My first memories of family life were in Romsey, Victoria, where my father was the local doctor. We lived there until I was eight, by which stage I was one of six children. Life was good. We had our own pony to ride and the local primary school, where I started my schooling, was a short walk away. My maternal grandmother was a regular visitor and a maternal aunt lived on a large sheep property a few miles distant.
In December 1952, the whole family boarded a ship to Italy as my father had decided to live in Ireland. We spent a short time in Rome, then went to Ireland via Paris. My mother was pregnant with number seven child and my father was determined that the child should be born in Ireland. This would enable them to buy property in the child's name. This did not eventuate as there was insufficient work for my father to support his growing family and he worked in Europe whilst also furthering his medical studies. This allowed us to remain in rural Ireland where we continued a relatively relaxed life. It was here we all got bicycles so we could not only ride to the local primary school, but also the five miles to the nearest secondary schools. We also took up tennis and played in various local tournaments.
In mid-1956 the family returned to Australia as my father was employed in Tasmania for a few months prior to moving to NSW. There we lived on Lake Macquarie at Coal Point from where we travelled to Newcastle for our secondary schooling. This idyllic life, where we swam, fished and mucked about in a dinghy, came to an abrupt end when, once more we moved. This time it was to Melbourne where, fortunately, the older four of us remained to finish our education. My last two years were spent at boarding school, but once again my maternal relatives came to the rescue and looked after us during the school holidays.
Education was a high priority with my parents, so I was able to attend Melbourne University before starting my working career as a biochemist at Wimmera Base Hospital, Horsham. I remained there for two years before my marriage and return to Melbourne. After our first child was born, we lived in Ireland for eighteen months, where our second child was born. We returned to Melbourne where two boys joined our two girls. In 1977 we moved to Euroa prior to buying a property out of Benalla.
We have moved a few more times, but now we are back to stay.
As you can see, I have had a fortunate life. Firstly, I was born into a large family which meant that regardless of our moves we had an inbuilt support group. We are all blessed with good genes and all ten of us are still living. My own family has also enjoyed good health and more importantly, been endowed with
‘A Good Sense of Humour’,
an essential ingredient for
‘A Fortunate Life’.