WHO WE ARE IS RELATED TO WHERE WE CAME FROM AND WHO CAME BEFORE US. Over the years members of my extended family have cobbled together various family histories and these are their stories:
Cousin Maree Patterson collected and collated most of this material including this thumb nail sketch of her history ……
MAREE PATTERSON (Email)
Yes, this is the property that Uncle Bill talks about in his stories. They had to sell it at a cheap price due to the drought and grasshopper plague of 1939.
I haven’t spoken to Dianne for a few weeks now and she was okay then. Dianne is about 2hrs or so from me now. She used to live only about 15 minutes away, but that was several years ago now.
I live in Wellington Point, Queensland and I’m about 25kms south of Brisbane. I’m in the area known as the Redlands, on Moreton Bay. I’m about a 5 minute drive from the bay. I lived in Elderslie a street away from my brother Chris and just a couple of minutes from Mum and Dad.
In 1996 when Mum passed away suddenly and I returned to work a couple of weeks later. On my first day back at work I was called into a staff meeting which was supposed to be about an upcoming Conference. But it wasn’t about this at all, it was about Voluntary Redundancy and it was particularly aimed at me. Naturally I was devastated about this and more so as it was my first day back at work after losing my Mum.
The boss at the time was younger than me and when he was elected to office, he never really liked me as I knew more than he did. Anyway I refused to take a Voluntary Redundancy and from then on he made my job very difficult. I was the Financial Controller for the Construction Forestry Energy and Mining Union (Mining Division) and he wouldn’t tell me things that I had to do with regards to the finances that may have been discussed at Executive meetings. At the end of the Financial Year when the Auditor would come in I would get blame for not doing some of the financial things, which I had no idea about. He then kept pressuring me to take a Voluntary Redundancy but I refused as he had no grounds to sack me and he knew that. Things just got worse for me in the office but I was determined to stay, but after more than 2 years I couldn’t take it anymore so I took a Voluntary Redundancy in 1998 after working there for 25 years.
I then worked part time as a checkout operator at a local Woolworths for over 12 months and was really lost without having my Mum. In the meantime I traveled up to Qeensland to visit a friend and whilst visiting I looked around at some blocks of land. So in November 1999 I sold my home and put a deposit on a block of land in Wellington Point and packed up and left Elderslie on 1st December 1999. I built a new home on my block of land and moved in to my new home on 19th April, 2000. At the time I only knew one person here but we had a falling out as they were jealous that I was building a new home and they were only in a Housing Commission house. As I was into line dancing I went to some local classes and soon made some new friends.
You wouldn’t believe it, but about 7 months after moving into my new home, it was raining on this particular day and I decided to get on my computer and do some more family tree updates from a book that Uncle Bill had compiled. As I started entering info into my computer these names came up in Uncle Bill’s book and I couldn’t believe what I was reading. Here in front of me were these names of relatives and I quickly picked up the book and ran to my next door neighbor. My next door neighbor was related to me. Her Grandfather was Denis Roy McGrath, a brother to our Grandfather Thomas Rex McGrath. What a small world we live in. They have since moved but we keep in contact.
In 2002 my line dancing friends asked me if I would start a class and teach them. I had never had a line dancing class before, although I did fill in a few times for a teacher back down in NSW. So I started a line dancing class and it wasn’t long before I was teaching 5 days a week plus holding a monthly Social. I have also choreographed several line dances over the years and my most successful line dance is I WALK THE LINE, which went to No. 1 in Australia and New Zealand and was No. 5 in the UK. This dance is still taught and danced today, some 18 years later and is regarded as a classic line dance. Most dances only stay around for 3 or 4 months, so that will give you an idea of how popular my dance is. I kept teaching line dancing until around 2016/2017 when I gave it up to concentrate on my lawn bowls. I started playing lawn bowls in 2010 and to date I have 21 Club Championship titles to my name as well as District Champion of Champion Pairs winner twice and Brisbane Zone Champion of Champion Pairs winner once. I have also competed in the State Championships and State District Sides, as well as several other prestige events. Since I joined the local bowling club, I have set many, many firsts for the Club. I also currently hold the Club record for winning the Club Pairs Championships 5 times with the same partner.
Before I retired I worked part time with cousin Philip (Uncle Theo’s son). Philip’s son Blake had a small local factory where they made items for the Australian Army. I worked there for several years before they closed down. Following this I did volunteer driving for a local community group where I would pick up seniors and take them to hospitals, doctors, shopping or wherever they needed to go. I did this for just over 6 years and then I retired.
So that’s my story Rod and hope I haven’t bored you. Oh not sure if you knew, but my brother Chris passed away in 2008. Chris had a quadruple bypass but he really needed a heart transplant. He had a heart attack and passed away at home all alone and wasn’t found until the next day when his daughter returned home after a night away. Chris was only 56 and this just devastated me as we were always very close. Dad passed away in 2003.
Well take care Rod and talk soon.
This is a collection of the McGrath Family cousins collected by Maree Paterson – click on the link McGrath Cousins.mp4
THE McGRATH Family (I have this on file and I will edited the material into this blog as time permits)