Friday, August 19, 2011

Family Photos

Mum and Dad had six kids, but the years where all six lived at home were short, only about two and a half years by my count. There's nearly 14 years between the eldest and youngest, with me about in the middle, around seven years older than Chris and seven years younger than Maria. Chris was born in 1978, Maria in 1965. However, Maria moved out of home to study nursing in Palermston North in (1981?). She was only 16 when she left, but turned 17 the month after she started. In those days, nursing was not a University degree, and was studied in a separate nursing college attached to a hospital. Also in those days, you didn't need to finish the Seventh Form to attend a tertiary institute, University Entrance examinations were held at the end of the Sixth Form, with School C in the Fifth Form and Bursary in the Seventh Form. This had changed even by the time I went to High School, and I had to have Seventh Form before attending University.

So Chris was just a baby when she left, and also when Peter started going to Boarding School. Of course, both of them were home for holidays, and we had a full house again then. But perhaps this is one reason why finding a photo with us ALL in it is more challenging than you'd think. It seems someone's missing from most of them - Chris, or Chris and Bec from the older ones; Maria, or Maria and Peter from the later ones.

Thus, the above is what I *think* may be the earliest photo of the six of us. It's taken on the occasion of my First Holy Communion, so I would have been seven or eight, Maria about 15 and Chris a baby of course. I'm trying to figure out the dates. I think this is around Easter 1979, and Chris is about six months old. Then the one in a previous post with Poppy, on the Dining Room sofa, is from Christmas that year, so Chris is just over one year old.

I vaguely remember the photo session taking place after the ceremony, which would explain the bare feet on Jo and Bec. And the lightning-speed with which Peter appears to have shed his Sunday best for the more usual polo shirt and shorts combination! Chris looks like someone shoved him into the photo in the middle of a nappy change. Is Maria in her Sunday best or casual clothes?? Hard to tell with a teen in 1979. I, of course, am dressed up to the nines - what happened to that dress, Mum, I know Rebecca had a new one for her First Communion, so did it get tossed? Jo and Maria wore it too, right? I'm also wondering if you sewed Jo and Bec's matching peasant dresses.

And the most recent photo I could find with all six of us is this one, from my birthday party at Maria's house in 2008.

Just in case our offspring can't recognize us in years to come:
left to right on the sofa: Rebecca, Jolene, Grandma, Chris. On the floor: Maria, Rachel, Peter

And the grandies! Sofa: Maysen, Michael, Josh, Rachel holding Erica, Keelah, Shaan and Corbyn.
Floor: Gabi, Amy and Lena. Little Sarah was also there that night!

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