She had a haircut like a man, and wore men’s boots A childhood memory of Amy Bock. (1923) Matewehi Turner, Waitara, Taranaki 1992

For me Amy Bock is an icon in our history. To live as a Lesbian in the first half of this century, she dressed as a man. Amy received 2 years Hard Labour for dressing as a man to marry a woman. She was labelled a “Habitual Criminal” for “Fraud” and was housed in Male prisons.

She served time in New Plymouth prison and on her release went to Waitara and worked at Molly Trim’s Boarding House. She later moved to Mokau, to live and work at the Tainui boarding house. She was also fondly known locally as “Mrs Chris”. I knew part of her story as a child, my Grandfather had met her. The “Coffee Palace” in Inglewood holds stories of the two women who lived and worked together in the 1930s.