Sisters doing it for themselves
Sisters, Marjorie Holman and Rhonda Brown, aged 97 and 91 respectively, are both enjoying the support provided by Resthaven Community Respite Services.
Marjorie especially has a long association with Resthaven, having volunteered at Resthaven Westbourne Park as a Chaplain’s Assistant and in the site shop for more than 20 years.
Rhonda and Marjorie were born in Booleroo Centre in the mid north of South Australia, in 1921 and 1927 respectively. They lived with their parents and siblings on a farm, and attended the one-teacher Booleroo West Primary School, and the local secondary school. They have fond memories of their horse drawn buggy, and their draught horse pulling the plough and other farm equipment.
Rhonda recalls that there was no electricity in the house, with water being drawn from an underwater tank via a hand pump.
Rhonda left school aged 14 to work on the family farm. Whilst she recalls never having a doll to play with when a child, her father often made wooden toys, and there was always lots to do. She has fond memories of her early years, and in particular the local dances.
In 1948, Rhonda left Booleroo Centre and came to Adelaide looking for work. While working at the Cooperative Stores, Rhonda’s boss invited her home to meet their son, Jim. As they say, the rest is history, with the pair getting married and going on to have four children and six grandchildren. Rhonda volunteered extensively at schools, mothers clubs, and in craft groups throughout her life.
Marjorie, the eldest, has a different story to tell. She attended Adelaide Teachers College for two years, and her first posting as a teacher was to ‘Itali Itali’, a one teacher school of just nine children, before going to teach at Port Augusta and Kyancutta.
It was in Kyancutta at a dance in 1942 that Marjorie met her husband, Ron, who was on sick leave from the Air Force. They went on to have five children (one baby was sadly lost at six days old), and now have 12 grandchildren, two step grandchildren, and, at last count, 19 great-grandchildren.
Together, Marjorie and her husband ran a store in Kyancutta on the highway for 20 years, before coming to Adelaide in 1995, where Marjorie was a Lay Preacher for the Uniting Church. During this time, she also volunteered as a Chaplain’s Assistant at Resthaven Westbourne Park.
Marjorie is still going strong at 97 years young, and credits her longevity to having a positive attitude, active lifestyle, and the advances in modern medicine.
Marjorie and Rhonda both attend and thoroughly enjoy the Resthaven Community Respite Services ‘Lane Cottage’ Wednesday group, and the ‘Ladies Luncheon’ group on Fridays.