This edition of TV2’s Sunday documentary slot explores the life of “pioneer woman” Lukre Martinovich. Martinovich departed the Dalmatian coast for New Zealand in 1907, as a 21-year-old mail-order bride. She recounts experiences starting a family of 12, while scraping kauri gum in Northland’s ‘black swamp’. A visit to Otamatea Kauri Museum spurs memories, and some of her 160 descendants gather at Ruawai Bowling Club to celebrate her birthday. Dancing stops for Lukre (also known as Lucy) to follow a punt on the races on the radio, with the local priest on hand as support.
Someone worked it out that there were at least 90 members of the family who hadn’t turned up.– Narrator Wayne Bell describes Lukre Martinovich's 89th birthday
Television Two (TV2)
Thanks to The Kauri Museum in Matakohe for reuse of images featured in the title. Catalogue number G 1993.224.156 - The Kauri Museum, Matakohe NZ.