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Memories of my early life in Yarrawonga – Annie McPherson

By Yarrawonga Chronicle

The Yarrawonga Neighbourhood House Oral History Group invites you to take a step back in time as they reach into their files each month to present a story from days gone by. This month’s feature provides insight into the life of long-standing Yarrawonga resident Annie McPherson.

This month’s feature is taken from an interview with Yarrawonga resident Annie McPherson on the March 29, 2010.
Annie McPherson (nee Woodward) was born in Yarrawonga and lived all her life in the district. She died in 2017 aged 102. This is some of her story. The show was always an important date in her calendar.
“I was born Anne Woodward on the first of the 12th, 1914. I was one of nine children, with wonderful parents and three older brothers and five younger sisters. 

“I didn’t go to school until I was six and I didn’t like school. I never liked school. I couldn’t wait for the day that “I could leave school and I could get myself a position, somewhere, so I left at 14.

“I went to work at Berryman and Bryant’s and I really loved my work, I really loved it. I was in the Ladies’ Department. There was a Milliner and myself and the Milliner used to make hats. 

“I used to walk four times a day to work. The shop was open on Friday nights till nine o’clock and I had to walk home on my own. And then there were electrical light poles all down the main street and I used to walk home under those because I was pretty scared.”

How did you meet Eric?

“Well I think I was about seventeen. Well we were on one of these concerts out in a barn.

“Anyway, he was there that night and of course he asked could he see me to the car and I did and that is where I first met him. 

“I was eight years younger than him.  We married, he was thirty-one and I was twenty-three and a half. 

“Oh yes when I got married my mother used to say to me; ‘You should be home learning to cook instead of playing tennis,’ and I used to say ‘I will be right mum, I will learn’. 

“You learn anything if you want to so I still went to my tennis on Saturday afternoon.

“You know when you first get married and you get your own money you wonder what you will buy and I bought a lovely little straw hat and I thought I was just it in this straw hat and an old friend of Mum and Dad’s, a very old friend of Mum and Dad’s, came into the show. 

“I had bought it for the show, and he came into the show and they were giving rides, you know, aeroplane rides so he asked me if I would like to go up in the aeroplane. Oh well I went up. He shouted me on the ride and I went up. I lost my straw hat. It blew off.  These are the funny little things that stick in your mind. 

“It was a hard life but we were happy, he was a wonderful husband and once you get your children, your life changes completely. We both love children and we went on to have three,  Marion, Ian and Dianne who we were very thrilled about.”