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Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Christmas Letter 2012

Hi all,

This year brought some sadness to our family, with the passing of Margaret’s Mother, Joyce, in September. Joyce was 93 years old, having been born into a very different era, within a year of the ending of World War I. She lived a long and fulfilled life, having brought up five children, and having cared for her often ill husband. She is greatly missed.

Joyce with her 90th birthday cake

Stephen’s parents are still in care, at Colton Close Glenroy. Eric is doing well, and enjoying his life. Edna, as has been the case throughout her life, is struggling with health issues, but she keeps soldiering on. She amazes us with her determination and resilience.

Here they are at the Wednesday morning sing along called "Band Practice". Sadly Edna has not been well enough to attend these events in the last few months

Some of our grandchildren have achieved milestones this year.
Our oldest grandson, Joshua, has completed year 12 and is looking for an apprenticeship, probably as a diesel mechanic.

He is also something of a muso as well.

Our English grandson, Jeremy, has started Secondary School this year.

The rest of our grandchildren continue on with their schooling and are often avid in the sporting field, including basketball, softball and horse riding.

We have been very busy this year, as both of us are active on committees in our Retirement Village and in our Probus Club, but we still found time for one overseas trip – to Italy. As often happens when we visit Europe, we met Philip (and Bev) in an exotic city – this time Rome.

Although Margaret often talks to her son on the phone, it is a delight to meet him in person. We will see him soon as he is coming to Australia for a few weeks soon after Christmas. In Italy we visited many famous cities including: Rome, Siena, Florence, Pisa, Milan, Venice, Assisi, Sorrento and Capri.

Here is a link to the first page of my posts on that tour.

One of the highlights of the trip was a gondola ride in Venice. Note Margaret is at the back left.

Margaret and I weren't the only members of our family to travel overseas this year. Mark and Beth holidayed in Fiji.

We are looking forward to March next year when we will complete our terms on the Village committees, which will give us more time for our personal activities including travel. We are currently planning a trip to France, Ireland, Scotland and England next year. The first event we have booked is a tour of the Somme battlefields. Stephen’s paternal grandfather was wounded at Villers-Bretonneux on 30th April 1918, so this trip is partly in memory of him. In October we plan to visit Albury for Probus Rendezvous, followed by a week at our timeshare in Bright.

An important milestone next year is Margaret’s 70th birthday. People at our age don’t always look forward to birthdays, but this one will be special. We will celebrate it in Preston (England), with Phil, Bev, Bronwyn, Hayley and Jeremy.

When we arrived at the Village, in late 2007, there was a great deal of work to be done to complete it. At times we despaired of it ever being completed. We are therefore very pleased that all of the housing has been finished and that only some minor roadwork is required for the Village finally to be declared complete. New people are coming in all the time and it is good to meet them.

Below are two photos taken from the end of our street about a year apart.


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