Rest in Peace
Olive Maisie McLeod
24th March 1924 - 16th October 2009
Funeral Service at the Newhaven Crematorium , Mackay Queensland
Thursday October 22nd 2009
(written by David McLeod, delivered by Rod McLeod)
I would like to welcome you all here to celebrate the life of Olive McLeod.
Now I know this ceremony may seem a little strange to you, but knowing Olive as you all do perhaps it may not seem so strange after all when you think about it.
Olive loved a party.
She always said she would like to be able to participate at her own funeral, but not one with all the somber music and words.
So we will try to do just that.
Yesterday, Olive was cremated here at a private ceremony.
So there will be no coffin, no somber words or music, just us bunch of friends and relatives doing just what she wanted, having a party to celebrate her life, not her passing.
Let's get on with it!
Everybody here knows Olive!
But only in little bits and pieces.
Few knew all of the real Olive, as her life was diverse and spread over the world. We are going to go back in time, and try to explain all her life, and you will understand where and why you all were part of it.
Olive Maisie Milne was born on the 24th of March 1925, in Mackay, daughter of Andrew Brough and Annie Milne, sister to Winnie, Grace, and Gladys, and later to Colin. The family home was at 20 Malcom Street North Mackay.
Olive came from a long line of pioneers settling in Mackay, Nebo and parts of the district. Her father was a well known engineer who has left his stamp on Mackey, a visit to the local Mackey museum will tell you more about his history.
Olive was educated in the local Mackay schools, I am sure some of her old school friends are here today! She spent a large amount of her free time at her favorite place, Eimeo.
She was a keen student, and wanted to continue her education past the level where girls normally left, but she was thwarted in these efforts by the social values at that time, where girls were expected to learn more of a marriage role that that of an educational one.
The war changed that!
THE WAR YEARS.
Olive joined the Woman's Royal Australia RAAF, and off to Brisbane she went!
Her first posting was as a Teletype operator, based at Newfarm Barracks, where she met many new friends.
We aren't going to go through the war time hardships she would have encountered, except to say that's where she met Tom, and I don't think that was any sort of hardship at all!
Her wedding to Tom was delayed several times, due to Tom being overseas doing his part in the war, but eventually the big day came on the 1st of June, 1946, when she and Tom took their vows in the Mackay Presbyterian Church.
This is the start Of Olive's New World.
THE RAAF YEARS.
Olive resigned from the RAAF in September 1945, but the RAAF was not done with her yet, not by a long shot. Her marriage to Tom was to ensure a long relationship with the RAAF, taking her all over the world.
In September 1947, her first born son Rod appeared on the scene.
This coincided with the start of her first O/S trip to New Guinea, where Tom had a 2 year posting.
That was the start of a life in the moving lane.
Port Moresby 1947
Sydney/Mackay 1950 (Korea) (David appeared on the scene.)
The Airforce had led them on its merry way, but after Tom's retirement, Olive's new life would take another turn.
THE UNIVERSITY YEARS.
Tom's new job at the James Cook University in Townsville opened up new possibilities for Olive, as this was to be a permanent position, no more postings!
Olive opened her creative and business ideas and Tom joined the Angling Club.
BACK TO MACKAY
When Tom retired from the University, a decision was made to return to Mackay.
They designed and built a new house in Shoal Point, a whole new garden to plan and entertainment area to complete.
Tom passed away on the 25th of March 1997.
The house in Shoal Point held too many good memories, and Olive decided to start this phase of her life in a new house in North Mackay, close to her birthplace.
Olive moved to the Gold Coast to be close to her nieces and with her new friend Don made the move.
BACK TO MACKAY AGAIN.
Olive decided the Gold Coast was not her style, and made the move back to Mackay, buying a house and settling into Andergrove.
PARTIES AND FRIENDS.
"Count your age with friends but not with years" (anon)
If this saying is true, Olive lived for a very, very long time!
She had a natural ability to make and keep friends, some friendships going back 70 years!
Music played a large part in Olive's life, not only for her but for the entire family.
Olive played the Guitar, the mouth organ, piano, and is a renowned wash board player!
Rod was blessed with a great musical talent, and plays, composed and sings songs of every kind. David is a fair hand with a CD player.
HOBBIES AND OTHER INTERESTS
Olive the Volunteer.
Another of Olive's traits was that of caring.
She gave much of herself in helping others and causes.
Over the years Olive donated her time to
The Red Cross,
Meals on Wheels,
Local charities in different locations,
Australia Day Associations,
Olives love of animals shows through with the large variety of pets she has had over the years.
Dogs of different varieties, Canaries, budgerigars, gallahs, wild birds she has rescued and released, the list goes on!
Olive formed several businesses, the first being TOS, Townsville Organizing Services, which organized cleaning services, child minding, delivers services, you name it.
The business thrived and Olive moved on to Big Jack Shirt Shack, where her sewing skills made shirts for large people.
And all of this while being a mum and housewife.
"Olive was a Traveller, not a Tourist"
The RAAF fed Olive's taste for travel, and after the parting of the ways, Olive branched out to see as much of Australia and the world as she could.
Every state in Australia, plus many exciting trips through places not on the beaten track. On safari by 4 wheel drive through the West and Cape York, helicopter rides through the outback in WA, the Bungle Bungles, Ayres Rock, Alice Springs, many more, Olive saw them all.
And she didn't limit herself to Australia.
Rest of the world.
The Americas, Mexico, South Africa, the UK, all were on Olive's list.
And everywhere she went, more friends were added to her already huge list.
I'M NOT JUST A MOTHER YOU KNOW!
And she wasn't.
Olive was many things during her sojourn here,
Inveterate "letter to the editor" writer
That brings us to an end of this story of Olive's history.
We hope you now have a fuller picture of Olive's life story.
We would appreciate it if you can fill in any gaps or would like to add any comments.
Olive was full of life, loved dancing, partying and being with her huge range of friends.
So don't be sad about her passing, be happy that she led a full and interesting life, and that she will be well remembered by all who knew her.