from Redhill to Gympie

A tribute to Michael Christian Daly & Eileen Gertrude Green,to their descendants and to their ancestors and to the many cousins

Jennifer Mary Daly was born on 8 November 1944 in Adelaide, South Australia.

She was the honeymoon baby born to Michael Christian Daly and Eileen Gertrude Green. It was a traumatic time in Australia. A ferocious war was being fought in the Pacific and Eileen was concerned that Michael, an officer with the Royal Australian Artillery Regiment, was to be transferred to a war zone.

Eileen writes in her diary in 1944 that she and Michael decided she should return to Adelaide for the birth of the baby after the pregnancy was confirmed in May. Adelaide presented a safer environment away from the concerns of the submarine attacks on Sydney Harbour where they were living when they married.

End of World War II

Fortunately Eileen's parents were able to accommodate the mother-to-be as their other children were no longer living at their Californian bungalow style residence at 19 Brandreth Street, Tusmore (Adelaide). Jenny was born at Calvary Hospital, and Eileen remained at Tusmore until the end of World War II.

After the end of World War II Michael was discharged from the army. In the parlance of the day this discharge was called 'being de-mobbed'. Michael travelled to Adelaide and the couple decided to move to Brisbane - the capital of Michael's home state of Queensland, staying initially with an uncle in Scarborough on the Redcliffe Peninsula. I can't recall the uncle's name but he was an Entenmann - a brother to our maternal grandma who was known as Nana.

In 1947 Jenny's parents purchased a piece of land in inner city suburb of Herston and Michael built the family home upon it. They did consider other suburbs of Brisbane such as those close to the university but Herston it was to be.

Selecting this suburb to live in is not a surprise as the strength of the bonds in the Daly family were such that Michael wished to live close to his own family. His mother, brother and 3 sisters lived in the same area within a mile or so of each other. Jenny also inherited this strong family bond.

Jenny was the first of nine children born to Michael and Eileen over the following 15 years. Her parents had a deep religious faith. Their love for God and sense of responsibility was strong which was reflected in their upbringing of their children. All the children were educated at Catholic schools and religious traditions strictly observed - such as Mass every Sunday and Holy Days, no meat on Fridays and learning their catechism.

Although as the eldest child Jenny had to accept responsibility at an early age, she did not rebel against it at all. She helped Eileen in the home and to care for her brothers and sisters. She developed a fondness for children which became evident in her adult life as a mother and in her career as a teacher.

We younger ones were very jealous of Jenny - for example, she had priority to sit in the front seat of the family car. Oh, the privileges of eldest born; little did we youngsters realise the responsibilities which came with the rights.

St Peter Clavers, Dulwich
Jenny and Mum at Herston
Jenny with Mike and Rosie
Broadbeach 1956

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Our parents decided that, in order to ease pressure upon family life and to allow Jenny better career and life opportunities, she should become a school boarder. Loreto Convent school was selected as the most suitable and this started a family tradition. Her sisters also attend a Loreto Convert school in Adelaide when the family moved there in December 1963. Eileen had also attended the Loreto Convent school in Adelaide.

So, at the end of her primary school years at St Joan of Arc in Herston, Jenny started boarding school in 1958 at Loreto Convent, Cavendish Road Coorparoo - a suburb on the southern side of Brisbane. Jenny was lonely for her family such was the strength of the bonds. She was not happy there and did not make any life long friends from the experience. One incident I recall which upset Jenny occurred on her 15th birthday. The other girls in the dormitory wrapped a present in layers and layers of paper wrapping - just like an onion, to make it appear large. Jenny started unwrapping her present her excitement accelerating with each layer being peeled off. Imagine her disappointment as the victim of a practical hoax. There was no present after all - just wrapping - a school prank. This was Jenny's last year of formal schooling and she finished her Junior Year (the current Year 10 equivalent) in 1959.

Next year, Jenny's 16th, was so different. She had finished her last year of school and she was about to enter the commercial world. She completed a stenographer's course covering shorthand (Pitmans), typing and office practices including how to operate a telephone switchboard. After graduating she shortly afterwards obtained her first job for which she was paid £10 per week (about $450 nowadays). I recall jokingly asking for a loan - which, by the way, wasn't given!

Teen Years
After much discussion our parents decided to buy her a watch for her 16th birthday present. In those days watches were very, very expensive. The quality of the watch was measured by the number of jewels its mechanics had. I recall our parents planning the purchase of the watch with Terry Flanagan, a friend, neighbour and police officer. Jenny, after suffering the upset of the large 15th birthday "present" was very proud and appreciative of her very small 16th birthday present. She wore that watch proudly for many, many years.

Her Mum and Dad also gave her an enormous 16th birthday party. The home was decked out in party mode - streamers, balloons and more. I was absolutely amazed to see a timber dance floor set up in the rear garden which was hired for the evening. I don't recall the music - maybe the new rock 'n roll was allowed for the evening. I was not allowed to participate in the party whatsoever. Un-cool younger brothers were definitely banned from any appearance. Not that that was possible anyway. I had an enormous asthma attack that evening and was unable to breathe - our neighbour Des Dooley, a doctor, was called and I was medicated. I remember the injections and then going to sleep. I hope I didn't detract from Jenny's evening.

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I received an email from a lady called Shirley. Shirley had been browsing the web and came across our family web site while researching her own family tree. Shirley, it turns out is my first cousin. Shirley says she recalls going to dances with her sister Brenda and Jenny, during their teen years. I mentioned to her that I remember Jenny and a friend sewing these enormous bloomers which they planned to wear to a dance. This is confirmed by our sister Margie who writes, "I remember sleeping in the same room with Jenny in Herston on the top floor. I remember her getting ready to go out to a dance and she was wearing a beautiful dress with a tiny waist and full skirt as was the fashion of the day. She was so lively and full of life. Life to her was an adventure and she was always ready to try something new."

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Jenny and the family moved to Adelaide in November 1963. Jenny, who had already qualified as a stenographer gained employment in a variety of jobs including building companies and finally working for an executive with John Martin department store in Rundle Street, the main retail street in Adelaide.

One of the John Martin's employee benefits was the company discount for in-store purchases. She and her Dad took advantage of this and jointly purchased a HiFi radiogram of which they were immensely proud as it had an automatic record loading turntable, a built-in wireless with a mahogany polished timber case. It could play LP stereo records which was a novelty to me. I have found a picture of one similar to it on the internet and remember the fold down drawer on the left for the turntable and the one on the right for storing the records. As youngsters we were never allowed to touch this equipment and it occupied a primary position in the formal lounge room!

Working Girl
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At this stage we were still living in Dulwich an inner Adelaide suburb at 37 Victoria Avenue which was later to be renamed Fullarton Road and we got a new house number of 177. One wet and blustery winter's day in 1965 Jenny came home and she was recalling her day to whoever was around to listen. We children would congregate in the kitchen when dinner was being prepared in readiness to run any chores which ranged from setting the dinner table to picking the chives or mint from the garden to putting out the compost. Anyway, I digress. We were in the kitchen and Jenny was saying how embarrassed she was in the company of her boss that morning. She said that while on the way to work and waiting at the nearby bus stop on the corner of Dulwich Avenue, the rain was pouring and her umbrella was not much help in keeping her dry. And, who should drive past at that moment was her boss in his brand new Mercedes car. He offered Jenny a lift to work which she tried to decline as she was very self conscious of "ruining his car" dripping rain water all over the upholstery and carpet! It was nice of the boss to offer the lift which Jenny did accept.

Love & Marriage
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In 1966 Jenny fell in love and married her sweetheart Brendan Holdcroft and his 1934 Singer tourer sports car. Brendan had recently graduated with a Bachelor of Economics degree from the University of Adelaide and obtained a job in Melbourne with the Ford Motor Company. Shortly after they were married in St Peter Clavers Church in Dulwich. Jenny conformed to the custom and expectation of those days and resigned from her work as she was now a married woman. After their honeymoon the young newlyweds went to Melbourne to live where they rented a flat for a time in the suburb of Heidelberg.

While in Melbourne, the couple became home sick for their families and friends and so they decided to move back to Adelaide. Brendan found a job with Seppelts Wines located on the west side of Gresham Street in Adelaide. At this time Jenny was pregnant with her first child Andrew and they were living in a small upstairs apartment in Molesworth Street in North Adelaide, a stone's throw from Wellington Square.

In about 1969 shortly after Andrew's birth the couple decided to stretch themselves financially when they purchased an older turn of the 20th century home in Prescott Terrace in the suburb of Rose Park which was close to both their families. The home was in much need of renovation at the time. Catherine, their second child was born to them a few years later.

The relationship was not to last and the couple eventually separated and then divorced. In 1971 their temporary move to Parkes to work on Jenny's Dad's farm was perhaps illustrative of this unsettled time for them. With the help of her local parish priest and family, she sought and obtained a papal annulment of the marriage.

Looking back over the years I appreciate it that it was never an easy life for Jenny in adulthood. She suffered a perceived embarrassment (at least for those days) of a divorce and she was not on 'easy street' raising her children as a single parent, buying a home and educating herself. Jenny had left school at the age 16 and undertook a secretarial course of typing and shorthand at Pitmans in Brisbane. Her first job paid £10 ($20) per week - a small amount even for those days. I remember asking her for a loan on her first payday! She was determined to improve her skills and went back to school and then onto university where she obtained her degree qualified as a teacher. She went on to get her Masters degree in education at the University of New England in Armidale, New South Wales. Jenny again demonstrates an admirable determination and love of children.

Jenny was fortunate to have always had the support of her own family, particularly her mother upon whom she could call for help or simply a chat.

On the Move
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A Falcon XP like Jenny's

In the early 1980s shortly after she graduated as a teacher she came to Canberra to visit my wife and I and to hunt for a job. She eventually found one in Sydney and we visited her there to help her buy another car as the old, matt grey coloured Falcon XP (purchased 16 years before at a government car auction) had just "Carked" it.

We had just come through the first oil crisis of the 1970's and I recommended to her to buy a small car. Jenny just couldn't go that far and ended up with a gutsy 6 cylinder Chrysler Royal. This era in Jenny's life reminds me of the excitement of change she enjoyed. At the time she was in Sydney she was living in the home of Geoffrey Chandler, husband of one of the victims of the Bogle-Chandler mystery deaths in the 1960s, who was the police's prime suspect but never charged in relation to their deaths. This did not disturb her in the least and considered it a great talking point. For more information on the case see

As the years progressed her children achieved their own independence and started families of their own.

Jenny then started travelling more and more - even spending a few years teaching in Czechoslovakia before returning to Australia in 1991. The next few years she spent back in Adelaide and found Tony her new friend whom she met when living in Britain. Jenny and Tony were to form a close and loving relationship and soon married. They spent some happy times travelling to visit Tony's family in his home country.

Last Days
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Jenny's inner peace was not to last much longer. She was diagnosed with cancer during a routine visit to the doctor for a slight cough. It wasn't long before she was advised that it was an aggressive form of cancer which was well advanced and for which there was no medical treatment. She was desperate and still young. She sought alternative remedies in South America - to no avail.

She was dying and was putting her affairs in order - always thinking of her children, wanting to be fair to each of them. In her last months Jenny spoke with me often - seeking my counsel for the best course of action. Generously, she gave money to her children for the grandchildren's education as she wanted to arrange her affairs as circumstances had changed. We talked about this daily at that time.

Jenny's health was fast deteriorating. On 28 September 2002 she died peacefully with her family and friends supporting her to the last. A memorial service was held held at Coffin Bay where she spent many enjoyable last days with her close friend and husband Tony. A memorial plaque for Jenny can be seen on the headstone for her grandparents and sister in Centennial Park Cemetery, Adelaide.

MWJ Daly