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Owen Samuel “Sam” MeadsAge: 71 years19151987

Owen Samuel “Sam” Meads
Given names
Owen Samuel
Birth October 9, 1915 33 27
Birth of a sisterZella Anne Meads
June 23, 1917 (Age 20 months)
Death of a paternal grandmotherElizabeth Mary Gray
March 13, 1920 (Age 4 years)
Cause: Congestive Heart Failure
Birth of a brotherArnold William Meads
February 23, 1921 (Age 5 years)
Birth of a brotherBrian Darrell Meads
June 6, 1926 (Age 10 years)
Birth of a brotherJohn Meads
1928 (Age 12 years)
Death of a brotherJohn Meads
1929 (Age 13 years)
Death of a paternal grandfatherZachariah “Zac” Meads
July 20, 1937 (Age 21 years)
Cause: Heart failure
Marriage of a siblingLionel Roger “Roger” MeadsJoan Masters WeaverView this family
June 1, 1940 (Age 24 years)
Death of a brotherArnold William Meads
March 8, 1952 (Age 36 years)
Cause: Self inflicted gunshot wound.
Burial of a brotherArnold William Meads
March 10, 1952 (Age 36 years)
Death of a fatherLionel Meads
March 15, 1954 (Age 38 years)
Death of a motherAlice Gray
October 25, 1963 (Age 48 years)
Secondary School Headmaster

Death September 30, 1987 (Age 71 years)
Family with parents - View this family
Marriage: April 30, 1913Wanganui, Manawatu-Wanganui, New Zealand
9 months
elder brother
Lionel Roger “Roger” Meads
Birth: February 8, 1914 32 25Feilding, Manawatu-Wanganui, New Zealand
Death: August 2, 2006Feilding, Manawatu-Wanganui, New Zealand
20 months
Owen Samuel “Sam” Meads
Birth: October 9, 1915 33 27Wanganui, Manawatu-Wanganui, New Zealand
Death: September 30, 1987Greytown, Wairarapa, Wellington, New Zealand
20 months
younger sister
Zella Anne Meads
Birth: June 23, 1917 35 29Wanganui, Manawatu-Wanganui, New Zealand
Death: January 13, 1998Feilding, Manawatu-Wanganui, New Zealand
4 years
younger brother
Arnold William Meads
Birth: February 23, 1921 39 32Wanganui, Manawatu-Wanganui, New Zealand
Death: March 8, 1952Waituna West, Feilding, Manawatu-Wanganui, New Zealand
5 years
younger brother
3 years
younger brother
John Meads
Birth: 1928 45 39Hunterville, Manawatu-Wanganui, New Zealand
Death: 1929Wanganui, Manawatu-Wanganui, New Zealand
Family with Betty Lillian Bird - View this family
Owen Samuel “Sam” Meads
Birth: October 9, 1915 33 27Wanganui, Manawatu-Wanganui, New Zealand
Death: September 30, 1987Greytown, Wairarapa, Wellington, New Zealand
John William “JW” Meads
Diana Meads

Sam was a teacher of great repute.Among the schools that he taugh at was Rongatai College, Raumati District High School, and Wanganui Technical College where he had recieved his own secondary education and where he had boarded at the hostel. He was a housemaster at Wellington College 1951 to 1957 where he numbered among his pupils such well known figures as Sir Paul Reeves, [ Anglican Archbishop and Govenor General of New Zealand] Ken Douglas [Federation of Labour Secretary] and Sir Ron Brierly [ noted industrialist] He was Deputy Principal at Wellington Boys College and Kapiti Coast colleges. He was foundation Principal of Kuranui College at Greytown. From this position he went into retirement. Sam was a keen tramper and a foundation member of the Kurunui Feild Club. He was active in the Greytown Rotary club. In his younger days he was a rugby representative for both Canterbury and Wellington provinces and was captain of the New Zealand University represantitive side during the 1940"s.
Note received from John Goodman July 06 A thought came into my mind today to find if anybody had recorded the history of Sam on the internet. I was delighted to find your site. Sam's wife Betty had been a schoolmate of my stepmother, and I guess it would have been at Marsden School in Karori, Wellington. I boarded at Firth House, Wellington College from 55-57 incl. Sam was the Housemaster there, and lived with his family in a house adja to Firth House. He was a role model to me and I'm sure to everybody who ever met him. After I left College, I kept track of him, but sadly never met him again. I gave his son John a treasured book of mine sent to me by relatives in England. I see his information is private, and I'm sure he wouldn't remember me, as he was a little kid at the time, but my thoughts are often with the Meads family. We were told that Sam had been an All Black triallist. Thanks for bringing back the memories. Sam was a father figure to me, and I will never forget him.
Further note received from John Goodman July 06 Behind Firth House there was a narrow track that led across the hillside. Sam decided to widen this track, and he encouraged the boarders to join him in doing this work. No machinery. Just pickaxes and shovels, and eventually after a huge effort it was done. It was pretty solid rock, and hard going, and we all benefited from the hard physical work that we did in our own time. There was no compulsion for us to do it, but we did it for Sam. I believe Sam may have served in the Desert during WWII. We received a very small amount of pocket money every week (paid for by our parents of course), but strictly controlled by Sam in what later became known to me in the Regular Army as a "Pay Parade". One of his commonly-used sayings at Sam's "pay parades" was "No ackers for slackers", the acker being Egyptian currency (as in Acker Bilk whose nickname also stems from the same antecedents). I still use the phrase from time to time, and I'm certain that others do too. Mind you, besides being a father figure to all of us, Sam was also a firm disciplinarian, and we had to toe the line. A number of canes were held in the staff room at Firth House, and they were frequently used. There were about 125 of us boys there, and systems were rigidly enforced. We would cut notches in our belts denoting each caning, and those whose belts were notched on both the top and bottom edges were held in great esteem. The discipline did us no harm, and it taught respect, not only for those in charge of us, but also for our fellow students. When I later joined the Army, I found no problems at all in conforming to Army discipline, and I think I may have been one of the few recruits who was never charged with any offences on my basic recruits course, such as dirty boots, hair that needed cutting, unpressed uniforms. Easy when you're a Firth House old boy. There was another Firth House old boy in the Army, Major John F. Mills who commanded the Regular Force Cadet School. He ran a tight ship, just like his mentor Sam. Another Firth House old boy, Kevin Patrick Murphy became an artillery officer and served in Vietnam. The folk you mention in your write-up were day boys and not boarders, but Sam would most probably have taught them as a master at the school. We had a few students from the Pacific Islands. One was Pa Pokeno from Rarotonga. His real name was Papamama Pokeno, but you didn't dare to call him that. He became a cabinet minister in the Cook Islands government. Another protégé of Sam's for sure. I last saw Sam Karetu, another boarder, when he worked at NZ House in London. Firth House boys became achievers. My own brother Vic, another boarder, became a lawyer. He later became Mayor of Marton, a post he held for some years, and I believe he was one of the youngest mayors ever in NZ. Sam deserves more than a brief write-up. He was a major influence on hundreds of young fellows just like me, and those influences will last our life-times. They were undoubtedly the best years of our lives. When I heard he had gone to Kuranui College in the Wairarapa, as its first headmaster, I was happy that his attributes had been recognised by the education authorities. I'm certain he would have been a tremendous role model for the students there. It pains me to find that out today that he passed on at a comparatively early age - the same age as his own father. I hope John has succeeded in life. I'm sure he would have, even though he had to share his father with 125 other boys every school year. I have no objection to contributing to the plaudits for the late Owen Samuel Meads, and I most sincerely thank his family for lending him to me for the three years I spent as a boarder at Firth House.