Fitting tribute for loving wife and mother of 10
"SHE was my darling."
As he prepares for the funeral of his beloved wife of 59 years, Bernie Meloury recalls fond memories of their life together.
Mary Patricia 'Pat' Meloury was a loving wife of 59 years, mother of 10 children, a grandmother, great grandmother and a friend to all.
Sadly, she passed away on Tuesday, November 12 after an 18-month battle with cancer.
As Bernie prepares for the requiem mass of his beloved wife, he recalls their wonderous life journey together.
The pair first met back in 1959 when Bernie asked Pat for a dance.
"I plucked up the courage to ask her," he said.
They were married by October the next year.
They lived happily in North East Victoria, and moved to the South Burnett in 1983, when Bernie's health begun to suffer.
"We jumped in the old HK and the caravan and we went right up as far as the Daintree," Bernie said.
"We actually went back home after that but realised we had no money so we ended up buying a block of land in Cooyar for $13,000."
The big-hearted Meloury family had nine of their own children and took on another child who was the baby of one of their youngest daughter's friends.
"We acquired one along the track," Bernie said.
"This girl was 19 and she had all ready had two kids and she said, 'I won't be able to look after the new baby'.
"She asked if we would want to look after him," he said.
"We thought, 'what's another mouth to feed'?"
Looking after 10 children may sound like a handful, but Bernie was adamant, his beautiful wife would have had it no other way.
"Pat just loved children," Bernie said.
"Only recently she said to me, 'I was put on this earth to have children'."
"And what a wonderful mother she was."
Bernie said having such a large family on the farm was nothing unusual.
"Our oldest ones were having kids and we were still having kids," he said.
"You don't think about these things on the dairy farm.
"The kids roam free, you grow your own veggies," he said.
"That's just the way it worked, we had a very happy life."
Pat battled with cancer for 18 months.
"We thought we had got it all last August," Bernie said.
"We came home for a few weeks and it was really good.
"But then we had to go back for tests and it was everywhere."
Pat passed away on Tuesday, November 12 at midday.
She would have been 77 in the first week of January.
"She suffered so much," Bernie said.
"In a strange way, it was a joyous time."
A requiem mass will be held in honour of Pat's life at the Malachys Catholic Church in Cooyar.
People who would liked to pay their respects are invited to the D'Arcy St church on Thursday, November 21 from 10.30am.
This will be followed by light refreshments at the Cooyar Hall.
Bernie said there was people coming from all over Australia to celebrate Pat's life.
"There are people coming from Darwin, Townsville and Victoria," he said.
"There will be well over 200 people there.
"One of the daughters said she has 27 people coming, that's just of her friends."
Bernie said the requiem mass is the first one to be held at the Cooyar church for over 30 years and it would be a great celebration of Pat's remarkable life.
"Even in her darkest moments you could see the spark in her eyes, that love for her children," he said.
"My eulogy is just going to be based on our love for one another, and her love for her children, grandchildren and great grandchildren."