A wonderful wife, mother, grandmother, great grandmother, sister and friend, moved on from this world at 5:18 am on Friday May 6th, 2022.
An incredibly strong (and sometimes stubborn), determined, kind and generous lady, Rosemary the third child of Ernest and Winifred Noble, was born November 15th , 1936 in Cowra. Siblings Ray, Georgia and Joe have passed away. Anne, Andrew and Jenny are still with us. Mum was also called Rose, Rosie, Mary and, by Dad, Mother.
As a child Mum was a real tomboy on the farm at Back Creek, Cowra. She'd climb the pepper trees to escape her siblings - they were all taller than her and too scared to go after her (so she said).
When quite young Mum accidentally walked on hot ashes. Her two badly burnt toes were wrapped together by a nurse and they actually became attached at the top. Mum loved telling this story.
Mum walked 1 and a half miles to attend Canimbla School and really disliked and mistrusted her teacher.
She once took her brother Ray's lunchbox and climbed on top of the school's incinerator to hide it. This back-fired, with Mum falling on her head but luckily, no permanent damage.
Later on, Mum rode a horse to school and clearly remembered the darn thing throwing her. Her foot caught, with Mum thinking she'd be dragged along the road. Luck was on her side and she wasn't.
Mum boarded in Cowra for her first year of high school then she was able to catch a bus from home. She left school after a couple of years, staying on the farm to help. At about 16, she passed her Nurse's Entrance exam.
Mum lived in the Nurse's Home and remembers the then Mayor of Cowra, sitting across the street enjoying watching the nurses and their dates "canoodling" at the home's entrance. Mum failed her exams and returned to the farm.
Aged 19 in early 1955, Mum convinced her brother Ray to drive her to a dance at Koorawatha. Uncle Ray was under strict instructions to report all happenings back to Pop (her dad). At the dance she met the handsome Robert Lee from Forbes. He swept her off her feet and on November 5th that year they married in Cowra.
They lived at Inchgower with Gran and Pop Lee until the harvest money came in. On the same property Dad built a two-roomed house where everything happened- cooking, eating, bathing in a tin tub, sleeping. The toilet was away from the house. There was no running water or electricity.
Children started arriving - Winn 1956, Sue 1957, Sally 1958 and Sharon 1959. With Jocelyn expected in 1961, three rooms were added. Then to Mum (and Dad's) surprise, she was expecting again but with twins, Angie and Jenny in 1965.
A larger bedroom and verandah were added. Dr. Dyce wouldn't let Mum go home with twins until electricity was connected, much to Mum's delight. We finally had a TV (no more children) and a decent washing machine. What a time saver!
Obviously, Mum was kept pretty busy- cooking, cleaning, washing, ironing, sewing, knitting, jam making, fruit preserving, etc. She could turn her hand to almost anything.
Besides running the house and caring for seven girls, Mum worked physically hard beside Dad, doing many different farm jobs. Even rolling a drum of rainwater from my grandparents' house to our house, while heavily pregnant, as we had no rainwater tank at that time.
We were poor and our parents went without so that we had the essentials. We never went anywhere without clean clothes, hair and shoes. Mum always made us a new dress for the Forbes Show.
In 1971, when the twins started school, Mum completed her Nurse's Aide course. This provided extra money, allowing economic and material improvements. Once we had a good fridge/freezer, Mum would buy Fairy margarine by the box and bring home 10-20 loaves of bread at a time.
Dad was involved in harness racing and Mum helped him with various jobs at the trotting meetings. Mum decided in her 40's to get her own horse. She saved $500 to buy Marooma General.
Women were becoming more involved with training and driving and when Mum obtained her trainer/driver's licence she was considered 'old'. Her last race was at the age of 63. She had a few horses but General was her favourite. When he died she dug the hole by herself to bury him at "Woodlawn" where they lived for a short time.
Probably the highlight of her career was winning the Ladies' Invitational Race in Orange in 1983, against younger and very experienced female drivers.
Mum, besides completing a variety of jobs at the trots, was secretary of the club's Ladies' Auxiliary in the 80's. Later, she was involved in the Horticultural Club, Geranium Club, Bedgerebong CWA and did volunteer work at the Railway Handicrafts Centre.
With Dad she received volunteer awards, SOYA President's Award and life membership of Forbes Harness Club. They were even nominated for the state Harness Racing volunteer award.
Mum loved her family, especially her grandchildren and great grandchildren. She was always there when her girls had problems/issues, doing the hard yakka to get them through and back on their feet.
Mum didn't like liars and dishonest people and she was pretty good at working people out. One of our sisters when she was about 4, picked up a pack of chewing gum in Farrah's supermarket. When Mum discovered this outside the shop, she marched my sister back in to return it. Mr. Farrah said that she could keep it. Mum said that no she couldn't because she hadn't paid for it.
Mum was greatly misunderstood in some ways. She appeared to be confident with all her talking but it was a cover up. From her younger days until she passed, Mum had quite low self-esteem, feeling that she wasn't good enough and was looked down upon. Sometimes talking to everyone she met helped cover up the loneliness after we girls left home.
With Mum's lengthy medical event in December 2019, both Mum and Dad went to Jemalong Residential Village. In March 2020 we lost Dad, a few months short of their 65th anniversary. Mum coped with this loss but Dad was the only man she'd loved. A "good one" she often said.
There's so much more to say about Mum's very full life but we hope that many stories are told of her as we share our memories well into the future.
Great grand-daughter Chloe is wearing one of Mum's famous colourful knitted vests today. Grandsons Christopher and Ben and granddaughter Sara couldn't be here today due to family commitments and good old COVID. Thank you to Chloe and her family for choosing the very beautiful songs for the service.
We thank you all for being present today, for the many phone calls and messages. We're overwhelmed by the love for our beautiful Mum.
She's now with her beloved Bob, grandchildren Luke and Melinda and other family members.
Thank you to the staff at JRV for their care over the last two years. A huge thanks to the Emergency and hospital staff who took such compassionate care of Mum in the last three to four days. Thank you, Dr Pereira for looking after mum this year.
Love you Mum.
Eulogy was written by Winn Sideris, in consultation with her mum, and read by Winn
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.