James Owen of Penrhos

and his descendants

(Beatrice) Claire Day

The daughter of Trixie and JRC, (Beatrice) Claire Day, was born on 25 July 1911 at Djembatan Lanoen, Great Karimon (map), an island off the Singapore coast. Her birth was registered in what is now Jakarta but not until her father had written a letter on 21 June 1914 and made a Statutory Declaration dated June 26th 1914; this was probably because just after Claire's birth the family moved to Kala Perga, Kelantan, (map) in North Malaya, near the boarder with Thailand.

Claire attended St Winifred’s Girls School, Llanfairfechan (it moved there from Bangor in 1922). The school had been founded in 1887 to fill the void of quality female education available at the time, and it primarily accepted boarders with a small number of day girls, all mostly from a middle-class background. Tuition was holistic: to provide, upon a sound and accurate system, a religious and useful education for the daughters of clergymen and professional men of limited means, and the agricultural and commercial classes generally (taken from its first prospectus). Claire left school and attended the Royal Academy for Dramatic Arts in London - she appeared on stage at Bristol - before returning to teach at St Winifred’s.

Claire Simms & son Some time later she settled in New Zealand where she taught speech and drama at "Woodford House”, an elite boarding school in Havelock North, Hawke’s Bay; she may have been the Beatrice Day who had been living at 3 The Grange, Cockfosters, before sailing to Auckland from London aboard the Rangitata on 1 April, 1940. Prior to going to New Zealand a neighbour of hers had given her the names and address of relatives, the Simms family, who had left Ireland in 1920 to escape 'the troubles'. Claire took a bus to the north of North Island to holiday with this family, and there she met Noel Michael David Simms whom she would later marry. They married at St Saviours Anglican Church on 4 February 1942. The Simms family had become dairy farmers and bought land at Ahipara at the southern end of the 90 Mile Beach. The land was covered with gorse and times were hard. In addition, all of them, including Claire, had come from privileged families with servants so their lives in New Zealand were very different to those they had known. Noel and Claire had three sons and their are other descendants. Both Noel and Claire died in 1974, Claire of of Leukaemia, and both are buried in St Saviours Churchyard, Kaitaia.