2 Minutes with ...


Marianne Peacocke "... has been involved with Guides for some years, as well as overseeing the smooth running of the Tawa Music Centre." This was the wording on her nomination for a Tawa Community Civic Award in 2006. Marianne is another Tawa individual very much immersed in the community, having played a key part (an instrumental role, if you prefer) in the Tawa Music Centre for the past 20 years, as well as various roles within GirlGuiding NZ as you'll see below.

Where were you born, Marianne?

Where did you grow up?
South Brighton, Christchurch. Had 3½ years in Vancouver (Canada), from ages 9 to 13. We moved back to Christchurch because of extended family there.

Where were you educated?
Aranui High School - "an excellent school for learning about life."

What is your line of work?
When I left school I worked as a medical secretary at Princess Margaret Hospital, Christchurch. I enjoyed working in the hospital system.

I now have two part-time jobs. Supervisor at Tawa Music Centre since 1991, employed to do the day-to-day running. Also work for GirlGuiding NZ, doing a variety of things such as meeting with new leaders to discuss options and training.

What about family?
Married to Bill. A daughter and son living in London, and two sons studying in Christchurch.

What are your interests/hobbies?
I'll have to say GirlGuiding. I've been a volunteer for a number of years - Brownies, Guides, secretary and district coordinator for Tawa. Being involved in the community has been an interest as the kids grew up. "I think that's what makes the community - if you get involved in it."

Interested in travelling, mainly to see my kids and to see where my parents came from. Both my parents were Dutch immigrants. "I've got good reason to travel."

Reading books. "I love reading." And ongoing learning. "I'm halfway through a B.A. majoring in anthropology. I do one paper a half-year if I can. I might be 80 by the time I finish."

How long have you lived in Tawa?
We arrived in Tawa at the beginning of 1989. The first ten years of married life we moved around a lot in Bill's job as an engineer, living in 12 different houses in 9 cities including Auckland, Dunedin, Melbourne and Perth. We came back from Australia and decided to settle somewhere, "anywhere but Wellington!" but had to go where Bill could get work. "A taste of Auckland made us realise that Wellington would be a great place to live! We chose Tawa after looking all over Wellington because it just felt right."

What do you think is great about Tawa?
It is the community, without doubt. "The community is only what you are prepared to put into it, because what you put in you get back ten-fold."

What, if anything, would improve Tawa?
Slightly better weather - "wishful thinking though." To keep the focus on volunteering in the community. I've always been involved in looking for volunteers for school committees, GirlGuiding and the Music Centre. The time to be involved is when your children are growing up. All of a sudden the kids have grown up and left home to live their own life! I have great memories of the ups and downs and fun of being a volunteer in the community."

What is your favourite dessert?
I've got no idea. [But then ...] I like my desserts - anything with chocolate in it.

Favourite sports team and/or sportsperson?
I'm not big on sports but I do love what the Phoenix have done for Welliington. Very proud of them - plus they won again last night [Sunday 30 January, 1-0 against the Newcastle Jets - Ed.]

Favourite musical group or style of music?
I love a wide variety of music, like Simon & Garfunkel and the Bee Gees. Going to see Neil Diamond in March [this was before his Wellington concert was cancelled - Ed.] I listen to classical in the car, "soothing when you drive in Wellington traffic." Christopher gave me a 'Mumford & Sons' CD for Christmas, a young Irish band. "I really like them."

Favourite holiday destination in New Zealand?
Christchurch, "because I love the city." And Akaroa, a nice detour from Christchurch. "We had a cottage there for a week last November."

Favourite quote(s) or saying(s)?
I'm a quote addict. I randomly stick them around the house. I grew up on Desiderata [a 1927 prose poem by American writer Max Ehrmann (1872-1945) - Ed.] ...
"Go placidly amid the noise and haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence."

If you could meet any two or three people (alive or dead), who would they be?
I'd like to meet my father's parents. I never met them. They never left Holland and I never got back there before they died.
And Mother Teresa, mainly because of one thing that she said: "If everybody cared closely for their family it would solve a lot of problems in the world."

What three things would you take with you if you were stuck on a desert island?
"I used to think sometimes when I was really busy that I'd like to be stuck on a desert island for a few months, to leave everything behind!"
Being practical, I'd want food/water, good books and Bill.

What is one talent you would like that you do not have?
I'd love to have a really good singing voice and be able to play the piano.

What is one talent you have that you could not do without?
"I’ve got no special talents." But I can talk to most people! I enjoy getting to know people.

What accomplishments/achievements in your life give you much satisfaction/pride?
Bringing up four children to the best of my ability, as a team with my husband. I've always worked part-time so I could be at home with the kids.

What are two or three things you would like to do before you die?
Meet my grandchildren (one day).
Travel more, explore the world.
And stay healthy for as long as possible.

Compiled January 2011.

Other Tawa people