Rex Leith Stanaway 1917 – 1973

Thanks goes to Colleen Stanaway for compiling the bulk of this information on her late uncle.

Rex Leith Stanaway was born on 28 March 1917 in Dargaville (Birth Certificate number unknown). Leith in Scotland was where his grandfather William Bowden Morton was born. He was the 12th child and 10th son of Charles George and Emily Elizabeth Stanaway.

Rex Leigh Stanaway - Colleen Stanaway Collection.

Rex Leigh Stanaway – Colleen Stanaway Collection.

He grew up on the farm at Hoanga and when he was 9 the family moved to Pahi. He attended the same school at Whakapirau as his brothers Noel, Grahame and Colin and two of his nieces Clarice and Melva (Bills children). We can only imagine that his youger years were much the same as his siblings and other children in that area at that time.

When the family moved to Auckland he attended Newmarket school along with his younger brother Colin. He received his Certificate of Proficiency from the School in November 1932.

Brothers, Colin and Rex Stanaway - Colleen Stanaway Collection.

Brothers, Colin and Rex Stanaway – Colleen Stanaway Collection.

It is understood that Rex met Olive Jean Reston and they had a child, a daughter Ngaire Dawne Teys (known as Dawne). She was born on 14 July 1944. They never married and Dawne was brought up by her mother.

Despite suffering from a curvature of the spine Rex spent most of his working life as a shepherd on various isolated Lands and Survey blocks in the far North including Te Paki station. He rode horses to carry out his work and had a large number of working dogs.

He lived at Te Hapua on the shores of the Parengarenga Harbour where he was well regarded by the locals.

The 1946 Electoral Roll had Rex living in Matakohe and listed as a Farm manager, in 1949 he was in Te Kopuru, 1957 he was in Herekino all lsited as a Farm Manager. In 1963 he was living in Kaitaia and listed as a shepard.

From left to right - Unknown, Colin, Unknown, Rex, Noel, Unknown - Colleen Stanaway Collection.

From left to right – Unknown, Colin, Unknown, Rex, Noel, Unknown – Colleen Stanaway Collection.

Rex died on 24 October 1973 in Kaitaia Hospital, aged 56 (Death Certificate number 1973/36735) and was buried at Mt Wesley Cemetery, Dargaville.

The Cemetery Records state Rex as a Bush contractor and living in Te Hapua, Kaitaia.

A Probate is availabe for Rex from New Zealand Archives for those interested.

Grave site - Colleen Stanaway Collection.

Grave site – Colleen Stanaway Collection.

His death notice read;

STANAWAY, Rex Leigh. On October 24, 1973, at Kaitaia Hospital, dearly loved son of the late Charles George and Elizabeth Stanaway, loved brother of Fred, Jack, Irene (Mrs J.C. Brown), Phoebe (Mrs Linder), Noel and Bob, Graham, Colin and the late William Charless and Harry; in his 57th year. Service at the Church of the Holy Trinity, Dargaville, tomorrow (Saturday), at 1 p.m., thereafter to the new Mt Wesley Lawn Cemetery.

Rex's Death Notice - Colleen Stanaway Collection.

Rex’s Death Notice – Colleen Stanaway Collection.

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