……. “Get an education and marry someone with a profession”
I pulled up at Margaret’s gorgeous white weatherboard home in Harden NSW and as I was invited inside could feel the warmth of the woodfire and took in the aroma of the silverside cooking away.
Born in Yass in 1924 Margaret was one of 8 children, she had 6 brothers and a sister. Margaret started her schooling at Sacred Heart in Cootamundra and then went onto Columbus in Harden. Margaret’s father was a drover, her parents both suffered from depression as a result Margaret recalls that there were many challenging times. Margaret didn’t like her childhood and didn’t have many friends. She recalled learning the piano with her sister but “didn’t go much on it because she would hit me, and I would hit her back”. One time in a rebellious act Margaret spent her 6 pence school fees money at Hutchy’s shop, after her brother taught her how to spend money on lollies-they did get caught out though. Margaret confessed that she hated going to school and after her schooling she was a cleaner and then worked in a factory making war uniforms for 7 years.
During the war years was when she met Alan. She was walking up the street with a girlfriend when they ‘got the hots’ for two soldiers who had arrived on the troops train. Margaret told one of them her name was Margaret Kennedy. Not long had passed and a letter arrived at the Kennedy’s house addressed to Margaret Kennedy. When Margaret next visited the home Mrs Kennedy said, “I think this might be for you Margaret”. It was a letter from Alan. According to Margaret, Alan had ‘2 left feet’, she didn’t let that stop them though as she loved to go to the Saturday night ballroom dancing which at the time cost 12 shillings. She also enjoyed dressing up and having supper at the School of Arts. When Margaret was 25 she and Alan were married. They went on to have 7 children, 5 boys and 2 girls and were married for 56 years before Alan passed. If she could change anything in life it would be to have Alan back, she also mentioned she would have liked to have had another girl. Margaret now has 27 grandchildren and 37 great grandchildren.
Margaret’s greatest philosophy in life is the Church and her parents taught her early on what she believes is the most valuable lesson, that of ‘honesty’. Margaret’s favourite politician is Pauline Hanson because she “says it how it is” and she reckons we “should give Trump a go and stop picking on him” she also went on to tell me that she thinks that Korean fella is “a bit of a queer”.
When asked about her favourite quotes on life she replied, “Get an education and marry someone with a profession”, “There has to be something on the other side” & “Shaking in my boots at the Pearly Gates”.
Margaret claims her secret to fiving a full life is because she has 2 wild daughters and 5 wonderful sons. She just couldn’t live without her daughters, including her daughter in laws, nor her sons, all of whom have made it possible for her to continue to remain in her beloved home where Margaret has lived in for an amazing 64 years.