Robert Patrick Simpson (1913 - 1986) and
Catherine Elizabeth Bayer (1913 - 1987)

Robert Simpson (known as Bert) was born February 21, 1913 in Pukekawa - in a horse cart on the side of the road!

Catherine, who was known to everyone as Katie, was born May 31, 1913, at the family home in Upper Waiwera. She was the fifth child in a family of eleven children. Her brothers and sisters were Mary, Tony, Christian, Teresa, Ted, Tom, Chrissie, Nora, Alice and Teresa.

Katie went to Upper Waiwera school and then on to the Convent at Puhoi. Katie often told her children that the nuns had picked her for training as a nun herself but had second thoughts on that as she got older!

She used to ride on horseback, and as they were not very well off, she always spoke of having no shoes and having very cold feet (This must have been why she loved shoes and always had new shoes in her later years).

Katie left shool when she was aged 13 or 14 and went to work as a housemaid for one of the Wech families in between Puhoi and Warkworth. She earned a shilling a week and had to give all to her father, so she soon stopped going home every week and kept the money for herself.

Katie and Bert met at a local dance as they used to go to local dances at Puhoi, Waiwera and Silverdale. The dances were held once a month for the young ones. Puhoi had a big dance once a year on June 29 which is still celebrated today.

Katie and Bert married April 23, 1938, at St Josephs Catholic Church in Warkworth. Katie's sister Nora was her bridesmaid and brother Tony was the best man.

Right: Katie and Bert's Wedding Day.

They worked on Bert's family's farm at Tauhoa milking cows.

Bert then worked for Smith and Davies at Warkworth prior to the war (He is shown here on the left standing beside a Smith and Davies truck). Then he worked for the army as a cook.

Bert's mother and father lived in Whangarei for many years and had a beach house at Ruakaka. Robert and Catherine often took their children to visit both of these places when they were young.

Bert was left the family car in his father's will. This was the first car the family had had - as his father had used the shop van for going to work.

Their family

Bert and Katie had three children and five grandchildren:

Brian Robert Simpson was born September 15, 1939 and married Alice Walker. They had one son, Leonard Simpson. Brian was tragically killed on November 17, 1972 aged 34, knocked down by a car while crossing the Northern Auckland motorway.

Dulcie Simpson was born [date confidential]. She married Peter Boocock (they later divorced). They had 2 sons, John Craig Boocock and Paul Boocock.

Noleine Robena Simpson was born [date confidential] at Warkworth Hospital. She married Glyn Alun Tyler-Davies and they had two children, Brent Alun Tyler-Davies and Donna Maree Tyler-Davies.

After Brian and Dulcie were born, Bert and his family moved to Orewa where Bert worked at the only store and drove a van on the rural deliveries around the areas of Orewa, Silverdale and Wainui. There was only one shop and very few houses at that time. All three children went to Silverdale School.

Katie and Bert lived in Orewa for many years. They finally moved to Auckland when Brian, Dulcie and Noleine were teenagers and were all working in Auckland, as travelling by bus everyday was quite a long trip. Katie and Robert both had strong ties with their own brothers and sisters and they held reunions and get-togethers in order to stay in touch.

This photo shows Katie (on the far right), with (from left) Alice Bayer, Tony Bayer, Mary Bayer, Tom Bayer, Christine Bayer, and Nora Bayer. This photo shows Robert (back row, second from right) with James Albert Simpson (back left), Avryl Joan Simpon (centre back), Beryl Iris Simpson (back right), Lillian Elsie Simpson (front second right), Evelyn Lucy Simpson, James Albert Simpson, Irene Mary Simpson, Grace Mona Simpson and Jean May Simpson.
Katie and Bert stayed in Grey Lynn where Bert died suddenly on April 16, 1986 aged 73. Katie then moved to Northcote. She also died suddenly a year later in Mission Bay on February 18, 1987 also aged 73.