My sis said "the room she is now in is beautiful – more spacious & modern with couch & tea/coffee making facilities for family & friends, big window, nice outlook, nicer bigger bathroom etc. It’s the room where people see out their last days. She is only allowed to be there for 2 weeks though. So if nothing happens in 2 weeks she will then probably have to be moved to Belfast House which is where all the bedridden oldies end up where life basically consists of food/fluid in food/fluid out.
I suppose it’s just a matter of making her as comfortable as possible & seeing what happens."
Grandma just before her 90th Birthday August 2006
An interview with Grandma (Mum's Mum) about her life before she got married.
Father – Stewart b. Londonderry Nth Ireland
Mother – Alice Elizabeth b. Ceres Victoria
They married 9/8/1915
Younger siblings - Jack & Leila
I started school with my cousin Keith on my 6th birthday - 20th August 1922. We walked from Autumn Street in Geelong West (just close to Elizabeth Street) to Neossia state school. It was quite a long walk for six year olds. We were met by our teachers Miss McAuliffe and Miss Salmon. We lived in Minerva Road – the last house from the cemetery. I remained there with my brother, sister and cousins Mavis and Keith until my family moved to Mt Moriac.
Our home was the old police station (with lockup which was later taken away) next door to school number 1609 and the teachers’ house. After primary school I attended secondary school for years 7 & 8 in Geelong, boarding with Aunty Jean in Minerva Road. This became too expensive for the family & when correspondence lessons became available I returned to Mt Moriac primary school to do years 9 & 10. I was helped by the teacher who was a likeable man and his wife was a sewing mistress who taught me sewing, fancy work and knitting.
The family spent some time at Torquay in a tent when my father was working on the Great Ocean Road. I have a photo of my mother cooking on an old fashioned wooden stove. Later we rented a house in Anglesea with Eric H who worked under Pop. The house was behind the Post Office, near a tennis court and the river. I learned to dog paddle from one set of steps to the other and eventually across the river – my only swimming lessons!
After finishing the Intermediate, I sat for a Commonwealth Service examination for telephonists in reading, writing and arithmetic. 900 sat for the exam in Melbourne. Before going to Melbourne I did some housekeeping and then worked with Marion in a “milk bar/café” at Angahook – Anglesea. Leila came down later and looked after the owner’s children. Marion later bought the shop which became known as Marion’s. After 3 months I was called to the Spencer Street Post Office for 6 weeks tuition before being sent to the Central Exchange. There were 5 girls in our group and I have kept in contact with Nell W for 70 years.
I was employed at the Central Telephone Exchange in Lonsdale Street at the local call switchboard with a couple of hundred other girls. My first pay was 36 shillings but after 12 months rose to 2 pounds. I could afford a trip home to Mt. Moriac as previously I needed to work a Saturday or Sunday for extra money to pay for a train ticket.
My mother - Alice entered cooking in local shows around Geelong & as far as Colac. She won the Geelong aggregate 2 years in succession. The trophies were 2 silver trays donated by GJ Coles. Alice cooked plain food ie meat & vegetables but had some family recipies for sweets & cakes. She cooked for the Barabool Shire Council meetings and hosted them in our own home (at Mt Moriac)! My earliest memory of cooking aged 6 – making scones; otherwise I can only remember being allowed cook cakes.