Shirley Baylis (nee Clark) was born on 27 Feb 1929. Her father worked at Manson & Clark Timber Mill at the Port, and later as engineer at FG Smith. She attended the Port School, becoming dux of her year.
Crediting her Port upbringing in helping her appreciate the things they had, Shirley recalls fondly her growing up years; having fun on the bike and cart her father made for her, and the local characters – including Peter McNamara nicknamed “Peter Pork Pie” who Shirley and her friends used to be cheeky to as he hobbled along on his one leg.
Shirley attended the Port School, and continued on to Napier Girls High, where she noticed for the first time how ‘outsiders’ saw the Port: “All the girls from the Napier/Bluff Hill side didn’t talk to us (from the Port) at first.” After leaving school, she went to work at Richardsons, then Napier Government in the Health and Land & Surveys departments. After being married, she and her husband built a house on farmland near Napier. Once her husband died, she moved to Avondale Rd, Taradale.