Let’s go back to where it all began,
where were you born?
I was born in Greater Manchester Hospital England. I was an only child. My father had worked in India with the Calcutta Times, and during World War II he trained pilots and was a Wing Commander.
My mother was an ambulance officer and serviced all the ambulances and cars. She also belonged to the Women’s Voluntary Service.
So, how old were you when you came to Australia? What do you remember about it?
I was 10 when I came to Australia with my family. I remember having my 11th birthday after we arrived. I went to Melbourne Girls Grammar School. But we travelled a lot, too, and so I also went to school at Broadland House in Launceston. I remember getting teased a lot because of my English accent !
What were your hobbies and interests?
I had a lot of cats – my dad liked cats, too. Later, I had a dog called Rusty who was a red setter. In terms of hobbies, I enjoyed playing tennis, hockey and netball, which I could do at school. I remember having some golf lessons, but I gave up on that.
And what did you do when you left school?
When I was 18 years old, I went back to England for three years and worked in the Bank of England and in a publishing firm. I earned three pounds per week. I wanted to go to France for a holiday but couldn’t afford it – going to Europe was a big thing then. When I was older, after I lost my second husband, I did a grand tour of Europe – England, Ireland and Scotland – on my own.
Tell us about your family?
I think my greatest achievements have been as a mother to my children and my stepchildren. I love spending time with all my family, whenever I can. And I worked when my children went to school – I was a laboratory assistant.
What about life more recently?
Well, in my late 70s I started having trouble seeing, and since then I’ve lost most of my vision. At Manor Court I can join in or have time to myself. I enjoy listening to Vision Australia talking books and talk-back radio.
And group activities – do you enjoy them?
There are always group activities like word games and discussions – they’re good fun and keep us busy. We have resident meetings where we can give ideas and suggestions. I can decide what I do each day and there are lots of choice. When not in lockdown, we go on trips and have visitors. I love to go out with my family, and I enjoy visits with animals – chickens, bunnies and dogs. And I’ve made some lovely friends here at Manor Court. I enjoy just sitting and chatting over a meal in the dining room.