Auckland mother’s plea after dollhouse built by WWII pilot was mistakenly donated
An RAF trainee pilot enlisted the help of other trainees to make the dollhouse in secret. Photo / Supplied
An Auckland mother is appealing to the public to help them locate a dollhouse her husband has mistakenly donated.
But this isn’t just any dollhouse – it’s a family heirloom secretly made during the war by RAF pilots.
“Please return my daughter’s dollhouse – recently picked up from Eversleigh Rd. Her father threw it away without permission,” Rachel Rogan posted on her local Facebook page.
“Really sorry for those ladies who picked it up … but please can we ask for it back?” “
The story dates back to World War II, but the final chapter began last Saturday, November 27, when the Rogan family were cleaning out their home in Belmont, on Auckland’s north coast.
Rogan’s husband had put the house – which had been in storage for about a decade – on the back deck, and Rogan and his daughter were looking inside, remembering when the kids were young and used to playing with it. .
Twenty minutes later, Rogan walked past the bridge, noticed that he was missing, and called her husband to ask where he had put it.
“He said, ‘Here we go, I took him to the door and some people took him.”
Rogan’s husband had put it outside when two couples walked by, liked the look and took it with them.
“My daughter burst into tears. The first thing she said was, ‘I wanted my grandchildren to play with this,’” Rogan said.
“I still feel the tear in my stomach. It was just one of those really heartbreaking whoopsie moments.”
Her husband made a real mistake, and now the family just wants the inheritance back. But although Rogan’s Facebook post has been shared over 100 times, they still haven’t found it.
“The reason we want it back isn’t because of its beauty or anything like that, it’s because of who did it and for whom they did it and the fact that it was that symbol of love and hope and just something that could be fun for other people to play with, but it will never have value for other families like ours, ”Rogan said.
The house was painstakingly built for a year, in secret. Rogan’s husband’s grandfather was an RAF pilot and built the house in the workshop of his training headquarters in the South Island, enlisting other pilots to help him.
He had a one year old daughter at the time and wanted her to remember him if he didn’t come back from the war. The pilots would steal pieces of wood and make the house, and tiny pieces of furniture for her when their supervisors were not looking. He has the nicest little round Rimu dining table, said Rogan.
It was given to his daughter Patricia, who eventually passed it on to Rogan’s daughters – his grandnieces.
“You kind of don’t realize what something like this means to you until you suddenly get deprived of it,” Rogan said.
“It’s terrible when it’s something we should be able to share with the next members of our family.”
Rogan would like him to come home, that his daughters could one day share him with their children, and that he would stay with their family. She was also concerned that there might be lead in the paint, as she was going to have it tested before it was appreciated by the next generation.
“It’s just a mistake. An unfortunate situation that arose out of a mistake, and I’m just appealing to [whoever took it] for forgiveness or something, and I just hope they don’t get attached as much as we do. “