Pregnancy & Birth

Bill English recalls the day he became a father

While marrying Mary and being sworn in as Prime Minister rank pretty highly on Bill’s most eventful days, it would be hard to top the birth of his first child Luke.
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The Prime Minister recalls, “I was cycling down the Kilbirnie Hill and had a pretty serious crash into a bus. I was lying in the middle of the road and the woman in the local hairdresser recognised me, and she rang Mary, who was three or four blocks away at home.

The Prime Minister and his wife Mary with Governor-General Dame Patsy Reddy, her husband Sir David Gascoigne and the English children (from left) Xavier, Bart, Rory, Luke, Maria and Thomas.

By the time she got there, the ambulance was there. We went into hospital and things didn’t go well, so she had to help treat me a bit. Then her waters broke and she went into labour.

The happy couple, who met at an orientation ball as varsity students, married 30 years ago.

I was stitched up in the head and the legs, then put in a bed and wheeled over to the maternity ward. I was drugged up with painkillers and didn’t really understand what was going on, so I was encouraging Mary to stick with her plan of having no painkillers!

I couldn’t put up with the pain, but I was expecting her to! And that was Luke.” Suffice to say, Mary wasn’t impressed.

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