Violet Garner's 100th
Thank you, Madam Speaker. I rise today to pay tribute to a remarkable resident from my electorate. Mrs Violet Bonnie Garner was born in Melbourne on 30 June 1920, which means that just this week she reached the extraordinary age of 100 years.
Violet’s life history reveals much about who she is as a strong and capable woman at the same time that it reminds us of our history as a nation. Her father, an ANZAC, served as a stretcher bearer during the war, where he was twice shot and also gassed. The latter incident caused permanent damage to his lungs, leading to his premature death when Violet was only five years old. Following that tragedy, Violet’s mother supported the family by going to work as a house cleaner, passing away 13 years later.
At the tender age of 18, Violet found herself an orphan living on her own. She moved into a boarding house and began an apprenticeship in tailoring, furthering skills that she had already begun to develop a passion for during her schooling. Violet quickly became accomplished in her chosen career as a fully qualified tailoress and was much sought after to produce bespoke clothing for both women and men. Her elder sister worked as a milliner, and
Violet’s daughter likes to point out that, by pairing their skills, they were two of the best dressed women in 1940s Melbourne.
Violet married in her 20s and bore three sons and then a daughter. Sadly, two of her sons have already passed, and she has been a widow for nearly 39 years now. At no point, however, has she ever let these personal losses stop her from living a full and rewarding life. An avid golfer, she continued to hit the courses until giving the game up in 2000 to help provide daily care for her great-grandchildren. Twenty years later, she remains fit and active, as well as a keen observer of this territory’s political scene.
Violet has been an avid reader throughout her lifetime. Her current interests tend towards murder mysteries and true crime. She is much loved and admired by her daughter and granddaughter, both Canberra residents, and she splits her time alternately living in both households.
I wish to take this opportunity, Madam Speaker, to publicly wish Violet a happy 100th birthday. I also wish to honour her for a long and wonderful life characterised by determination, self-discipline, a passion for learning, devotion to family, the pursuit of excellence, and a cheerful heart. She is an inspiration not only to her family but to me and to many others. Thank you.