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Joy Horsfall

remembered with her granddaughter Lisa Cooper
Memories are a funny thing. They can take you to long forgotten places, bring a smile to your face or make you sad. They can be prompted by a song, a smell, a photograph, even a recipe. It’s through family memories and her own words that I write the story of my Grandma, Joy Horsfall.

On September 30, 1919, in the final months of the Spanish Flu pandemic, Valma Joy Wescombe was born in Mildura to parents Clarence Leslie Wescombe, a Great War veteran, and Helen Irene Bull. Known as Rene, Grandma’s mother was a saleswoman originally from Ballarat who had been living and working in Mildura. Clarrie and Rene had married earlier that year in a small ceremony in Ballarat, with Clarrie proudly wearing his war uniform and Rene modestly dressed in what was post-war Australia. Known as Joy from a very young age, Grandma was the eldest of five children. Her siblings Marjorie Joan (Joan), Dallas (known as Mick), Walter, and Leslie completed the family, with Les born when Grandma was 14 years old.Life on the block at Merbein West was tough, especially in those early days of trying to get the block established. For the children there was a lot of fun to be had, but for Rene it must have been a shock to go from the climate of Ballarat to the heat of Mildura, and then to life on a fruit block in Merbein West.

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Mallee Living Histories

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