My name is Kate, and I had the privilege of being Verna’s granddaughter.
Verna was better known as Mam, Mammy or as we called her, nan.
It is within this context I shall speak from and share with you the full life of our beautiful Nan.
On behalf of my family, I would like to begin by thanking everyone that is here today and those who have sent their condolences.
We have received countless phone calls, messages, flowers, meals, visits, thoughts and prayers.
They have been comforting during this difficult time and have been a reminder of the impact Nan had on so many lives.
Nan was born in Jerilderie NSW on the 15th January 1924, and lived there until she was about 19 months old, then moved to Parkes.
Nan was the daughter of Bob and Ivy Taylor and was one of thirteen children.
Bobby, Rosa, Margaret, Joan, Dawn, Delma, Olive, Anne, Mickey, Brian, Terry and Sandra.
Margaret died as an infant and her mother also lost twins.
Nan grew up in a four bedroom house with a pan toilet.
Rosie won money in the lottery and brought their mother a Krysler wireless.
There were four kids to a bed and the bedspread was made from wheat bags and was covered with craton, it was call a Wagga Rug and was made by her parents.
Nan was originally a Methodist and she used to teach Sunday school and sing in the choir.
Nan’s mother made her clothes and her brother Bobby also knitted her an orange skirt.
Nan’s mother taught her how to knit and she knitted scarves, jumpers and booties and baby sets.
Nan attended Parkes Public School, she hated school and would often talk about the time she was given the cane for not being able to draw a cat.
Nan left school at age 12 to help look after the other children.
She was a housekeeper at 13, and her duties included cleaning and boiling the copper to wash the clothes in.
Nan only ever had a new dress at showtime.
She had her first birthday party at 15 and she also received her first doll at the same age.
Nan said she remembered crying with joy as she placed it on top of her wardrobe.
Growing up Nan’s best friend was Beryl Kincher, and their favourite thing to do together was to go to the pictures.
Beryl died at the age of 18 of a hole in the heart.
Charles Shambrook moved to Parkes with the airforce, and it was during war times that Nan and Pop fell in love.
They married in 1942 and their first daughter Maureen, was soon born, 14 months later Bubby came along.
The family moved to Cairns while Pop was in active service during the 2nd world war.
They relocated back to Parkes when the war was over.
Pop and Nan opened up a bootmaker business in Clarinda Street, which was located where Onnies Coffee shop is today.
Their first son, David, was born in 1949, Tony in 1956 and Robbie 1965.
Sadly at six months of age Robbie passed away.
For most of their years Nan and Pop were residents of Callaghan Street, their home being one of the first houses built in the street at the time.
During those years Nan not only raised her own children but was also a second mother, and nan, to numerous others over the line and was known to them as Mammy.
Every Melbourne Cup Day at the old Tennis club in Callaghan Street they’d have a tennis day and they would run sweeps.
When they closed that down, Nan took up running the sweeps from 21 Callaghan Street every year at two bob a sweep.
The whole of Callaghan Street and all of Middleton would line up out the front of Nan’s house to get their sweeps.
Nan’s community spirit branched out helping for many years with the Sunshine Club and 37 years volunteering at Vinnies.
In 1988 Pop passed away.
Nan’s faith helped her through this difficult time as she continued on with family life.
Nan enjoyed playing cards at the club and going to the draw at the Leagues Club.
Also in Callaghan St, Nan would sit on her veranda knitting, reading, doing “find a word” puzzles and mostly having a chat with someone in the street who’d dropped in to visit.
Everyone was welcome.
All the kids would pop in for a lollie or an ice block.
She was tough, enduring several hip and knee replacements.
Nan had to leave her home behind to be cared for by family.
Nan overcame cancer and had to have a mastectomy.
The most painful times of all was the loss of three of her children, Aunty Maureen, Uncle David, Uncle Robbie and most recently her Grandson Darren.
She loved to play with her grandchildren, have a laugh and, as she used to call it, “acting the goat’.
Nan was full of life, she was known for her great sense of humour, and she was cheeky and downright fun.
She had an eternal love for her family and a special bond with her grandchildren, great grandchildren and great great grandchildren.
Saturday mornings and afternoons were always fully booked with their sporting events and you knew Nan was there from her constant cheering.
Nan was very involved in her family's lives, being at every special event including school celebrations, masses, assemblies, weddings, birthdays and award ceremonies just to name a few.
Nan loved to watch sport on the telly, especially cricket and football.
Her cheering and “go go go’s!” could frighten you, especially if you weren’t ready for it and when Nan and Aunty Bub were watching it together, well... it got very loud.
Nan was never one to complain, she would never let anyone go without, whatever she had she would make sure it was shared around.
Whenever we would go anywhere with Nan she would get stopped by passers by saying g’day to her, giving her hugs and kisses.
She knew everybody.
Sometimes after Nan had stopped to talk a while with someone, they’d even given her a big kiss, we’d ask “Nan who was that?” and she’d say “I don’t know”.
Nan had a way of making everyone feel special, she was such a good friend to all.
One of Nan’s most humbling moments was being recognised by Chicka & Dezzy Sharpe with a surprise gift of appreciation for being their long time special friend, at their wedding anniversary.
I think how Nan made people feel was best summed up in a few words this week by a special family friend.
“From the time we met nan we instantly felt like family”.
My daughter and Nan’s great granddaughter Evie would like to read a special note she has written for her nanna.
N is for Nana who was really nice
A is for Always giving the best hugs and kisses
N is for Nana who loved me
A is for And shared he lollies with me
Some fond memories I have of Nan is:
Nana was funny.
Nana always stuck her false teeth out at us and made us giggle.
I loved Nana and Nana love me.
Nana was the best Nana EVER.