Countdown: Blog 153: Oliver family matriarch Marjorie Oliver



Marjorie with Corrina and Dan's son, seventh generation Koen

Born in 1923, Marjorie has lived all her life in McLaren Vale. After some wooing at many a local dance, (which Marjorie faithfully recorded in her “dance journal”), Bert (HJ) and Marjorie married after the war – and from then on she became the full time homemaker, mother and cook.

Corrina & Brioni fondly remember the days of three course hot lunches at Grans after working in the vineyard – usually cleaning drippers – the worst work on the property!

Especially a favourite: Grans cookie tin, always filled to the brim with homemade cookies and chocolate slices. These days Marjorie is the family’s chief sock knitter- and Brioni & Corrina have to get their own lunch now!

We asked Marjorie some questions:

What is your earliest memory of Bert (HJ)?

Our families had been friends for a number of years. A much repeated family story goes something like this:

When Bert and I were five years old, our families were having a picnic on the beach. My mother had three girls, and Bert’s mother had three boys. Bert took it upon himself to come over to our family picnic, take me by the hand, and drag me back to his mother saying “My Mummy wants you!”

I guess she would have liked a little girl. At our wedding, the speeches commented that now his mother had finally got me eighteen years later.

What is your proudest moment?

I am proud of everything that my family does. They all seem to like working together. I don’t understand much about what they are all doing – it is all a bit over my head these day s- but they are all very busy. I do think that it is very nice that Bert is on one of the wine labels. I am very happy and proud whenever I see my great grandchildren, I just love them to visit.

What is the worst thing about being an Oliver?

When we got married, we moved into one of the houses on the property. Bert’s parents decided on all of the fittings and furniture in the house. I didn’t get any choice on anything. And I didn’t really like their choices. RW Oliver (Bert’s Dad) did all of the grocery and clothes shopping for all the families on the property as well until his later years, so I didn’t get much of a choice on that either. Keeping up with Bert and Dons sporting commitments was also hard.

And I don’t like the mobile phone that everyone tries to get me to use. I’m too old for that.

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