16 November 1934 – 6 December 2020
Author: Margaret Ann McDonald, Margaret’s daughter
Born on 16 November 1934 in Ballarat at the end of the Great Depression, youngest of five sisters, Margaret lost her mum to breast cancer when she was just 10 years old. She completed primary school and some years of secondary before she decided to go nursing, completing her nurses aid certificate and finding her true vocation – helping mothers and children in maternity settings. It was also at this time she met her lifelong friend Marie Gunn and she became known as ‘pud’. Given she was summoned to the matron’s office where she was advised to be mindful of her diet otherwise she would end up like a Christmas pudding. ‘Pud’ stuck and she always smiled when she was called ‘pud’.
After only a few months nursing, it wasn’t long before during a family visit to Wychitella she met Teddy. Was it love at first sight? Probably had to be because on one of their first dates Ted was driving her to a dance in Charlton when he charged through some water across the road. The floor of the car erupted and mum was covered in water and mud on her dancing outfit…. It must have been love.
Margaret and Ted were soon an item and it wasn’t long before they moved to Melbourne and were married in 1953. Well and wouldn’t you know it, Trish was there before the kettle boiled. Then for the following years, yearly we started to arrive, with the baby of the family Jo arriving in 1971.
Mum adored and loved dad. They were a great match and couple. Not perfect but perfect for each other. They were busy with babies for 17 years, no complaints, just love and happiness together. During these years mum also worked two nights a week at St Georges Hospital maternity ward. She made many great friends there, and funnily enough it was a doctor from there who noted to her after the birth of Jo, that perhaps she and Ted had done enough in the children department and that they should start relaxing more together, perhaps even in separate rooms.
Mum could not be described as a chef but she was persistent in the kitchen. Her vegetable lasagne was her greatest triumph and the grandkids loved it. Not so many would turn up for lambs fry and bacon.
Mum’s life was filled with children at school and her involvement with the church, particularly the Holy Redeemer School and Church communities. She made great friends with many of the mums, such that they stayed together for years after all her children had left the school.
When dad passed away over 30 years ago, mum put all her energies into her family. She loved all the grandkids and enjoyed every visit and every opportunity to see them. It was super dooper heaven all round. She spent the last 20 plus years in her unit and it was only in the last 12 months that she moved into Nazareth House, a Catholic nursing home and a place ideally suited to mum because of her deep religious beliefs. She was very happy there and her unexpected passing was a shock to us all.
We will miss mum, she was a loving and caring mother and an inspiration to us all. She will be pleased to be reunited with dad and we are sure she would like to bless us all here.