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Eulogy - by Julie Hahn
Eileen, known as Bobbie and Aunty Bob. How did she get this nickname? The story Ted told me was that when nana was pregnant the boys wanted another boy and they wanted to call him Robert. So when Eileen was born they started calling her Bobbie. She answered to that name through her life, she must have loved her brothers a lot!!
In her early twenties Bobbie joined the sisters of mercy but that was not to be her vocation. However, she lived the remainder of her life serving God in her own way with unwavering devotion to the Catholic Church. Her faith helped her through some difficult times in her life. As most of you will know Aunty Bob was an insulin dependent diabetic for roughly 58 years and for much of that time it was uncontrolled. In my early years I saw this battle up close. After pop died (maybe about a year after) we went to live with Bobbie and Nana in Old South Head Rd. At that stage the diabetes was still not controlled. Of a morning dad would gently get her out of bed so as not to disturb nana and lead her out to the kitchen cut up a grapefruit and after a few mouthfuls only then did the veil lift. She would say “what am I doing here” and dad would reply “you’re having breakfast Bobbie”.
These diabetic episodes happened often and she had little or no warning, she was such a proud and dignified lady and not being in control must have been extremely difficult for her. Over time the doctors were able to stabilize her, somewhat (but she still could have an odd episode), she was then able take responsibility for coping with this disease. She was determined to be independent and lead a normal life. To do this she had to be extremely strict with herself. She lived with twice-daily injections of Insulin and a very strict and regimented diet.
I NEVER heard her complain. Unfortunately these diabetic turns got much worse as she got older (she was living by herself but John, Betty and Mon were wonderful) this lead to many trips to hospital and ultimately her time in Stella Maris. I’ve only been able to give you a very brief synopsis of that part of her life. She had to have been an amazing lady to live through all of that and I’m sure her faith was her biggest support.
In spite of all this Bobby lived a full life, she worked full time, had interests and friends. In the late 50’s she sailed on the Arcadia to the other side of the world, few people were travelling OS then. It was her great adventure London and Europe. Bobbie’s great interest in the late 50’s and early 60’ was ballroom dancing and she won many medals and ribbons. I can remember being totally mesmerized by her beautiful gowns.
I’m sure we all know the pride Bobby took in her appearance. When I was growing up I was so proud to have this glamorous aunt, her hair was always beautifully done and her fashion sense was impeccable.
Most of us here today are her family and you will know her great love of family. She and Aunty Mon knew all the news about the nieces and nephews and great nieces and nephews and took great pride in us all. There are quite a few of us now! Even though we may not see each other often we knew each other’s news via the aunties. How proudly they would speak of all of us and she loved us all. We were family and she didn’t make judgments..
One point I want to say about Aunty Bob also applies to her siblings past and present. Even though distance separated some of them they were an incredibly close family. Most of all they all had/have a very solid moral compass, compassion and great faith. They loved and respected their parents and loved and respected each other.
Aunty Bobbie had a great sense of humour and could see the funny side of life. I wouldn’t be surprised if she was looking down on us right now saying “ Don’t be sad, I’m having a great time up here, the best family reunion yet”
Tribute - from Tony Musgrave
Where was Bobby in such times? O course I don’t recall. It was before the War. What I do remember is this beautiful fair-haired girl whose every expression was filled with joy. Her chiacking matched that of “the boys”. Nothing was said without wit and she gave as good as she got. Even when afflicted with severe memory loss following that dreadful fall a few years ago her past still survived and enhanced her conversation. it was just that her life had become her past.
When Ruth and I visited from Brisbane last year she knew us well. She praised my offering some cake with, “See, I trained him well!” As I was growing up I became aware of what a beautiful woman she was becoming. I recall her close attention to grooming, the time she would spend “getting ready” and my father’s frustration at the delays; her introducing my new wife to Shalimar Guerlain, a perfume that remained a favourite of both for life.
Then there were quirks where the risks from her diabetes went unheeded, like the day she bolted the door of the toilet (on a visit to Brisbane) and had a severe “hypo”. My dad had to break in (we know how often John and Monica had to “rescue” her).
This girl. this lady, this character has enriched my life and the lives of so many others who will share my feeling. My tears flow when I reflect on the unique bond that we had. Distance did not affect this bond. Now death has cut it away so cruelly. Thank God for the gift of memory. There is solace in that. I shall pay my last homage at the Funeral next Wednesday. Atque in perpetuum, Bobby, vale.
With Love, Tony
Tribute from Emily Cook Sutcliffe
Tribute from Rachel Louise Cook
Tribute from Jacqui Bhavaraju (nee Musgrave)
Tribute from Jenny Fletcher
Tribute from Anne Schramm (Brisbane)
Tribute from Anna and Alejandra Dawson
You are loved & will be missed.
Alejandra & Anna xxx
Tribute from Michael Musgrave
Tribute from Elouise Hahn
Tribute from Lorraine Musgrave family
The thoughts of Sasha’s family are with you all. What a beautiful, vivacious woman Bobby was. Lovely to see photos of you all and how wonderful that Monica could attend the service.
Love Lorraine Musgrave
Tribute from Shona Fletcher
Everyone has such fond memories of you, so be proud and be sure that you were very loved and will be very missed.
Say a big hello to Ray and Jean for me xo
Please feel free to write your tribute to Aunty Bob in the Reply section below.