Tribute by Debbie Jones:
My Nana's name was Joyce Fuller Penny. She hated it because she got teased at school. She died in 1984 at the age of 65. It wasn't a very long life, but in her time she lived through the Great Depression - with terrible stories of the lengths people went to to survive the punishing shortages of everything. She lived through WWII where her husband fought the war by driving trains in North Africa. She raised four sons, two of whom committed suicide because they didn't know about depression at the time. Her oldest son was my father, and he died when he was 23 and I was only 2. Many people held her responsible and thought she must have done something wrong. I think she blamed herself too. And then I was born in 1961 to a young couple who loved one another dearly but carried too many of life's burdens and scars already. My father, my grandmother's oldest son, took his life, and my mother lived, but with the pain and sorrow of the loss and of other deep losses. My mother was not coping with caring for me, and much neglect ensued, with some unkindness from her and her new husband that she'd hoped to finally find happiness with. But my gran, my nana, fought for me. She fought people, and social workers, schools, and family. She was so determined that another child would not be lost on her watch. She was fierce in battle, and stood her ground. Finally, when I was to be removed from my mother's care, she was offered guardianship and she turned it down and kept fighting, until finally, Renet, my mother, agreed to let me go - to allow for me to be legally adopted. It was partly my gran's relentless pressure, but she could also feel her hope for a happy future with her new husband was beginning to crumble. On a long train ride, courtesy of my grandfather, my gran, my granddad, and I chug-chugged all the way to Germiston from Cape Town, and so a new life began. She loved me dearly. She defended me fiercely. She tried very hard to understand this difficult, headstrong child. She often said I was the worst child to raise! I think she meant it, but it didn't make her love me less. She died a few short months after I was married, after a very long period of suffering that was inhuman and too painful to remember. She stayed with me as long as she could. She was proud of me. She loved me deeply. I'm so grateful to her! But so sad that she never met my children, and never got the chance to love them too. There are so many stories about this warrior woman, but this is too long already. Today I just remember her with love and tenderness. And I still miss her sometimes.
You were her life Debs she loved you very much. My gran always told us that x
Never forget how a woman in her late 50s tried to teach two young girls how to do handstands and headstands. Demonstrated it to us by doing it perfectly herself! Always gave up her bed so that we could be together when I stayed over. Brought us lunch on the side of the pool when we stayed in the pool the whole day. Made the best savoury mince on mashed potato, I still think about it today. Remember her smiling face when she saw us walking towards her car after school. She knew we were going to ask if I could come and play/ sleep over. ( no cell phones in those days!) She made me laugh a lot. Amazing lady. I'll never forget her.
And never forget her great sense of humour and her wonderful laugh, a lovely lady.
I have very fond memories of your gran....she adored you Debbie. She had such a dry sense of humour and didn't beat about the bush ...she told as it was.
BARKLY EAST WESLEYAN METHODIST CAPE BAPTISMS 1919 The information comes from Item 7 Microfilm# 1560891 The information is in the following order: Ref (as per register numbering - missing numbers were not transcribed as they were adult baptisms or non British names) Surname First Names Parents with father's occupation and their address (if given in register) Birth date (y/m/d) Baptised date (y/m/d) Any Notes in the register 574 NORMAN Samuel Joseph and Binda of ?? Lady Grey 1918/02/01 1919/01/15 575 PENNY Bertha Phyllis William Henry Matthews and Johanna Carlina of Edgehill Barkly East 1918/11/02 1918/12/30 Twin 575 PENNY Joyce Fuller William Henry Matthews and Johanna Carlina of Edgehill Barkly East 1918/11/02 1918/12/30 Twin 576 WRIGHT Phyllis Katherine Cecil Joseph Henry and Hester Magdalena Wilhelmina of Delta Aliwal North 1919/01/09 1919/02/13 577 DUFFEY Percival Popham Percival Popham and Margaret Susanna of Edgehill Barkly East 1919/02/18 1919/03/19 578 MOSEOS? Angelina George John and Johanna Fredride? B of Barkly East 1918/02/25 1919/03/11 579 SLATER John Edward William Carey Hoborn? And Johanna Georgina of Geln Nesbitt Barkly East 1919/01/30 1919/03/28