Two men, two dogs and a sunny spot out of the wind on the Russell wharf. If he’d been there, my Dad might have said “I wouldn’t call the King my Uncle.” He used to come out with that whenever he was feeling especially content with his lot. These two would have understood I’m sure.

As we try to come up with a future plan for this special place where we have chosen to live perhaps we could give a little thought to the words of Marie King. She lived here most of her life, was first curator of Russell Museum and author of two books on Russell. In her first book, Port in the North, published by the Russell Centennial Historical Committee in 1948, she said:

Kororāreka, the scene of battle, murder and sudden death, and robbery under arms – that is all past and almost forgotten. There remains Russell, quiet and unhurried…There are not a few who insist that Russell’s lack of hurry and bustle is its chief charm, quoting W.H. Davies’ poem “Leisure” to prove their point. “What is this life if full of care/We have no time to stand and stare?/No time to stand beneath the boughs/And stare as long as sheep and cows?/No time to turn at Beauty’s glance/And watch her feet how they can dance/ A poor life this if full of care/We have no time to stand and stare?