Alun Tyler-Davies (1907 - 1984)

Alun was born on 22nd April 1907 at the Manse at Bwlch. His father David Tyler Davies died when he was just 10 years old and his sister Eirlys was 13.

His mother Mary Elizabeth (Price) met and fell in love with her second husband Len Smith around 1918 and arranged for her children to meet him.

After the wedding (April 12, 1919), Alun and Eirlys accompanied Len and Mary on a trip to Bwlch in Wales to visit Mary's parents Thomas James Price and Hannah Jane Williams, and some of their family. After a few days Alun and his sister were sent to an Aunt in Lampiter while the newlyweds continued on their travels around the north of England.

On September 20, 1919 Alun's family set sail from Southhampton for New Zealand on the R.M.S. Ionic, finally arriving in Auckland in October 1919.

Left: Alun as a baby

Alun and Eirlys were left with Len's family (either with Len's sister Miriam and her husband Harry, or with Lens's father John and brother Percy) while Len and Mary travelled the country visiting Len's friends and family.

When the school holidays ended on 1st February 1920, Alun began his tuition at a halftime school (his school days were Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays). It was at about this time that his parents took possession of the Tauhoa farm, and Alun rode a horse to his school from the farm. He attended this school for 2 years.

He then boarded at Mt Albert Grammar School for their inaugural year in 1922.

Right: Eirlys and Alun as young children

Alun's mother was a good piano player and Alun himself developed a very good singing voice.

He entered a singing competition around the year 1925 (probably in the winter months) when he was aged about 18. His mother Mary played the piano. Alun was the overall winner of the competition, however the competitions' sponsors went bankrupt so he never received his prize! His success was however reported in the newspaper - it is believed that this article also included a photo of Alun.

He continued to sing in front of family and friends at family events through his life.

Left: Alun as a boy

When Alun was about 20 he helped Len to deliver cream to the neighbouring farms, a business which soon grew from their one Model T Ford to a depot on the farm with 4 trucks.

Within a few years he took over running the business on his own (as Len preferred to run the farm). The Smith and Davies business continued to grow through the 1930s at Kaipara Flats, and Alun opened two new branches in Helensville and Devonport.

Right: Alun Tyler-Davies with his step-father Len Smith

Alun married Ethel Miller on 3 July 1937 at the Methodist Church, Pitt Street, Auckland. Their daughter Davina Faye was born on 26th December 1938. Their son Glyn Alun followed on 27th November 1940.

They lived in a house in Kaipara Flats that was situated next to the Smith and Davies depot. This house had been built for them by Major Bailey, who remained a good friend of Alun's for many years.

While living at Kaipara flats they used to play golf at Wellsford - Ethel became an accomplished golfer over the years.

Alun is remembered by his family for one event concerning a new car. Back in these days there were no such things as car yards, instead cars were ordered and delivered by rail. Alun ordered a 1947 Ford Mercury, requesting the colour Royal Blue (with leather upholstery), but when the car arrived it was the wrong colour, Light Brown, and the upholstery was only cloth. Alun sent the car back and demanded the colour and upholstery he had requested! At that time he already had a Lincoln Zephre V/12 and a 1939 Ford Mercury.

Left: Alun and Ethel on their Wedding Day

Around 1950 Alun and Ethel purchased a property in Orewa. In the first year, for two summers, they pitched a large marquee-like tent (shown on right) and used this as their holiday home. Glyn remembers it looking like a big circus tent! The tent leaked whenever it rained, and Ethel had the inside illuminated with lanterns, so by morning the inside was like a sauna! Alun tried to fix the leaks by laying out the marquee on the lawn and coating it with a mixture of petrol and melted wax - this unfortunately did not fix the leaks but only succeeded in killing the lawn! The following year they built a batch on the property, and later decided to extend it by adding an addition onto the side, and made it their new home.

Around the mid 1950's Alun, Bill Finnel and one other man got together and decided to build a golf course at the junction between The Main Road, Red Beach Road and Whangaparoa Rd. They bought the land by each contributing 5 pounds, and personal guarantees for the rest. They sold sections on the road frontages around the outside and freeholded the land. The clubhouse started off in a barn, and they built a fence around the greens to keep the sheep out. They moved up to a house on the road and then built the existing clubhouse. The Golf Course was named The Peninsula Golf Club.

Alun was elected President of the Auckland Road Transport Association

Glyn followed in his footsteps years later, followed by his nephew Graham MacKinnon.

Left: Graham MacKinnon (left), Alun Tyler-Davies and Glyn Tyler-Davies at Smith and Davies

Alun and Ethel moved to a home unit in Northcote (73B College Road) in 1975.

In 1977 Alun retired from Smith and Davies. In his retirement years Alun and Ethel went on a boat cruise to Tonga, and played Bowls.

Right: Alun and Ethel in their later years, celebrating one of their many Wedding anniversaries!