Now, do you know how many grandkids
Oh, I think I've got ten.
And ten great grand children?
No, close 12.
And how many great, great grandkids
do you have?
Yes, the lovely Liam.
Phoebe Elizabeth Parker.
103 and a half.
30th of the ninth, 1919.
In Durham, South Shields, England.
I've got two cats there.
A black and white cat
and me doll.
And I put me doll in hot water
and she melted.
That's my father, Alexander.
Yes he was a good father.
I was his pet.
She was Phoebe Elder MacDonald
before she married.
She was a dressmaker.
Made all our clothes.
Used to sew all...
I can remember her
making me stand on a chair.
So she used to take the hems up.
Mary and Margaret and my brother Don.
But his name was Joe McDonald.
He had the same name as my mother
so I don't know who his father was.
He was coming to Australia,
he was 14,
but he died in the June
and we came out in the October.
My mother and my two sisters.
Arrived on my fifth birthday.
That's when we arrived from England
after we got off the ship.
My father, he come over before us.
He come over
and got us a house In Fairfield
and he opened the pastry cook shop.
I used to go after school
and help serve in the shop
and I used to make the lamingtons.
I was seven when my mother died.
Cancer. And I missed her a lot.
She’d go into the hospital on her own.
because my father used to go away at sea.
He was in the Navy.
She made me as a dress maker.
My mother was a beautiful lady
and she died so young.
I think she was about 39 when she died.
and I really missed her when
when she died.
tried to look after us but he ended up....
He went back to sea.
He was in the Navy.
He put us in the Church of England
Girls home in Brighton
and I was there till I was 14.
I had me two sisters, Mary and Margaret.
They were in what they called
the hostel for girls
and that was next door to the home
that I was in.
Once a week
we used to have to clean the knives
and forks and spoons
and put them in a line
and if anything was missing
we had to look for it before we could go
and have our dinner.
And I used to nick over to the girls
hostel where me two sisters were living
and I used to get the
spoons and forks from them.
My father married,
then me stepmother took us out
and she was a lovely stepmother.
She was lovely.
She got me into an apprenticeship dressmaking.
In Glenferrie Road, Malvern.
We used to go to dressmaking
at Armadale School on a Wednesday,
I come back to school one Wednesday
and they told me, one of the girls told
me, that the brother was in Mr.
Lindson’s and he was getting into trouble.
He wasn’t supposed to be playing
in the big yard
and I went in the room to get Don,
my brother, and he had me brother
over the desk to belt him with the strap
and I grabbed the strap off him.
And as I pulled the strap
it hit him in the face.
And I had to go to the headmaster.
I worked in
a children's ware shop in
and I met General MacArthur's
wife and they came out to Australia.
His son was only four
and I made a shirt for him.
A little shirt with feathers
stitched around the collar.
His name was Arthur MacArthur.
We got dressed up to go to the Tivoli
in the city, Melbourne,
to see Nelson Eddy
He was my favorite film star.
He couldn’t act but he could sing.
Had a lovely singing voice.
And then I seen him at the Tivoli.
And then I went to...
there was a theater at St Kilda,
we went to see him there.
He was my boyfriend.
My heart throb.
“I love you”.
I love that.
“I’m always dreaming of you”.
That's when I joined the army.
That's me duffel bag.
What they call your duffel bag and
you keep your underwear and stuff in it.
Keep your clothes in it.
I just wanted to
do something for my country.
Well, I was on on the switchboard
most of the time.
Answer phones, take any messages
that come through from Japan.
At the beginning,
we were doing Morse code.
weren't allowed to talk about
what we were doing in Signals
in case we got through to the Japanese.
We were on oath
not to, you know,
let anyone know
what's going through the phones.
You go in a tent and they give you
a mattress and it’s filled with straw
and you sleep on the ground.
We used to go every Saturday
and fill it up with fresh straw.
Three girl friends,
we kept in touch after the army.
We’d nick under the fence
to go into the city in town.
Go to the pictures.
After we got married,
we weren't allowed to be in the same unit,
so they transferred me to Pay Corp
in the city,
doing the wages.
Oddfellows building in Swanston Street.
Yeah, I met Pa, he was a driver
in the army,
He wouldn't have anything to do
with any of us girls.
And I had to go to the dentist
to get a tooth fixed
and he was the only driver, and that's
when we started going out together.
Oh, we just sort of took to one another.
I locked him in the food fridge one day.
And when we opened the fridge he’d
eaten half the chicken legs.
My father wasn't very happy because
he was a Catholic and I was a Protestant.
We went to the registry office
and got married with my sister.
Elder sister came and and she was my guardian
because he didn't approve of Graham.
Oh, we both loved each other and did
whatever we did together.
No marriage is perfect.
There's always odds and ends to fix up.
We had a happy life together.
69 and a half years.
50th wedding anniversary.
Go through all your arguments and things
and come out on top.
Well, he was my life.
I got pregnant with my daughter.
Made my life having children.
Judith, Lynette and Graham.
Just to think that I made them
and they’re mine.
I was 99 when I found out
that I had another brother.
My sister used to say that
she knew a secret she'd tell me one day.
And my sister has passed on
and I think that's the secret
that she had, about us
having another brother.
Elsie was his mother,
Elsie was his mother,
I think, Elsie McDonald.
She used to be a friend of my mother's.
I can remember her.
Used to stay at our place. Yeah. Yeah,
My father he’d be playing up.
Felt sorry for my mother
and I was wondering if, you know,
she knew that the father had another son
from somebody else.
He was the same age as my other brother
so I had two brothers at the same age.
His mother put him in an orphanage
when he was born.
In the boys home.
Terrible, lonely life for him.
Till he was 16 and he ran away and joined,
joined the army.
He made army his life.
So we went and met him.
And he was the image of me father.
it was nice to get to meet him
It was lovely to know [him].
Just a shame that he had to be
put into an orphanage.
We look like twins, don't we?
Yeah, I know.
because his wife said he was that happy
to think that he could live
now and knew he had family.
She said he thought he was
going to die an orphan.
I think that's enough, don’t you?