In Meet the Residents we will speak with a resident of Dubbo - talking to them about their childhood, changing times, and what they want to pass on to the next generation. This week, we spoke with Mary Louise Chambers from Orana Gardens.
A summary of my life: It has been and still is a very good life in spite of many ups and downs. I am the eldest of 13 children (only five of us are still alive).
We had a very happy but strict childhood with both parents being there for us, teaching us to work hard and share out things and too look after and help each other, our extended family, friends and neighbours.
According to age and what we were capable of we were all given jobs to do - there was no such thing as pocket money but we never went without because we had fowls supplying eggs, all vegetables home grown in plenty, with enough for ourselves and to give away to others. What money Dad earned was used to pay the mortgage, council and water rates, electricity, meat, milk and groceries etc.
My most favourite meal: Growing up it was rissoles and vegetables and Queen Pudding which I still enjoy. Now it is turkey etc and pavlova. My guilty pleasures are chocolate coated rocky road biscuits and dark cooking chocolate.
For what in life do you feel most grateful? I am most grateful for my parents and how they brought me up and for always having open house and welcoming everyone. Because of this when the British center asked people to take in the boys for some rest after being in action while their ship was refitted, dad said he would take a couple.
That took three weeks and Fred and Laurie were the first boys that he brought home. Fred was the younger and whenever their ship came back to Sydney he came back to our place. We started general correspondence.
He called my parents mum and dad and because of censorship he couldn't let his family know where he was. Mum wrote to his family and sent food parcels so they would know where he was having leave. Because he made our place his home we saw more of each other and our letters became more serious.
He applied for discharge in Australia after peace was declared on JP day in 1945. Because I was underage and he knew dad wouldn't let me go to England. He was discharged in Australia later, found a place to broad and got work. We were married after I turned 18 in 1946.
A perfect day: Would be mild and sunny with everyone healthy and happy.
My greatest achievement is my family. I have five children, 22 living grandchildren, 37 living great grandchildren and a great great grandson. I love and am proud of them all.
While I say its my greatest achievement I have made many mistakes over the years in handling some situations and I hope they have been forgiven.
What was the best decision you ever made? Deciding with Fred to move into Dubbo and Orana Gardens.
The most interesting thing about me is that with the assistance that is available I am managing my own life and affairs and still have my full driving licence which gives me independence.
Tell me one thing you can teach this next generation? Enjoy life with all its ups and downs and learn from it and take advantage of all the opportunities that come your way.
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