Deanna Norton is -
daughter of Dorothy nee Slattery Costello 1924 - 1988
granddaughter of Alice May nee Buckley Slattery 1899 - 1974
great granddaughter of Martha nee McLachlan Buckley 1854 - 1919
great great granddaughter of -
"McLachlan of Avondale" in Australia from 1850
Memories of Times Past
Alice May nee Buckley Slattery with her
I have the most wonderfully happy
memories of holidays spent in Oberon with my grandmother - Alice May nee
Buckley Slattery, the twelfth & last child & third surviving daughter of
Martha McLachlan & Edmund Buckley.
I am now in my fifty second year
but I can still remember the excitement & anticipation as we drove through
town of Oberon, turned the corner & caught the first glimpse of Grandma's
house in Dillon Street --- down the lane & into the yard. By the time we
pulled up --- there she would be at the top of the steps waiting to greet
us --- always so welcoming, always dressed nicely & always wearing an
apron with a perfect bow tied at the back - I still don't know how she
managed THAT !
There was always so much to do &
enjoy. Holidays with Grandma for my three brothers, Jeffrey, Raymond &
Lyndon, & myself, never seemed long enough. There was a big yard with lots
of interesting nooks --- great for playing "hide & seek". There were
trees to climb, chooks to feed, eggs to collect & of course baby chicks to
be admired from time to time. A HUGE woodpile was there to explore. The
woodpile was HUGE because cooking, heating, washing & bathing all
depended on wood for the fuel that was essential to make a fire for all
There seemed always to be endless
visitors. Family & friends coming & going all the time as well as those
who lived there.
Sheds were there to investigate
--- Mr Jackson who lived in the "loft" of the big shed & had a talent
for woodwork; especially cricket bats for my brothers. Then there was our
cousin, Eric, who lived downstairs.
Uncle "Josh" (Josiah) Buckley,
Grandma's brother, lived at Grandma's home for many years. He loved to
garden & he grew all kinds of vegetables & flowers. Although he had a
wooden leg (result of some accident) he was most adept at all gardening
Alice May nee Buckley Slattery grandchildren -
Deanna Jeffrey Raymond & Lyndon
Because Grandma was a widow by
that time, I got to sleep in Grandma's big bed with her --- maybe because
I was the only granddaughter. How I loved that. It was so cosy & it made
me feel so special --- waking up in the morning to the sound of the
rooster crowing, lying there quietly & talking about all sorts of things.
Then Grandma would read aloud from
her Bible, & after that it was time for prayers. Prayers were always
said as we knelt by the bed & this was how every day started --- perhaps
the secret to the calm & gentle way that life was lived in that home.
Grandma was of the Seventh Day Adventist religion, & she lived out her
faith daily. There was a sign in the kitchen & it said ---
"Christ is the head of this house,
The unseen guest at every meal
The silent listener to every conversation."
Grandma had nice things & did
things nicely. The table was always set properly for all meals.
Tablecloths always were starched & ironed.
Alice May nee Buckley Slattery - her nephew -
Eric Buckley - son of Bill
She had lovely unusual containers
for the foods -- the honey was in a container that was the shape of a
beehive, complete with a bee on the lid, the tomato sauce was in a tomato
shaped bottle; & the cheese was always served in the cutest little
crockery house. There was always plenty to eat no matter how many were
there at meal times.
Morning & afternoon teas were a
treat for us as children. They were served outside on the lawn, always
carried out on a tray; & included little glasses of homemade cordial &
little biscuits & cakes. The little glasses were the ones the vegemite
used to come in with the pictures on them. We loved it. Such simple things
but they made us happy.
Alice May nee Buckley Slattery - her 3rd surv
brother - Josh - Josiah Buckley
Christmas was always a special
time but more so when it was celebrated at Grandma's place. The tables
were set up on the verandah. When I think about it now, I realise that
was for at least two reasons. Firstly, there was the heat --- the heat of
the climate as well as the heat of the fire in the kitchen to cook the
Christmas Dinner. The second reason was so that there would be sufficient
room to accommodate everyone, as there were always ---"extras".
Presents were never opened until
the afternoon --- that is after the Christmas Dinner was eaten, & the
washing up was done. This is a tradition our family has continued to this
Alice May Buckley Slattery - in middle - her
dau Dorothy on her left & granddau on her right - great grand dau Jackie
on lap of Dee
There is so much more that I could
write but I won't. I just thank God for my Grandma, & her example to us
all. I know that my life has beeen enriched by knowing her.
-written by -
@ Rivett (ACT) Capital Territory of AUSTRALIA
during March 2002