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Betty Ireland

shares her life with Jenny Carver

Elizabeth Carolina Ireland (nee Reid) is of Scottish and Irish descent. “My grandparents came to work at Lake Victoria. My maternal grandparents came from the Channel Islands and my paternal grandparents came from Scotland and Ireland”. Betty was born on Guy Fawkes Day, November 5, 1928. She was ninety-one on Melbourne Cup Day this year - 2019. She says, “I was born at the Bush Nursing Station because my mother didn’t have time to get to the hospital. My father was James Ernest Reid. He was born on Central Para Station out near the Anabranch in NSW. My mother Susan Caroline Andrewartha was 101 when she died”. “I was an accident!”, says Betty. “I came after two brothers and two sisters. My sister Edith born in 1921 had polio from the age of three until she died aged forty in 1961. We had a happy home and Edith was well looked after by the family until her death. There were two cots in mother’s room, one for Edith and one for me. Mother would lay out all my clothes and I had to dress myself while she dressed Edith. Goodness knows how I did it? Edith couldn’t say Elizabeth, so mum decided to call me Betty. Betty says that Edith’s passing was quite sudden, and her mum went to pieces. My parents had not had a holiday in a long time, so I drove them to Glenelg, South Australia. Someone asked how I was going to drive into Adelaide”.

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Mallee Living Histories

The Mallee’s Living Histories full editions are available for purchase from Princes Court Community Living Shop.