I have a number of favourite photos but I’d have to say that my all time fave, creases and all, is this photo of my maternal grandmother Margaret Joan Hoare taken late 1930’s/early 1940’s. Margaret was known as Joan to most people, and Mama to the grandchildren & great grandchildren.
Margaret Joan Hoare [B01_7]
Born 12 Feb 1921
Married 04 Jul 1942
Died 05 Feb 2009
Born Margaret Joan Hoare in Goulburn, New South Wales, Australia on 12 February 1921, she the was the second of three children to Maurice Strathmore Hoare [B01_14] and Grace Cecilia Barry [B01_15]. Margaret grew up in a world of boarding schools, country town balls, and appearances in the local society pages. In 1935 she came 3rd in the Taralga Juvenile Queen Competition where she raised £174/12/6.
Margaret later moved to Lewisham and married Ralph Roland Hill Presland [B01_6] on 4th July 1942, later having two daughters, the first of which is my mother. She worked in the womens shoe department in Grace Bros at Broadway, Sydney, and as a hairdresser (I wish I knew the name of the pink shampoo in a jar that she had when I was a child. I can still remember the smell).
While Mama wasn’t the type of grandmother who “played” with the grandchildren, she did look after us in other ways. I was allowed to touch the piano to practice for my lessons… and I knew where the key was hidden. She and my grandfather would take me to the orthodontist to get my braces tightened (although I don’t know if that was a good thing!). They would sometimes look after us after school. And in my senior school years I would spend Sunday nights at their house so that I could be up early for maths tutoring the next morning before school, undisturbed by my siblings. Mama would also get up to make me breakfast and secretly keep an eye on the tutor, not that there was any need to worry about that. I know she enjoyed watching each of us start our own families before she sadly passed away at 87 in Camden, New South Wales on 5th February 2009.
These photos make me happy as she is playful and, more importantly, smiling. Margaret was very self conscious of her smile which can be seen in later pictures. The lady we knew was always mindful of keeping up appearances, had her hair and nails done almost weekly, and cleaned the house before the house-cleaner arrived. I’m grateful that at least I was able to see this side of her captured on film.