V is for Vincent, Vincent Joseph (Vince) Connor, my father. Vincent was born on the 18th June 1915 in Newcastle, New South Wales, the sixth child of Arthur Connor & Dorothy Vero. His mother, Dorothy, died in 1923 of breast cancer and exhaustion when he was only eight and his eldest sister Kath, aged fourteen, took over the responsibility of caring for the family of seven.
Vincent worked as a fitter at the steelworks and joined the Australian Army in 1940. He was drafted into the Service Corps and served in Queensland, Victoria and New Guinea. He met my mother in the Brisbane Botanic Gardens one Sunday in 1946, and they married on the 14th October 1946 at the Holy Trinity Church of England, Fortitude Valley.
Unfortunately, things did not go well for the marriage and Vincent deserted my mother early in February 1947. I did not know my father but have managed to piece together through family history a sketch of his life. He did not marry again and died in November 2001 in Glenroy, Victoria. From his death certificate, Vincent died of bowel cancer and schizophrenia. Tracing his life it became evident the he had suffered from schizophrenia while in the army and afterwards with quite strange notations in his service record. He was in and out of Royal Park Hospital in Melbourne for a number of years and lived in a nearby hostel where he cooked for the residents and helped with the garden.
I think Vincent lived a solitary life and I wish I had had the opportunity to know him. He did not appear in any public records after his marriage in 1946 and I traced him only when the State Trustees in Victoria put a private tree on Ancestry. So you see, Ancestry can be useful.
Vincent is buried in the Yan Yean Lawn Cemetery, Victoria.
Rest in Peace Dad ...