thing to have the Queen visit!.
I was born into a world of wonder where things were cheap to buy, apart from manual typewriters and leopard collared jackets, jobs were available, baby food was processed through a Mulley and the disposable nappy was invented but was not due for its international release until the early 1970’s, I was toilet trained in cloth nappies. Times were good, I was such a wonderful baby that my parents decided to have two more after me. I lived in a family with my older sister, one of each younger than me and my Mum and Dad, there was also a cat or two and a caged bird hanging out in the background in the Moffatt house. The sixties were cool the seventies were groovy and then reality stuck…I stopped being a child!
Something occurred, I encountered a life changing thing. Now they had warned us about this at Father / Son nights at Intermediate School. My voice started to break, which incidentally gave the rest of the family something else to give me stick about, I became gangly and uncoordinated, my school results became somehow important and I developed a fear of girls, particularly good looking girls, the better looking they were the more afraid I was. I was somehow fascinated but afraid.
Oh yes and my socks needed to be washed regularly. Apparently this life change, like changing socks regularly was change was inevitable, scary and inevitable.
I have heard it said that there only two things in life that are certain excluding death and they are change and taxes. The punch line is; that from one you don’t get the other. Think about it!
So here I was at fifteen / sixteen, I was a slow developer changing into a man, not the most stunning example of manhood but never the less a man. I was growing up. On visiting my Grandfather on Mum’s side, Granddad Inch I was told to brush my hair, this always occurred as soon as he knew I was in voice coverage distance, even if he hadn’t seen me. I was told that at my age I should know better, “Go and brush your hair”. If only he could see me today! (Just to show as an illustration of change I shaved my beard and had a number two hair cut, having started the service looking as I normally do, but wearing a hat). Visiting my other Grandfather Granddad Moffatt was much more fun as I got to dig his garden, talk about rocks, propagate plants, grow vege’s, learn family history, local history, and he always had a joke to tell. He was not well for almost as long as I had known him, straight up he was dying, something that actually happened when I was fifteen. This was a huge blow to me as I was very reliant on my Granddad Moffatt. As a young bloke my Grandfather was a great mentor to me and really was for quite some time, my best mate.