The passing of a long time member Anne Wedgwood, will be felt by many in our little community.
I know this is a strange thing to post, but I have always been amazed when listening to loved ones eulogies during ceremonies, of times gone by, where they grew up, and some of the most amazing times they lived through.
On this note, I asked Anne's niece if she would mind sharing her eulogy to Anne with our group, and she kindly agreed.
Thank you everyone for coming to honour and farewell Aunty Anne in these
I would like to outline a little of Aunty Anne’s early life story as it is similar to
my Mum’s. There are also some vivid memories of my own I would like to
add before I hand over to others here who have shared so many interesting
times with Aunty Anne over many years.
Anne was in fact named ‘Annie’ by her parents Roelof and Elsje van
Waesberge when she was born on 3rd October 1927, in Jogjakarta, Java,
Indonesia. Her sister Hettie was born just one year and three weeks later.
Their father was a tobacco plantation manager. Aunty Anne’s early years
included much running around and playing outdoors. The family had plenty
of interaction with the locals, their culture and language. Apparently there
were earthquakes during Aunty Anne and my Mum’s childhood in Indonesia,
though it wasn’t really mentioned much.
In 1935, when Aunty Anne was around 8, the two sisters and mother Else left
Indonesia for the Netherlands. Things hadn’t gone too well between the
parents. Roelof remained in Indonesia and Else reverted back to her maiden
name of Broese van Grounou. Many of you here might remember her as Mrs
Broese or even Mrs Bruce.
In Holland, Else worked hard to support the girls,
becoming a teacher of couture and all things to do with fabric and design,
even lace making and embroidery, knitting etc. She made some amazing ball
dresses for the girls after the war. I’m not sure how interested Aunty Anne
and my Mum were in taking up so those skills themselves, but I know they
were always grateful for all that their mother could do. Perhaps that’s where
Aunty Anne’s love of making hand knotted rugs and cushions sprang from.
When the 2nd world war broke out, Else, whom I always called Oma, Aunty
Anne and my Mum evacuated east towards the town of Apeldoorn where
they shared a large house with 8 mostly elderly relatives. The old uncles
made spinning wheels and the women spun fleece in exchange for food from
the farmers. Maybe that’s where Aunty Anne grew to love card games so
much, I wonder if they spent hours hidden away during raids, quietly playing
bridge. I don’t know.
The sisters and Oma, being the younger ones, also had
to go out foraging and asking for food wherever they could as there just
wasn’t enough to go around. Nothing, not a thing, was ever wasted,
something Aunty Anne carried with her for the rest of her life, keeping many
a doggy bag when she couldn’t finish her meal. There is even a family story,
or maybe myth, of an elderly Aunt not wasting the hair of a favourite dog
who had passed away (maybe a red setter type of dog?) and she lovingly
spun the fleece into a pair of socks. When the aunt wore them outside, the
story says that she came home in tears saying every passing dog wanted to
lift its leg on her socks.
Meanwhile in Indonesia, Aunty Anne’s father was taken as a prisoner of war
and somehow survived the Burma Railway. He remarried in the Netherlands
and their begins a whole different story.
Aunty Anne finished what schooling was on offer during wartime Holland
being 17 when the war ended. She then held various secretarial jobs,
including one with the forestry commission and I know she had some
Then one day she came to Australia and was thereafter
known as Anne. She says it was when she was 26. My Mum told me that
another of their Aunts, Aunty Iris, who was well travelled as the wife of a sea
Captain, suddenly offered both sisters free passage to Australia, but I can’t
remember the attached conditions I’m afraid. Maybe it was to work in her
importing company. What an adventure! Mum said no thanks and Aunty
Anne said yes please. I believe something similar happened with a visit to
the Catholic Church. After this point I don’t know too much other than Aunty
Anne lived in Bathurst and then came to Allora after a few years.
If I may I would like to read a memory from Aunty Anne’s cousin Mary, who
only ever knew her as ‘Anneke’. Mary couldn’t be here today.
Also my sister Margie in Tasmania and our sons Lincoln and Sebastian send
It was sheer coincidence that my Mum married Australian and settled in
Sydney. So starts my vivd memories of trips up to visit Aunty Anne.
I know you all have many rich stories front his point on and I have taken
enough time, so I will try to just list significant points. I hope they spark some
recognition for you.
Beautiful wild old buildings, starting with what we called the Arrow Tree
House, on the road into Allora from Toowoomba. It had a red roof.
earliest memory of Aunty Anne is her running down from the dog kennels to
hook up an outdoor hose shower for me to sit under in the summer heat. I
may have been three. 1970.
With these incredibly atmospheric old buildings (also in Goomburra and
Darling St) with lots of space, came gates. To yards, animal pens and
paddocks. Behind these gates, but not always successfully, were many
different animals, of course mainly dogs, though some dogs were allowed in
the house. There were goats, chickens, calves and the free-to-roam cat or
two. Sometimes I was involved in chasing some of these. It was always very
dramatic but seemed to end up alright in the end.
All these animals had great names. I wish I could remember them all.
Aunty Anne took me places with these animals sometimes.
Which brings me to my next point. Not a small one: She always drove fast. It
Cards were a constant thing. I was urged to take up bridge. I was taught
canasta. Sorry Aunty Anne, I wasn’t any good.
I believe the happiest day of her life was marrying Uncle Geoff. Times were
good. Aunty Anne was great at soup making and would also always make
Oliebollen, a traditional Dutch treat, at New Years, usually late, but always
yummy. We met Uncle Geoff’s lovely growing family. Uncle Geoff made the
very best roast potatoes ever and Aunty Anne made everything festive and
fun and exciting. She never seemed tired and her sense of celebration was
contagious. I was encouraged to play her piano as often as I wanted. Uncle
Geoff was interested in my oboe studies too. There were more dogs, Uncle
Geoff’s included I think and a new building for Oma to move into to be near
It was a terrible blow when Uncle Geoff passed away.
Then there was a memorable and huge gathering for Oma’s 90th, held at the
Darling St house. That made Oma very happy. Two years later Oma passed
Aunty Anne eventually moved to Gatton, somewhere in there having taken
up Esperatno and bowls as well as continuing with Bridge and complicated
dog training, though no more breeding.
Roses became a thing, or maybe I
only just realised.
I didn’t see Aunty Anne much really until these last few years, we were both
busy. When I did start to see more of her, a few years after Mum died, she
was still spirited, fierce a bout the same things, adventurous and loyally
committed to her activities and communities, which is all of you.
would stand in the way of bridge or dog trials or bowls. She still drove too
fast. Still cooked a good soup and was always up for a party. Always stylish.
Always grateful for what people increasingly needed to do to help her. But
what affected me most lately, underneath her fiery determination, was her
quiet awareness and compassion for others’ struggles. She somehow knew
what I was feeling about the really important things and was accepting.
came to her own peace in the end too I believe, through that acceptance.
Please let me thank you all for being a part of Aunty Anne’s life.
everything to her and it’s because of all of you and all you have done, that
she went on, so strong for so long, with so much to live for.
I’m going to play a little arrangement now, on my oboe, of Sheep May Safely
Graze, by Bach, which was played at her and Unlce Geoff’s wedding, in this
very same building.
- United Field and Retrieving
- A gundog natural instinct is to retrieve. Retrieving Trials provide a perfect avenue for these dogs to express their natural abilities, have fun and exercise. Our sport simulates hunting conditions where the dogs ability to retrieve is tested over various terrain and conditions commonly found in hunting scenarios. The dogs retrieve Dokken Dead Fowl Trainers (artificial game) from anything from dams or creeks to thick marsh or sparse paddocks. We strive to make our competitions a friendly and social environment where our competitors can not only compete whilst having fun with their canine companions, but also enjoy the comradery and friendships that develop with people of similar interests.
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