Patrick Aloysius Ryan, born in April 1888 and died in November 1968, married three times. His first wife died after the birth of their second son, my uncle, in 1916. He married his second wife in 1919 and she died in 1953. Everyone talks very fondly of her but I have no memory of her at all. His third wife was English. They married in England and returned to Australia to live.
Patrick was an old fashioned gentleman who believed in the adage - "Children should be seen and not heard', Although he was kind to us there was a lack of warmth.
My major memory of Patrick was being lectured on the fact that I had taken too long to write a “Thank you” note acknowledging a birthday or Christmas gift. I then tried backdating my letters so it might look as if they had been delayed in the mail, but he used to check the post mark!!
My maternal grandmother, Ilsa Moore, was my ideal grandparent. She loved all twenty one of her grandchildren and was determined that we should all experience every facet of life possible. Ilsa was feisty and interested in all our lives. When my parents moved to PNG and we were at boarding school she was our escape, and was always planning treats from afternoon tea at the Windsor Hotel to a day at the cricket. She also organised tickets for several of us to go to the Beatles concert when they came out. Above all she was there, full of encouragement and love.
One of Ilsa's wishes was to have a red headed child. She went so far as to dye my mother's hair - not a very successful venture I believe. The ironic thing is my youngest boy has red hair, as has one of his cousins, but unfortunately they were born after she died in 1973,
I still miss her.
(This story, completed by Marg for Family Research, began as a topic in As Time Goes By, so has been added to Marg's collection of stories.)