……. “You wait till your father gets home!”
I marvelled at the beautiful rolling hills as I made my way along the road to meet June. I arrived to find her all dressed up waiting for me, a big smile on her face-complete with her carefully painted purple/pink lips. Her lipstick perfectly matched her vibrant outfit which was completed with a gorgeous ornate brooch carefully pinned to her jacket.
One of the first things to strike me as I settled in was a photo on the wall. As we walked to the photo for a closer look June told me the photo was of her and her fiancé Gordon when they were engaged. She explained how she had to get permission from her parents to be engaged and at the time of the photo Gordon was 24 and June was 20. They were married on 23rd November 1946 and in the years preceding went on to have their children and eventually they were blessed with both grandchildren and now June even has great grandchildren.
June was born in Maitland and was eldest of 4 children. I asked June what lessons she was taught by her parents, she told me they taught her, “to be honest and to be good”. And she went on to say, “not that we were always good!” Clearly- always good, they were not, as one of June’s memorable quotes on life she recalls is “You wait till your father gets home!”. As a child June would ride 2 ½ miles daily on a horse, the equivalent of 4km in today’s measurements. She laughed as she said, “it was an upgrade to get a pushbike back then”.
Thinking back to the time of the war, June told me she had worked in the ammunition depot when she was 18 for 2 ½ years. Gordon was in the war and fought in New Guinea & when the war came to an end Gordon returned to Australia and they married. In June’s eyes, the years after the war ended were the very best years in Australia and her most memorable times in her life were when she had her children. June beamed as she spoke of her family and told me her children, grandchildren and now great grandchildren are her greatest inspiration. Sadly, just a day short of his 68th birthday, June’s beloved Gordon passed away. June told me that she couldn’t live without her neighbours and spoke of the fun times they had at various balls in the local halls.
I posed the question to June around whether she would change anything if she had her time over again and I was met with a definitive, “NO……. it has been wonderful!”. A wonderful life filled with the love of family and staying active in community activities has proved to be the magic elixer for June.
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