My mother was born 100 years ago today 27th May 2021. I always remember her saying she felt like she was 100 and well, now she would be there. We talked a lot about family as I grew up and I used to love to go through her photo album asking about the people in them. I would help with the Xmas card writing and displaying as I got older and that was another source for conversation. Some of her story below is from my research but much is my memories from life with her and those conversations.
My mother was born Joan Scott in Uralla NSW, the eldest daughter of Harry James Scott and Mabel Alice Scott (nee Tincknell). She was fourth in an eventual family of eight children. Her two eldest brothers were her half-siblings, the sons of my Grandmother Mabel Alice Tincknell and Bevan Clifford Harkas Lloyd and at the time, she had another older full brother, Bill.
When Mum was born in 1921, the population of Uralla was 972 and with the help of my grandparents, it increased to 1120 in 1937. Mum and all her siblings were all close as there wasn’t much of an age gap between the first five Scott children – five years to be exact! Mum and her next youngest sister, Betty, were particularly close all their lives.
At first the family lived in a rented house in Uralla close to town in an unnamed street in Woodville but later they moved to King Street, 2nd house from the corner at the end of the street on the left-hand side walking up from town. According to oral tradition it was preferable because it actually had electricity. This house still stands today but has been greatly renovated and has little resemblance to how it was in those days. According to Mum, Cooper Ryan lived on one side and Mrs Anderson on the other.  Mr Cooper was another neighbour and often, the children would hitch a ride to town on the running boards of Mr Cooper’s car. Mr Cooper was most likely JG (Joe) Cooper the licensee of the Royal Hotel until the licence lapsed and also my grandfather’s boss.
I haven’t been able to find Cooper Ryan in any of the electoral rolls. The 1930, 1934 and 1935 Electoral Roll show Harry and Mabel living at Woodville along with quite a few Ryans. In 1931, for some reason, they appear to be absent from the roll. Mrs Anderson could be either Eliza or Sarah Eliza in 1932 and 1934 roll at Woodville. In 1913 Sarah Eliza Anderson was living in King St with Betsey Anderson. The NSW Birth Index has a Sarah born 1884 Uralla mother Betsey father Robert. Unfortunately, the rolls don’t have street numbers. I suspect Woodville is where there were no street names at the time.
The children shared beds as well as bedrooms sleeping one up and one down. Their brother, Bill used to scare the others telling ghost stories at night. Although Church of England was their religion, according to my mother and Aunty Betty, the children frequented just about every denomination’s Sunday School on a Sunday. They particularly liked the Salvation Army service because they were the most entertaining.
From time to time, my grandmother would send a child off to a relative for holidays. My mother recalled being taken to her Aunt Annie’s, the sister of her mother, on a train to Glen Innes by her eldest brother Bert when she was about four years old. She cried so much that Bert had to come back and get her. Annie and her husband Jim Smith never had any children of their own, although I do believe Annie had a child and he was adopted before she was married. Mum said she loved children. Sadly, she died from rheumatic fever when still a young woman. The children called her Aunty Narna.
They all attended the local primary school at Uralla and Mum and Aunty Betty used to play hooky from sports at school and visit the cemetery opposite the school. There was an Arnott’s tin on the bushranger Thunderbolt’s grave in which tourists used to leave notes. They would spend their sports afternoons reading the notes. In 1938 Council removed the tin and at some stage, much to my Aunty Betty’s disgust because he was a criminal, they moved Thunderbolt’s grave to prime position near the front gate. Apparently, Aunty Betty was not the only one upset as there was an uproar about it from other residents as other graves were damaged in the process.
In 1928, the Uralla Times recorded that Mum was in 1st class and Aunty Betty in Kindergarten. They were both their respective class champions.  My mother’s second and third toes were webbed up to the top joint on both feet and she used to sit on them in school as she was self-conscious about them – no doubt the other kids teased her. She didn’t feel totally different though as her Uncle Tom Tincknell had webbed fingers.
In 1931 Mum was in fifth class and came second in the half-yearly exams while in 1932, Mum and her brother Bill were both amongst 34 candidates for their final primary school examinations which they passed.
Moving on to high school, in 1933 the Uralla Times recorded that Domestic Science examinations had been held in cookery and laundry and Mum was a 1st year candidate.
While at school, Mum also turned her hand to sports reporting. The following article appeared in the local paper in 1934 concerning an inter-house vigaro match:
DRUMMOND HOUSE v. TRICKETT HOUSE
By Joan Scott
The second match in the Junior Vigaro House competitions took place last Friday. A light shower early in the afternoon laid the dust and conditions were perfect.
Drummond House won the toss and the innings was opened by Fay Willard. Vera Meridith was batting well when she was bowled by Roma Muir for 6 runs. Zelle Scott and Roma Muir did all the damage with the ball for their respective sides. Zelle hit well also, but she bowls much better. Beth Cameron is another good bowler. The best all round player on the field was Gladys Dixon who dismissed Jan Dixon a very promising batsman, for the total of 7 runs.
The end of the match witnessed scenes of intense enthusiasm. Drummond House had scored 21 runs in their innings and Trickett House slowly but surely wiped off the deficit until only one run was needed for victory. Before this could be gained, however, the last wicket fell and the match ended in a draw of 21 each.
While attending to her studies, Mum was often not at school. Being the eldest girl, she often had to stay home and help with the household chores. She told me that it always fell to her as Aunty Betty used to break things. Later in life Mum thought that Aunty Betty might have been deliberately clumsy so that their mother would not want her to help and was annoyed at her own naivety.
Mum seemed to have mostly good memories of growing up in Uralla. I know it wasn’t all roses as they didn’t have much money once the Great Depression hit and there were mouths to feed but they seemed to do OK. There were rabbits around and the boys went with their father shooting them. There were also a lot of fruit trees from which they would pick fruit. Despite these hard times, the Uralla Times carried mentions of food donations from the Scott children for the hospital and other appeals organized by the school.
Mum told me that she didn’t get a real doll until she was 12 or 13 years old and that her two younger sisters got one too at the same time. It was a porcelain doll but Mum said she was actually past dolls by then. Even so she thought it was nice she was included. Prior to that Mum had always carried around a brick wrapped in a piece of cloth as her doll.
The family had pets, two dogs that I know of by the name of Snow and Towser that belonged to them in 1936. I don’t know if they had a cat as well but probably not as my grandmother was not fond of them.
Nicknames were part of life in the Scott family. Joan acquired the nickname of Domie in which the “o” sound is the same as that in woman. It came about because her father referred to her as “little woman”. Elder brother, Bill, could not pronounce “w” and he used to call her “little doman”. It stuck. Also, the interchange of names – Harry, their father, being called Henry and son, Henry being called Harry could be confusing and this trend continued down to some in the next generation.
These are Mum’s siblings:
Bertram Harkas Lloyd (19/3/1914 – 9 June 1969 ) Bert took the name Scott as Pop Scott raised him.
Harkas Francis (known as Jack) Lloyd (28/5/1917 – 23/7/1948) who remained Lloyd
William Arthur (Bill) (6/3/1920 – Nov 1972)
Betty (18/4/1922 – 9 Feb 2009)
Zelle (aka Tiny) (11/3/1924 – 17 Sept 1976)
Henry James (aka Harry or Young’un or Binti) (21/3/1925 – 22 Jan 1990)
George Albert (7/1930). Sadly George died in September 1930 at a few months of age from Pneumonia.
When the children were in their late teens and early twenties, the ones remaining at home and their mother moved to Sydney, living at Kogarah. My grandfather remained in Uralla until he had a stroke and then he moved into the home at Kogarah so that my Grandmother could look after him.
Mum told me she was not allowed out to dances and the like until she was 19 and then her two younger sisters were allowed to go too but they had to take Henry with them as well to chaperone. Mum told me how unfair she thought this was that her sisters didn’t have to wait until they were 19 and also that it was unfair that when she did get married, it had to be a dry wedding at the instruction of her mother but that restriction did not apply to her sister, Betty, who married not long after.
Once Mum was allowed out though she seemed to have a great time and she had a large group of friends. There are many photos of her out and about having fun. A lot of the men road motorbikes and the girls would ride pillion on their outings. Mum and Aunty Betty seemed to mix with the same crowd and she kept in touch with some of them after she married my father. I remember Laurie (Laurel Pearl Hodgson nee Goodman) was her best friend in those days and her husband was Frederick (Freddo as he was known). Also, Vic Moreton and his wife were another couple that Mum kept in touch with over the years.
Photos above: Mum obviously pretending that she was going to lift. Out on a picnic with friends – Mum shading her eyes, next to her Vic Moreton and behind is her future sister-in-law Elva Hay (nee Jeayes) and Ted Hay. Bicycling – siblings Henry and Betty, Mum and Max Kleindiest who lived at Hurstville but they also knew from Uralla.
In January 1943, when Mum was 21 years old, the Uralla Times announced Mum’s engagement to Norman Wolgast of Sans Souci.  Norman would have been 22 years old at the time and he was in the RAAF. In 1944 he was a Leading Aircraftman (L.A.C.) when he was awarded the British Empire Medal for courage in saving the life of a pilot, despite great personal risk, by rescuing him from a burning plane. Their engagement did not last though and I don’t think Mum was still engaged to him then. Mum said that she soon realised that, in her opinion, Norman just wanted a decoration for his arm so she broke it off. Many years later my Aunty Gwen put them back in touch and Mum seemed to enjoy the reminiscing but she did not keep in touch after that. Norman didn’t marry until quite late in life and he had a son called the same name as one of her Grandsons, Sadly, that marriage did not last and he was on his own again.
The family were all into fairly harmless practical jokes. A few months after Mum’s engagement, her brother Henry enlisted in the army. He had not long before turned 18 and Mum and her sister, Betty helped pack his bag but, unbeknown to him, they had sewed pretty lace to the legs of his underpants. He did not discover this until he was in the barracks unpacking his bag and of course he was extremely embarrassed and their joke paid off.
Mum was a tailoress during the War and she worked making uniforms for the soldiers. It was during this time she met Elva Adeline Hay (nee Jeayes) who worked at the same place. It was through Aunty Elva that Mum met her future husband, my father, Ted (Edward Walker) Jeayes. I suspect many of Mum’s friends also worked in the same factory.
Mum and Dad married on Tuesday 28 August 1945. It was the day the Allied Occupation of Japan began after the atomic bomb had been dropped on Hiroshima and then another on Nagasaki in early August. Mum wore a blue suit with a dark brown trim and Aunty Betty was her bridesmaid in a similar style pink suit. Mum’s brother Bert gave her away. I am not sure why – perhaps Pop Scott was too frail.
Theirs was a quick honeymoon of a few days in a flat at Manly Beach and then Dad had to return to the Navy to continue his war service
Honeymoon photos at Manly Wharf and on Manly Beach August 1945. I can’t help but notice the lack of luggage. My mother certainly changed in that department over the years. Thank goodness for street photographers who took many of our family photos.
Not long after, in September 1945, Dad was posted to HMAS Hobart. He left for Japan in November and they would not have seen each other again until his return a couple of months later and his final discharge in February 1946. Dad brought home many silk tablecloths and other silk items. Unfortunately, when they moved to Queensland Dad threw them all out with other things when he cleaned up my Nana’s (Jeayes) garage that they had been using for storage. I have vague memories of seeing them there too. Mum was not impressed! The only item left is this handkerchief which, sadly, has a tear in it.
When they were first married Mum told me they lived in a tent for a couple of months – perhaps that was until Dad went to Japan when she would have moved back with her mother. They then rented a flat and the landlord lived next door. The walls were thin so in order to have a conversation about him they nicknamed him Popeye. Later they built their own house which I think was at Caringbah but they had to sell it as they could not afford the mortgage at the time.
After the war Mum worked from home still tailoring. My grandmother had minded my brother for her for three months while she earned enough money to buy her own sewing machine – a Singer electric treadle machine. I remember Mum could make anything and she drew free hand patterns for clothes for me. Her sewing machine was off limits to me as she said it sewed too fast and she was frightened I would sew my fingers – it did go fast!
I am pretty sure that when they moved to Queensland the sewing machine was either given away or sold to a shoemaker – someone who sewed leather as an ordinary sewing machine would not be able to handle the work. That would have been in about 1972 or 1973. It was replaced with an ordinary singer sewing machine but Mum kept her cottons and other sewing supplies. I have inherited the two cotton reels below and whenever I see them they always remind me of her.
My father finished off his carpentry apprenticeship after the war and Mum used to write up his technical college notes for him. This served her in good stead for when they renovated future houses and helping out her children at times with their home projects.
Mum’s older brother Bill was a Sergeant in the army during World War 2 and later had many occupations including Ice Cream Vendor. Mum and Dad occasionally helped out with this, mainly so they could finish the run and go to the pub for a beer on the odd Saturday. Uncle Bill didn’t do particularly well in this business as he felt sorry for the kids who had no money to buy ice cream and gave them free ones. He had a huge following but, unfortunately, not many paying customers.
When I was born, we were living at Davistown near Gosford. Dad had bought a milk run and Mum helped him out by driving the truck. This had been a real revelation to me as I had never known her to drive at all. I don’t think she had a licence. She probably looked after other things as well like the accounts and I think she did some of the delivering too, even when pregnant with me.
When I was still a baby, we moved to 1 Undercliff Road Harbord. It had a flat that was rented out to another small family. We had chooks in the back yard and a rabbit called Whimpy. The chook house caught fire one night and the firemen knocked on the door to tell us. I caught whooping cough as I hadn’t had all my vaccinations and we think Mum did too as she developed that same whooping a few weeks later. I think my brother had to quarantine but he would have been vaccinated and did not catch it. We moved from there when I was about 4 years old. Mum and dad moved quite a lot – buying houses, doing them up and selling them.
From time to time my Granny (Scott) used to visit and she would take me down to Harbord shops when I was two or three years old. There we would go to the green grocers and Granny would buy a stack of vegetables for Mum and an ice cream cone for me. Mum told me that she had to go and see him to ask him not to sell Granny so much as we could never eat it all. Granny was used to buying enough to feed her brood of children and as she now received a pension, she thought she was rich. All the Scott children took turns of a few months to look after Granny in her old age until she needed more care than what they could provide. She would come and stay for a few months at a time and I am sure it was over a number of years.
We often took Granny on picnics. They were a big part of our family social life, usually on Sundays and always with family – either Mum’s or Dad’s or both. We often went with Uncle Bill and Aunty Gwen and when I was little Uncle Bill would take me “rock climbing”. It wasn’t up huge steep cliffs but there was some climbing up and over the rocks and they seemed high to me. A picnic with Uncle Bill was always a pic a pic.
Later on in life, an interest in squash saw Mum managing the Squash Courts in Queenscliff Sydney. It had been a Picture Theatre and I believe it was bought by Mr and Mrs Swain. The Swains then turned it in to squash courts. Mum worked there pretty much full-time I think. I remember that I used to spend a lot of time there and I have a vague memory of her working nights.
By this time, we lived next door at 133 Crown Road so I would come in after school and probably Kindy before that, but I was also left at home or I played in the street a lot too like all the other kids in those days. My older brother was probably around too playing with his friends. I was always pretty self-sufficient and independent and Mum was not far away. She was also a tough love mother so we didn’t get away with much and soon knew the boundaries. I loved to help look after the children of the mothers who were playing squash and also help Mum fill drink machines and do other small jobs for her. Amongst a lot of kids, I remember a little boy called Darren and another little girl called Verity that used to be in my unofficial charge. It was at that time I decided I would like to call a future son Darren but the name morphed a little as it was a very popular name when he was born.
I also remember we had to go to Canberra once when I was about six or seven years old as there was some kind of squash championship on and Mum had to be interviewed for the radio. We stayed in a hotel (my first time ever) and I spent most of my days going up and down in the elevator. I remember being at dinner and seeing a menu and thinking of what I was going to have only to be told I was having spaghetti bolognaise, as it as the cheapest. Mum would have scrimped and saved for that holiday as she did for all our holidays.
The Swain’s sold the squash courts to John and Joan Nancarrow. Their son Cam was an up-and-coming squash player at the time and later went on to be a World Champion player with a highest ranking of 2. After Nancarrows bought the courts and Mrs Nancarrow took over receptionist duties, Mum worked as a shop assistant at Woolworths in Manly four days a week but still worked one day a week (Wednesdays) at the squash courts for many years. Somewhere along the line Mum gave up playing squash as I don’t remember her playing when we had moved up the road a bit further to 30 Crown Rd and that was when I was about eight years old. I do remember though that she used to play with Dad and I think she won more games than she lost. She hit him a couple of times with the ball, not deliberately but when he complained she would say that Dad was just too slow to move. I suspect that might be when they gave it up.
Mum knew all the great squash players of the time through working at the squash courts. I remember them too – Ken Hiscoe, Geoff Hunt, Heather McKay were often around or topics of conversation in our house. Mum kept in touch with the Nancarrow family for many years and she had many friends from those days.
Family holidays were always organised by Mum and she paid for them out of her wages. Sometimes we went to the Blue Mountains in winter but at Xmas it was Avoca Beach and later Terrigal where we used to camp at the Skillion. They liked it there so much Dad bought a caravan and left it there permanently for weekends and holidays so he could go fishing whenever he liked. He had a small trawler moored in the bay as well called Lynette J after me.
We went to Tuncurry and Foster a couple of years too with Dad’s sister, my Aunty Elva and Uncle Ron and my cousins. First year we camped in a tent but a storm came and pretty much blew it away so we had to move to a holiday house and that’s where we went the next year too. When the storm came up everyone was out fishing except Aunty Elva and Mum – we arrived back to find them hanging on the centre pole and the tent flapping around them as all the ropes and pegs had broken. Dad and Uncle Ron weren’t too popular. They used to come to Terrigal with us sometimes too.
While working at Woolworths, Mum formed some long friendships there too. She kept in touch with them all when she and Dad moved to Mooloolaba in about 1973 and again to Woodgate in about 1983. I knew them too as I used to work at Woolworths after school and in school holidays when I was at high school. Audrey Risk was probably the closest. She and her husband, Neville visited at Woodgate and sent many family photos and postcards from their travels. Others were Mrs Hazel Creighton. “Wally” Walpole and Norma Cavanagh (later Appleton). On one of Mum’s trips to Sydney they had a Woolies reunion pictured below.
About 1973 Mum and Dad retired to Mooloolaba. It was to be the first of many “retirements” for my father. I remember Mum being a little reluctant to leave Sydney, her job and her friends but Mum made the most of it.
At Mooloolaba, Mum was very good friends with Mary James who lived across the road in Ulmarra Crescent and her husband Col. Their daughter Kate was only little and she won the hearts of both Mum and Dad. Mary was a nurse and Col a carpenter and they had met when both worked in PNG. Mary and Mum also kept in touch until Mum passed and it was Mary who, with Col, moved up to Woodgate with their caravan in Mum and Dad’s yard so that Mary could nurse Mum in her last few months. Mary is a wonderful lady and we have always been very grateful for her kindness and help at that time.
Dad’s next “retirement” was at Woodgate where Mum made more new friends. Betty lived next door with Dallas and Beryl lived a few streets away. Betty and Mum would spend time on the beach and Mum used to walk with her or on her own up to Walkers point and back every day along the sand. This was how Mum came to collect shells. She had a huge collection including many balers that covered the whole sideboard and beyond.
While living the retirement life at Woodgate, Mum used to get tired of the isolation as there was only a Post Office/general store, a caravan park and another shop up towards Walker’s Point and that closed not long after they moved there. They had to go to Childers or Bundaberg for groceries, other shopping and banking and Mum didn’t drive. So, Mum started to travel by McCafferty’s coaches or the XPT train to Sydney and visit her brother, Harry and sister Betty at Attunga or my brother at Crescent Head or friends in Sydney. She would also come and stay with me in Brisbane on her travels. She would be away for probably four to six weeks at a time, sometimes longer. Other times, especially in school holidays she would have one or two of my children come and stay for a while and she would take them for walks and show them all the natural wonders that the average tourist to Woodgate might not see. They would go fishing with my Dad as well. This was a great help to me as well as their father and I were both working. During this time, we also had a regular supply of mackerel and sand crabs that Dad caught and Mum would freeze for us.
In July 1985 Mum and my Aunty Vi (Mum’s sister-in-law Violet Scott) decided to take a round trip holiday on the grand old lady of the skies, the Gooney Bird (Douglas DC-3). They convened at my house in Woody Point ready to catch the flight the next day when we heard the news of a siege at the airport. They thought we were making it up at first.
Fortunately, all was well the next day and they were able to take their holiday.
It was supposed to be the Gooney Bird’s last flight and it took them north from Brisbane to Charters Towers, Cairns, across to Darwin, down to Alice Springs, Ayers Rock and back home to Brisbane again. They stopped at many places along the way and had a great time seeing the sights and the history of the places they visited. Mum had a map of Australia on the wall at Woodgate where she traced out their journey.
In about 1986 Mum was diagnosed with breast cancer. From memory, she had been in Sydney where she had been given a face lift courtesy of Medicare at the time. Mum had lost a lot of weight and she used to watch Beauty and the Beast on TV where the topic often came up. The panelist, Dita Cobb had them regularly and Mum used her same surgeon. He did do a very good job too. Apparently, lots of people wrote and asked for Dita’s surgeon’s name. I think Mum had been back for a check-up and she had noticed a lump. Anyway, Mum had a mastectomy in Sydney and although she looked into chemotherapy and radiation treatment, she decided against it. Mum made a good recovery.
Once she was well again, Mum continued her travels by coach and train and her visits to family and friends. My family and that of my brother would also spend enjoyable holidays at their place on the Esplanade at Woodgate. Mum loved having her family visit and she particularly enjoyed spending time with her grandchildren.
A few years later a spot was noticed on her lungs and it was watched for a few years before it began to grow. This was metastatic cancer and eventually Mum became very ill and that was when her long-time friend Mary, mentioned earlier, stepped in to give her palliative care at home. Sadly, Mum passed away on 3 February 1996 in Childers hospital where she had been admitted a few days before. Aunty Betty was her only remaining sibling still alive and I remember Mum once saying to her that she didn’t want to be the last. As were her wishes, Mum was cremated and her ashes were spread by Dad at the rose garden at the Bundaberg Crematorium. A memorial to her is on the plaque where my father was buried at Pinaroo Cemetery in Brisbane as were his wishes. Mum was 74 years old. Rest in Peace Mum, I miss you.
 Ian Handley, The Land of the McCrossins, A History of Uralla, Ian Handley, 197?
 Conversation with my cousin, John Scott son of William Arthur Scott at his house 17 Maitland St Uralla in approx., 2004/2005
 Conversations with my mother.
 Conversations with my mother
 Conversations with my mother and Aunty Betty.
 ‘Class Champions’, Uralla Times, 8 March 1928, p 2
 ‘Uralla Practice School – Half Yearly Examination’ Uralla Times, 29 June 1931, p.1
 ‘Domestic Science Exams’, Uralla Times, 7 December 1933, p.1
 ‘DRUMMOND HOUSE v. TRICKETT HOUSE’, Uralla Times, 22 February 1934, p.4
 Conversations with my mother.
 The Uralla Times (NSW Thursday 14 January 1943, p,1
 https://www.awm.gov.au/collection/R1575704 and Commonwealth of Australia Gazette, no. 134, 6 July 1944 p.1 https://www.legislation.gov.au/content/HistoricGazettes1944
All photos are from my collection.