CAMPBELL, AGATHA (CIS) nee SPARROW
Agatha Sparrow was born on the 9 February 1879, at Takaka, the fourth daughter of Eric and Lucy Sparrow nee Hailes. She was always known as "Cis", a name bestowed on her at birth by her two elder brothers.
With her sisters, she received art lessons from Georgina Satchwell. Cis produced some excellent oil paintings in a time when Nelson scenery was becoming renowned for John Gully's landscapes.
In the early 1890's, Cis taught at the Sunnyside school which was opposite their home at Whenua, West Takaka. She then moved over the "hill" to Dovedale, a small country school south of Motueka. This was followed by three years at Westport. To get to Westport, she took an eight hour trip by the mail wagon to Nelson, and then made a 22 hour voyage by steamer to Westport.
A keen cyclist, Cis rode to Nelson from Takaka on more than one occasion.
In 1903 she came to Hawera and taught at Normanby School. In 1907, Cis became headmistress of the Ohangai school. She boarded with her sister, Rhoda Lucy Pease at Tangahoe and travelled the 14 miles on horseback daily, calculating she had covered 9000 miles in three years and worn out three horses. In 1910, she moved to Whenuakura School.
Cis married Robert (Bob) Campbell in 1915, and during the First World War was headmistress of St Mary's Anglican Church School, Hawera, while Bob was away at the war. They eventually moved to Auckland.
Cis enjoyed travelling and in 1938 with sister, Mary Elizabeth Thompson (Bessie) toured United Kingdom and Europe for a year. In 1951, aged 72 years, Cis vacated her home for her daughter's use and travelled to England alone. Finding the English winter somewhat cold she took a house in the south of France.
In 1953, Cis returned to Hawera and lived with her sister Bessie until retiring to Auckland about 1968. She died there on the 22 April 1972 aged 93 years.
Claire Corrigan, Hawera
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