Topic: Vera McLennan, nee Burr

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Historian and author 1917 - 1999

HISTORIAN and author Vera McLennan-Boman died in Palmerston North earlier this month, aged 82.

Mrs McLennan-Boman was the author of 10 historical books, some relating to the Manawatu region and others about the Baptist Church.

She was born in Kelvin Grove and lived there for much of her early life.

As Vera Burr she was postmistress at the Kelvin Grove Post Office, later working at the Palmerston North Post Office and the Inland Revenue Department. She was actively involved in the the Central Baptist Church in Palmerston North and it was through the church that she met her first husband, Courtenay McLennan.

An elderly woman in the congregation noticed Vera Burr in the choir and thought of a distant bachelor relative farming in Canterbury. She gave his name and address to the 37-year-old woman, and three years later they were married.

The couple farmed in Canterbury until her husband suffered a stroke in 1967 and the farm was leased and later sold. In 1975 Mr and Mrs McLennan and their daughter, born in 1959 moved back to Palmerston North. Mr McLennan died in 1978 and Mrs McLennan remarried the following year.

Back in Palmerston North, Mrs McLennan-Boman, as she became, renewed her connections with the Central Baptist church and became involved with the Country Women's Institute.

Among the many books she wrote were Coaching Days and Accommodating Ways, on the old coaching route over Arthur's Pass; From Stoney Creek to Whakarongo; Glimpses into Early Manawatu, a history of the Burr family; History of the Whakarongo CWI, and These 75 Years, a history of the Baptist Women's Missionary Union.

Source: Evening Standard, 29 May 1999.

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