Wednesday, June 17, 2009
Collecting: Family letters (3)
Written by my grandmother - Sylvia Irene Veronica - to her younger sister - Vera - on the death of Vera's infant son, Laurie Boots. Both Sylvia and Vera married men named Willl. Written in November 1922 when Sylvia was nearly 27 (with a 3 year old son, Gordon and a 1 year old son, also named Laurie) and Vera 25. Grandma was living out in Wetherill Park with just a horse (Dick) and sulky to get around. To come in to Drummoyne where her parents lived took most of the day.
The extreme religiosity of this letter takes me back: Sylvia was not a church-going woman in all the time that I knew her (1948 to 1984). She was obviously distraught about the death so early of her sister's son. In 1956 she lost her own 30 year old youngest son; and, in 1972 she lost her only daughter at the age of 43. This is but a photocopy, but it is interesting to compare the handwriting of Sylvia aged 15 in the previous Collecting post and this but a short 12 years later.
Taken in 1926 at Wetherill Park, Sylvia aged 31 jiggles her third son, Athol Reginald who was to die on a curb in London in 1956. Excerpts from Athol's diary (14 Dec 1949 to 17 March 1951)will take us on an altogether different journey. If Sylvia was 27 when this letter was written, and 31 when holding Athol, then her husband, Will (William George) aged from 44 to 48 over the same period. She was a workaholic; he a lazybones.