Mother Tree


DSCN4166 photo for webConvict Mother
(My great great grandmother)

Widowed woman cast to the
far off colonies as a convict.
Sailing to a strange land
bound to a bulkhead
Assised as a servant
Hannah marries an ex-army officer
attends to a well-to-do family
toiling with servant duties.

Bearing ten children in a chilly climate
nurturing with nature
suckling them during searing heat
in the untamed countryside.
Dies young in her fifties
Convict mother overcomes
adversity and starts
a dynasty in this distant land.

Hannah Kember (nee Underhill)
Born: 1808 UK,
Lived: Narellan, Wollogorang NSW
Died: 1866 Bredalbane, NSW

Pioneer Mother
(My great grandmother)

First steps taken in a harsh climate
work and servitude
Francis born sixth of ten children
learns the Australian way.
First husband dies when newly-wed.
Second, already a wanderer
emigrant chasing gold,
takes her across untamed country.

Primitive existence as a pioneer woman
opening up a new country
meagre pickings. Six children living
one left behind in a lonely grave.
Later she cares for her daughter’s children
Survives her husband by ten years.
Her obituary: highly respected
resident of the western district.

Francis Berwick (nee Kember)
Born: 1845, Wollogorang NSW
Lived: Boggabri, Gennedah, Narromine NSW
Died: Nyngan, NSW

Edwardian Mother
(My grandmother)

Country born and raised
Florence the traveler
marries an itinerate worker
A fettler fixing railway lines
around the NSW country.
With her four children in tow
she moves house and home
to be a loyal wife.

Finally settles in Sydney
A committed Christian
she starts a Sunday School at home
gospel rallies on nearby vacant land
Welcomes her extended family to stay
Friends and vagabonds offered food
handouts during the depression, war
Country kindness enfolds her city life.

Florence McGeorge (nee Berwick)
Born: 1879 Gunnedah, NSW
Lived: Narromine, Cobar, Wellington, Camden, NSW
Died: 1940 Sydney, NSW

Modern Mother
(My mother)

Born youngest after three boys
Margaret assumes a caring role
unwell mother, needy brothers, father.
Expected to fetch, carry and obey
Mother’s rules ingrain her life

She marries her soul mate
cherishes her Christianity
loses firstborn son
rears two daughters
grooms them to become like her.
Caring mother. Giving mother

Advances in technology
catapult her into the 21st century.
Sulkies to spaceships
coppers to computers
pioneer doctors to pacemakers

Mum and Kate ed

A favourite in the nursing home
cuddles and hugs returned now
from great grandchildren
extended family and friends.
A lifetime of devotion not forgotten.

Margaret Ware (nee McGeorge)
Born: 1914, Nyngan, NSW
Lived: Wellington, Camden, Sydney, NSW, Qld
Died: 2008, Nambour, Qld