Nola Deverell (nee. Munro) was born in 1936 at the McHardy Home on the hill. She lived along with her younger sister Beth and parents at 152 Battery Rd all her life until she was married. Her father worked at FG Smiths Carriers and Hawkes Bay Transport.
Nola attended the Port School, which was just across the road from her house. From there, her mother could see her leaving each day and going in the back gate of the school. Being so close, her mother heard her crying out one day, and came across the road to the rescue. Nola had locked herself in the school lavatory! She has fond memories of her school days, and still sees many of the people today.
Nola remembers the Port being very self contained – its own world: “We only had to go to Napier for the doctors and pictures (movies)”. It was also close-knit, and people pulled together in good times and bad. One popular community effort was the annual Port School Ball, which her father managed for many years.
Nola remembers growing up, where children made their own fun, often swimming at the pools on the waterfront beach in summer. Nola can still recall the many nearby small shops that formed a key part of the social life, and the ‘larger than life’ characters around the community.
During the war years, her father would rush outside and check the sky every time he heard a plane overhead. Nola and her friends collected fennel seeds from which medical supplies for the army were made.
Following school, Nola trained and worked as a nurse. She now lives in Greenmeadows