And also for farmer.
In an author's note at the end of Settling the Account, where I express my heartfelt thanks to my husband for his never-failing support and encouragement, I mention that he was my inspiration for the very finest aspects of Frank’s character. So it probably goes without saying that Frank is one of my favourites.
As a young man Frank's shy (especially of girls!) and inclined to daydream. He takes some time, and near-disaster, to find his inner strength. He grows into a fine man, a wonderful husband and father, and (an appellation he laughs off) a prominent citizen.
Frank's also one of the pioneers of what has become New Zealand's most important industry: dairy farming. This industry began with scattered families keeping a few cows on bush blocks, making butter and perhaps cheese for their own consumption, hoping to barter any surplus for goods at the local store. It's grown to its current stature thanks, back in those early days, in a large part to men like Frank, who through vision and hard work improved the quality of their herds and organised the formation of our first dairy co-operatives: factories owned and directed by the farmers themselves. Of course, as Frank himself says, he couldn't have done it without Lizzie.
|Dairy Company (Hukanui). Men with horse drawn carts alongside the Hukanui Dairy Co. factory. Original photographic prints and postcards from file print collection, Box 14. Ref: PAColl-6585-13. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand. http://natlib.govt.nz/records/23095879|