Gloria Stanford

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Gloria Stanford


Gloria Stanford is a New Zealand activist. She was 89 in 2013.

Play

Granddaughters Amy Waller and Catherine Waller were so fascinated they wrote a play about Gloria Stanford, who made international headlines as "The bride who wouldn't leave New Zealand". Now, almost seven decades after her colourful escapades, Gloria opens at Tapac.

"As a child, I was fascinated and inspired by Nana's bravery," says Amy. "She was a woman ahead of her time who made a bold, brave and independent decision and I have mulled over for some time what it would have been like to make such a risky decision."

In 1946, Gloria and her then 18-month-old son, Boyne, were to sail on the liner Lurline, which was carrying New Zealand wives and children to be reunited with the American men they had married during World War II. Gloria's husband, Charles Schwartz, had returned home to Cincinnati, Ohio, and had never met their young son; in fact, the couple hadn't seen one another for nearly two years following a whirlwind courtship during which she fell pregnant.

The Lurline sailing was delayed and Gloria, who had served in the Women's Auxiliary Army Corps, couldn't stop thinking about her parents and sister and all she enjoyed about life in New Zealand. Homesick before the Lurline left the dock, she scooped up Boyne and their luggage and begged to disembark. The ship sailed without them and Gloria cabled Charles to let him know she was not on board.

She says there was a finality about leaving New Zealand. In the 1940s, communications were slow and leaving New Zealand for the United States or Europe meant one simply did not know when or if one would see family and friends again. Gloria's dramatic departure from the Lurline was reported in local newspapers; she told reporters that she had started to discover how lovely New Zealand was and doubted Charles would miss her as much as her family and friends would.

However, she traveled to the US a few months later once her parents and sister gained residency, but never felt settled in Cincinnati. So, in the 1960s, the family, which now numbered six children, returned to New Zealand but this time it was Charles who found it too difficult to make a new home on the other side of the world. The marriage ended and Gloria later married Stan Stanford, who she spent the next 50 years with and with whom she had a seventh child.[1]

SUP

  • 1978 - August 14, wrote article in Tribune on UN Decade for Women.
  • 1980 - Sept. 22, wrote anti-US warship poem in SUP's Tribune.
  • 1982 - Wrote a parody of the NZ national anthem in September 6 Tribune, p 3.
  • 1983 - Aug. 22, wrote poem in Tribune "Come join the new Peace Squadron".
  • 1989 - 30 October, wrote with Felicity Tuohy an article in Tribune on the visit of 2 French Peace activists.
  • 1989 - Gloria Stanford on list of possibles on womens delegation tour to Soviet Union. [2]
  • 1990 - wrote article in Tribune "Fireworks banned - and about time" on the banning of fireworks in NZ.
  • 1990 May 7, the full text of her poem on Johnny Mitchell could be received by writing to Socialist Bookshops, Box 19-114, Auckland.

Rationalist

Circa 1991 article on Heidi Abrahams by Gloria Stanford in NZ Rat & Humanist.

SPA

  • 2005 "It is truly an honour to have been asked by Bill’'s family and Party to reflect here on his contribution. Knowing Bill’'s capacity for love, I can only imagine the sense of loss for those closest to him: Jennifer, whose leadership and dedication Bill respected hugely; our comrades Karl and Glenn; Rochelle the grandchildren, and our friends, Sheryl, Stan and Gloria, Donna and others closest to Bill and Jennifer. Eulogy to Bill Andersen by Laila Harre at Bastion Point 17.1.05.

References

  1. [1] NZ Herald, Nana's wartime tales, By Dionne Christian. 3:55 PM Saturday Nov 23, 2013]
  2. GJ docs