Jennifer Mary Daly
was born on 8 November 1944 in Adelaide, South Australia.
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.
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.
of World War II
Eileen's parents were able to accommodate the mother-to-be as
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Peter Clavers, Dulwich
and Mum at Herston
with Mike and Rosie
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
Convent school in Adelaide.
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.
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!
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,
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
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."
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.
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!
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
was fortunate to have always had the support of her own family,
particularly her mother upon whom she could call for help or simply
On the Move
Falcon XP like Jenny's
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"
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 http://www.boglechandler.com/
the years progressed her children achieved their own independence
and started families of their own.
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.
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.
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.
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.