Saturday, 28 May 2016

Mum's 92nd Birthday - 28 May 2016

My mother, Patricia Dorothea McCann, was born in Brisbane on the 28th May 1924 the first child of George Douglas McCann and Dorothy May nee Thomas.

With her mother 1924
Mum and her parents lived with the McCann family at a house known as "Beechdene" which was on the corner of Gregory Terrace and Costin Street, now the entrance of the Royal National Show, the Ekka. 

Here she is with her father on the verandah of Beechdene
Mum had her first birthday at Beechdene, and I love the photo of her with her dolly, she received it for her birthday; Mum told me it was her favourite doll all through childhood.
Mum & her dolly - 28 May 1925

Mum's only sibling, Joan Douglas McCann, was born on 11 November 1926, completing the little McCann family.

The G D McCann's on their car

They seemed to have a happy childhood, Mum was very close to her father and helped him in the garden and around the house. My grandfather, Doug, had serious leg issues from an early accident at a sawmill so needed help and Mum delighted in helping out.

Here she is helping Dad with the grass - note the scythe
The family bought a block of land in Trickett Street, Surfers Paradise two houses from the beach early in 1933 and camped on there until Doug had some flats built. Mum told me many happy stories about travelling down to Surfers in the early days, no bridges on the highway, etc.
Mum with her cousin Margaret Johnston c 1940

I love the beach and remember many happy holidays at Havering, as the flats were known, we had the "owner's flat" of course - a big upstairs flat with a wonderful sun deck.

Mum was close to her sister Joan and was happy to have her as her sole bridesmaid when she married in 1946. The photo below was taken at the McCann residence, Denmora, before the wedding reception.

Patricia and her sister Joan 1946

Unfortunately, the marriage did not last, and Mum came home to her parents, I was born in Southport as Mum lived at Havering with her mother during the latter stages of her pregnancy.  

Here I am with Mum just home from hospital at Havering April 1947
We had many happy times, Mum and I and many "discussions" over the years as well. As is often the case we had periods of distance and periods of misunderstanding but I am pleased to note that over the last 20 years we were once again close. I phoned her every day between 4 and 4:30 and still think of her at those times.

Mum was the carer for my stepfather, who had dementia, and a tireless housekeeper. I often used to say that Mum's house was so tidy that you had to look under her pillow to see her perfectly folded nightie to see that it wasn't a display house. But, that said, it was a welcoming, loving home.

Mum passed away peacefully in her sleep at 3:30 am on Tuesday 17th March, St Patrick's Day,  2015. She would have been 92 today, Happy Birthday Mum.


  1. A lovely dedication to your Mum, Helen.
    The corner of Gregory Tce & Costin St - wow! I drove past there the other day.

  2. Beautiful photos Helen and a loving tribute. I love the photo of your mother as a baby on the running board.