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Harraway Sisters Help Celebrate 150 Years of Harraways Oats

Friday 5th of May 2017

Harraway Sisters Help Celebrate 150 Years of Harraways Oats

New Zealand’s iconic oats company, Harraways, is celebrating 150 years of providing Kiwis with delicious oats.

Since 1867, Harraways has been operating from its original site in Green Island, Dunedin and remains privately owned.

With humble beginnings as a small family business producing flour for the growing population of Dunedin, oats weren’t the company’s sole focus at the time. Replacing the old method of stone grinding flour with an oat roller milling plant in 1893, a thousand tonnes of oats were produced in the first year, expanding Harraways into the breakfast cereal producer that they are well-known as today.

The company still processes oats by traditional methods, giving Harraways oats their distinctive flavour and retaining the “goodness of nature” in oats products.

To say thanks to Kiwis for their continuous support over the last 150 years, Harraways will park up a bright yellow food truck on Elliott Street in Auckland on Wednesday and Thursday (3/4th of May) of this week for consumers to enjoy a bite and a coffee for free on Harraways.

Harraway sisters, Dorothy Duffy and Carol Ball, great granddaughters of Henry and Catherine Harraway have travelled to Auckland from the deep South to celebrate 150 years of Harraways oats.

Their grandfather was Fred, Henry’s brother, and one of 21 Harraway siblings - 18 children survived. The family lived in Green Island where the Harraway mill is still situated. There were enough men in the family to start up their own cricket team.

Fred married Agnes and they had 15 children including Walter Harraway - Dorothy and Carol’s father.

There are seven children in Dorothy and Carol’s family and they are all alive and well. Dorothy is in her 70’s and doesn’t need any pills or potions.

“We have excellent longevity in the family – it must be all those oats! Our mother and father lived well into their 90’s and worked very hard on our 10 acre block, and later for the community.

Henry Harraway’s obituary states that Henry was a ‘distinctive figure walking the streets of Dunedin and will be missed’. All the Harraway men are tall – over 6ft and this continues today”, says Dorothy

“There is a strong sense of belonging being a Harraway and in the South Island our family stretches far and wide as there are so many of us! Our descendants also live in Canada, South Africa, England and America.
We have arranged three family reunions and met them all!

In 1998 we held a reunion to commemorate the famous cricket game between the Harraway’s and the Australian Pollard Opera Company in 1898. The Harraway team won of course!

2003 saw a reunion in conjunction with Green Island School where we did our schooling. The Harraway family donated to the new building.

In 2013 the family celebrated Henry and Catherine’s 150th year wedding anniversary with a large reunion, including all the Harraway contingent from overseas, it was so lovely to meet them all and the family likeness was uncanny”, says Carol.

“We have a rich history and very proud of it. All the family has photographs hanging on our walls. Our eldest brother David has even written and released a song called “My Family Tree”. This song can be found on the internet and embodies what it means to be a Harraway.

Our family tree has actually been traced back to the 1600’s but nobody has enough wall space to house it!

This 150th year celebration of Harraways is wonderful! Using a coffee caravan and serving up oat treats is bang on as that’s what Kiwis remember from their childhood and Harraways is a part of Heartland NZ.

It’s been so much fun chatting to consumers about Harraways and the different ways they use their oats. The little soft Harry Scotty Dog is our new mascot and everyone loves him!”, says Dorothy.

Video link of Harrways sisters, memorabilia and event:


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