She was born 115 years ago today, a Saturday, in Lilydale in Tasmania to parents who had emigrated from England. When she was 17 she caught a ship with a sister, Mary, to Invercargill and made a life in New Zealand, mainly in Christchurch with some time later in Auckland.
Grandma married twice, to Victor who died of cancer in his 40s, but not before they had four boys, all now in their eighties and a daughter Ruth, who died soon after she was born.
Twenty-five or so years later she married Grandad Merrick. He was lovely man and for me was the grandfather I remembered the most. When he died at 88, Grandma was in her late seventies. I doubt any of us appreciated what it meant to Grandma to have someone to love and cherish after so many years alone. Their ten years together were undoubtedly the best in many years for both of them. I am not certain Grandma ever got over the loss of Ernie, whom she so obviously loved very much.
During their time together they traveled extensively in their Datsun 120Ys, and delighted in retelling the attention the Police gave them whilst hunting for the killer of Mona Blades, apparently last seen in a similar car. They were simply a happy couple in love, enjoying their time together.
She has a special place in my heart to this day. In her grief for Grandad Merrick she taught me that everyone values someone special.