Reliving childhood memories of Ngaio


From left to right: Volunteer Wendy Marsh, Nick Busse, Brigid Busse, Rob Facer and Rob's partner Linda Montgomery and volunteer Jane Ryder


Rob Facer visited Ngaio Marsh House recently with some very special memories of visiting Dame Ngaio Marsh - his mother, former actress Annette, was a friend of Dame Ngaio's.


Dame Ngaio was famous for her love of Christmas and entertaining - in particularly her special Christmas parties for children, which Rob attended.


Rob and partner Linda Montgomery visited the house with friends Nick and Bridget Busse.

Rob told tour guides Wendy and Jane many wonderful stories about the magnificent Christmas parties he attended with 12 or so other young people and their parents. Rob was also able to share memories of his mother, who passed away recently.


In the picture above, Rob is in the Long Room at Ngaio Marsh House, exactly where the children would perform their self-written plays as their Christmas gift to Dame Ngaio and the assembled adults.


A young Rob Facer wide-eyed with excitement at a Ngaio Marsh Christmas party


After the play, each of the children received a large box filled with presents from Dame Ngaio.

On his visit to the House, Rob brought with him some of the play programmes that were professionally printed at Christchurch printer Caxton Press to commemorate the children’s productions.


Rob’s mother Annette Facer was Dame Ngaio’s first Ophelia in the 1943 production of Hamlet. Annette also played Queen Catherine in Henry V – chosen as the opening production in the Christchurch Town Hall in 1972. Mrs Facer passed away earlier this year aged 89.


We are honoured that Rob and his friends took the time to visit the House and share memories of his mother and his time in the House as a child.


This illustration from The Press shows some of the costumes worn at the 1972 production of Henry V at Christchurch Town Hall, where Rob's mother Annette Facer played Queen Catherine