On this day in 1931 my father and mother were joined together in holy matrimony; how ‘holy’ I’ll leave you to decide. My dad was a confirmed ‘Labour’ man (whether a card carrying man we’ll never know); bordering on a ‘Socialist’. Come to think of it he was probably a communist at heart as the only song I ever heard him sing was at Christmas 1951 (our first in Australia) after consuming just on 2 bottles of Scotch by himself, was “Comrades’. It wasn’t very loud ( my dad never was loud, always calm), he was sitting in his chair and suddenly from his lips came the words; sung in tune; “Comrades, Comrades ever since we were boys …..” we were all dumbstruck. We’d never seen or heard this before.
My mother she was so far to the right, Ronald Reagan would have appeared as the reincarnation of Karl Marx beside her; so the wedding that took place on the 1st August 1931 would appear to have been doomed from the start. How it lasted is beyond me; that it did I give credit to my dad for a stoic performance.
He died peacefully in his sleep shortly before 1st August 1981, just before their golden wedding anniversary. My mother could not forgive him for being so thoughtless!
She had been living in expectations of receiving a telegram from Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth on that day congratulating her on reaching that milestone. I don’t doubt that she had taken all steps possible to ensure she got such a telegram. My dad wouldn’t have given a damn about such nonsense; (he had once declined to shake the hand of the Prince of Wales – later Edward VIII, later still Duke of Windsor but that’s another story for another time.).
Nearly two years after the wedding their first child was born to be followed two years later by their second.
Exactly thirteen years after the event a daughter was born; my sister Carole Ann.
I can’t help thinking she was an accidental baby, which is not her fault, but lets face it she was born 1st August 1944 and the war was still on; Sonny and I were not at home for the happy event we had been evacuated to Burnley (20 Grey Street) in Lancashire for the final stages and birth. Is it any wonder I believed that babies were found in cabbage patches?
As can be expected my mother was not very happy to have her fight with Adolph Hitler interrupted and especially by a daughter so the task of naming my sister happily, for her. fell to my dad. For some reason my mother wasn’t particularly fond of girls, I know she had no time for the girls who lived on our street and quite frankly I don;t think she had much time for her own daughter; she did what she had to and that was about it.
Had my mother named her she would probably have been called Gertrude or Daisy, she was rather fond on ‘Gert & Daisy’ two musical hall performers with perhaps Vera thrown in (think Vera Lynn). A woman of great taste when it came to names was my mother.
My dad as you can see had a much softer taste in names; and he had a soft spot for girls, he was gentle towards them and I think that the girls responded to him, his soft, purple, smiling eyes and his calm gentle nature. He was a sweet shy man I think.
Carole was lucky in that she inherited her dads traits when it came to children. At one time she was hostess on a children’s program on the Television; I never saw the programs and I have no idea on which channel they appeared. She also became a teacher to primary school children, and has taught both in Australia and overseas
She also had a musical bent and for some time was a member of the Victorian Banjo Club; she played a mandolin and later she and her future husband Robert, with a couple of friends formed a group. They did get some air time but they picked the wrong time to start; they began around the same time as a group who called themselves “The Seekers” and we all know that that group went onto fame and fortune.
Anyway Carole went on to be happily married, and is now a devoted mother and grandmother and she and her husband are now enjoying life travelling and perhaps having fun. I hope so!
Carole and I have been estranged for a number of years, we just drifted away from each other. As children we were, I think, particularly close anyway today is her day, the anniversary of her birth and I wish her many more.
Being the first day of August is another birthday here in Australia. All thoroughbred horses celebrate their birthdays on this date so a very happy day with plenty of oat’s for all our equine friends.