I was born into a safe and nurturing environment in a small country town in Victoria Australia, GISBORNE, in March 1945, an era when children were seen and not heard. An environment conducive to absorbing ones immediate surroundings.
My tender years were spent at a small parochial school, students numbering approximately 30-50 and three Nuns teaching. The Sisters of St Joseph of the Apparition, instilled into me the difference between right and wrong and an appreciation for reading.
I finished my schooling at a boarding school in Melbourne with the intention of becoming, what was termed in those days a "LADY". This exercise only produced minimal success.
"Gisborne Gum Slappers"
A cousin taught me to work the local exchange and after finding clerical work pretty boring. I found myself a job as a Telephonist with the Main Trunk Exchange in Melbourne at this time sharing a flat with girl friends. Various switchboard positions then followed, a Hotel in Collins Street and an insurance company.
I married Colin Stockton when I was 20 and lived in Sunbury and we had a son Damian in 1965.
When Damain was two I worked for a time for a firm of Solicitors then we moved to Adelaide South Australia where I worked at a Brick Manufacturing Company.
My daughter Melanie was born in Adelaide in April 1970.
In 1971 Colin was diagnosed with cancer so it was back to the switch board for me, at Kelvinators in Adelaide. By Christmas that year we had moved to Riddells' Creek to live with my parents. Colin died and was cremated on our 7th wedding anniversary. I went back to the Insurance Co where I had worked previously and the children and I lived in Ascot Vale in Melbourne. It was here that Rodney came into our lives and won my heart.
Melbourne was cold and miserable, so we packed up the little Volksie and headed across the country to Perth Western Australia it was 1974, here Rodney and I married. Rodney works on the railways so this meant country duty in a town called Northam. Country living was good for the children and we had an array of pets and a vegie patch. I did some work here on the local Telephone Exchange. The Catholic school, which the children attended, had the same nuns I had been taught by in Gisborne.
I found there was quite a vigorous folk scene in Perth, I spent many evenings at the Peninsula Folk Club and went to many Toodyay Folk Festivals over the years, until 1995 when these festivals stopped. We also spent some enjoyable evenings at the "Hills Folk Club" in nearby Kalamunda.
Cake Decoration was one of my past hobbies.
At this time I also learned spinning, some short story writing, Oral History collecting and cake decorating, these skills I developed to a fairly acceptable level. Presently I am enjoying quilting.
The children finished their schooling in Lesmurdie, and in 1988 we attended Damians' wedding in nearby Kalamunda to Jacqueline Greenwell.
A great wedding and reception was held at the Mundaring Weir Hotel.
My father attended with-out my mother as she had died in 1986. Accompanying my father was my older brother John and his wife Gwenda, also cousin Glenys (Tour Organiser) made the journey from the east for the happy occasion.
Damian and Jacquie, although now separated gave us 4 little treasures. they are happy, aware and very energetic children and a credit to their parents.
1990 was to herald the darkest period of my existence. My beautiful daughter Melanie lost her life in a car accident, the pain for me over the ensuing years is indescribable. Now after more than twenty years on our lives have regained some normality.
In 1995 Rodney and I moved to a unit in Maylands on the fringe of Perth City. In 1996 I joined the committee of the Western Australia Folk Federation, this further intensified my interest in Folk Music. In 1997 the Federation staged a Festival at the Arena Joondalup though this was a great Festival it was, financially disastrous for the Federation.
1998. Bought an increase in the family. Damian lived at home and occupied some of my free time. Rodney and I have followed with great interest progress of his recovery from a leg injury incurred in 1998 resulting in the fitting of an Illizaroff frame and re-growing a shin bone. Approximately 2 years after having the frame fitted it was removed and all is well. Damian is walking well although, still restricted in some situations. All in all he has had considerable success with regrowth of a new shin bone As of the end of 2001 Damian has recovered to the extent he is now employed and worked in Kalgoorlie in the year 2002. He returned to Perth and now resides close by and we all see more of him.
In the year 2003, he brought Julie into our lives and she has had a profound and positive effect on ourselves and his children.
2005 was the year my father passed away after 5 years of illness. May he Rest in Peace.