Monday, 19 December 2011

Mary Webster RIP

Today the funeral takes place of my cousin Trevor Webster's wife Mary. In fact, it has already happened, the "venue" being Sydney, New South Wales. Mary and Trevor put Leo and me up for a few days when we went to Sydney in January 1998 - in fact more than that, they provided endless hospitality as well as introductions to places we would never have discovered on our own.

We had first met several years before that, following my father's death: then we lived up in the Cotswolds, and they came to supper while - by one of those extraordinary coincidences - staying with an old friend of Mary's from the next village.

The story of Mary and Trevor's emigration deserves wider publicity: together with their 18-month-old son, they set off from England in June 1958, along with another couple - two cars and much luggage - driving across almost the entirety of Europe and Asia. Arriving in North Australia by boat, they were all set to turn left for Sydney, but were warned against this: "you could never carry enough water to get through on that route!" So, turning the other way, they arrived in Sydney on 17th January 1959 via Perth, Adelaide and Melbourne. On our 1998 visit, we saw the car they had come in. It was in course of restoration, subsequently completed.

Mary's last illness was short, her death (aged 81) sudden. She will be sorely missed by her three children and five grandchildren, as well as by countless friends; but in particular by Trevor.

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