Mary is 85, originally from Ireland. I chat with Mary every time we meet on my daily walks around Castor Bay. She was born in 1936 to a Catholic family of eight children (Mary was number five after four boys). Mary’s mom had to find a job when her father died and she taught orphans in a monastery. She wanted to be a teacher, but eventually found a job in a large department store in Belfast where she met Mary’s dad. Mary’s dad was an active member of the IRA (as you would) and when the conflict with the United Kingdom 🇬🇧 monarchy (God Save the Queen) ended, he became a policeman.👮♂️ “Those days women lost their jobs when they got married”. Mary wanted to become a nurse 👩⚕️ so went to England to study “it was free because the English government wanted the Irish girls to become nurses”. After getting married, Mary and her husband immigrated to New Zealand when she was 22. Knowing how to use a typewriter, Mary found a an office job when arriving to New Zealand. Five years later she had three kids who all live here. “Life was simpler then”, she says. “You would grow your own veggies in the backyard”. People need to move to the countryside. She apologised for holding the ☔ umbrella to protect from the rain.
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