28 March 2015

#FearlessFemales - Day 28 - Best Friends

March 28 — Do you remember your mother’s best friend? Your grandmother’s? How and where did they meet? How long were they friends? What activities did they share?

Not knowing my grandmothers, I don't know who their friends were, but I do have some pictures of my grandmothers out with friends at various celebrations:
Annie

Annie

Maureen

Maureen

My mother, had a number of best friends across the years:

Valda T, Kath Whittaker, Theresa O'Donnell, Phil O, May M, June C, Margaret T

- most of these women we grew up calling "Aunty" and  to this day we still talk to our Aunty May and Aunty Marg on a regular basis. Aunty May just sent me down a USB cassette converter so I can transfer Mum's family history cassette recordings to my computer

Valda was Mum's best friend when she first came out of the Army. She introduced Mum to the Rowe Street Musicals

Kath was Mum's best friend when she lived in Kiama - where my sister and I were born. She was my sister's Godmother (for her 1st christening, the one the priest forgot to record). - Edited.... It wasn't Kath who was my sister's Godmother, her husband Noel stood in place of Mum's brother as Godfather - and he baked Kathleen's christening cake.

Theresa the best friend in Maroubra - where my brother was born. I remember she took my sister and I out for lunch for my 9th birthday to Cahill's car themed restaurant (which my favourite place to eat out - though we did it rarely) to help Mum while Mum was busily packing for the big family move to Mt. Druitt.

Phil, May, June and Margaret all became Mum's friends in Mt. Druitt.

Phil lived around the corner - she and Mum met through "us kids" - when we arrived in our new house in Mt. Druitt we started exploring and meeting neighbourhood kids. We took stories home of the family who had 9 CHILDREN!!! Obviously something we had never heard of before. I think Mum met Phil when she had to walk around to her house to collect us after we'd played there one afternoon and forgot to go home for dinner.

May and her family moved in to their house across the road from ours just a few weeks after we moved in. Mum and May spent a lot of time with each other, having cups of tea or coffee, our families shared meals and special family events. Mum was devastated when May and her husband moved to Queensland in the 1990s

Margaret was a friend of May's and joined into Mum's circle of best friends after a few meetings at May's place. Aunty Marg still lives "up the mountains" where my sister and I (my sister more regularly) visit her.

I'm not sure if Mum knew June from church - as they both went to the same Catholic church, but June's eldest daughter and I started at the same high school and became friends. June was the friend who started Mum's diary keeping habit

The "Mt. Druitt Aunties" are all still alive as is Valda, so I can't share too much here. But there are wonderful memories with all the Aunties.

Mum made sure we understood the difference between honorary aunties and real aunties - to us it didn't make a difference, but Mum had some vivid memories of being left out of things when she was growing up because she wasn't a "real" niece of someone she loved and called Aunty. She didn't want us to feel the hurt she had if these Aunties had an event and only "family" was invited. I don't think there were too many things we were excluded from, but it certainly did happen from time to time - mostly because of limits to the number of people who could be catered for than because we weren't family.


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