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I wrote this on the 28th of April 2012

15 May

“Last Thursday we saw Gaby in Merrylands. She waited for us near Merrylands Station. Honey, her dog, was with her. Honey had been bitten by a big dog a bit over a week ago. She had needed some stitches which cost Gaby a lot of money. On Thursday these stitches were due to come out. We didn’t have to go far from the station to the vet’s surgery. Honey had her stitches out in no time. She seems to be all right now.”

This is what I wrote a bit over three years ago. It brings back to mind, how this happened that Honey got bitten. This vicious dog who bit Honey belonged to a woman who was nasty to Gaby. I think she shouted at Gaby, something very unpleasant. As far as I know, she was about the only person who ever treated Gaby in a nasty way. Otherwise Gaby always experienced a lot of kindness from people she met. I seem to remember that Gaby thought that this woman was jealous because she noticed that Gaby was always treated in a very kind way by people.

A few weeks later, when we were walking along with Gaby  somewhere in Merrylands,  Gaby pointed out to us a woman and a man with a big dog. Gaby said that this was the dog that had bitten Honey. She also said that the police had cautioned these people that they should  take better control of their dog. Gaby had great expense paying for the treatment of Honey after she had been bitten so severely. However Gaby  thought it would be of no use asking these people for compensation. She did not want anything to do with them. I think that woman had once abused Gaby before this incident with Honey. Gaby was just glad that this woman kept her distance after that incident with Honey.

 

Challenge Southern Highlands

14 May

https://challengesh.org.au/about/

Challenge Southern Highlands Inc (CSH) is an Incorporated Association that was established in 1951 by local families with physically and/or intellectually disabled children. Over several decades, the CSH has nurtured the vocational and life skills of thousands of people.

CSH has provided training in a caring environment and employment opportunities. This has led to greater levels of confidence, capability and independence.

We operate the successful plant nursery, Welby Garden Centre, as a Supported Employment service and offer additional commercial services to local organisations.

Read about our History

Gaby was a collector for charity:

http://auntyuta.com/2015/05/13/gaby-did-get-around-in-sydney-on-her-own-collecting-money-for-charity/

http://www.whereis.com/nsw/harris-park-2150/yellowId-12035400

Gaby was  allowed to keep one third of the money that people donated. Every so often, when her boxes were full enough, she would wheel herself from Parramatta to Harris Park where the charity organisation have an office. Then they opened the boxes in front of her and counted out the money. She was always praised for being a good collector and doing something for the well being of some disabled children.

How did Gaby get from Merrylands West, where she lived, to Parramatta?  By T-Way Bus:

T-ways in Sydney

Main article: T-way

T-ways were conceived as an alternative to commuter railway services because of their potential lower cost and higher flexibility. T-ways can be constructed without the need for a dedicated corridor or tunnel. Buses can join and leave the T-way along the route, giving the T-way a wider feeder area than rail.

T-ways are separate bus-only roads where undeveloped railway and motorway corridors are available, and as bus-only lanes on existing roads.

T-ways can be used only by rapid bus services, selected local bus services and emergency vehicles. Other motorists using a bus lane (except to turn or overtake) can be fined.

Gaby knew Carl Scully who was the NSW Minister for Transport at the time when the T-Way Bus lane to Parramatta was constructed. This T-Way Bus goes through Sherwood Road very close to where Gaby used to live!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carl_Scully

Gaby did get around in Sydney on her own collecting Money for Charity!

13 May

This is what I wrote on the 15th of October 2011:

Once every two weeks we meet our daughter Gaby in Merrylands Shopping Centre to help her with her shopping. Gaby loves to bring her dog along too. Since Honey is a registered companion dog for a wheelchair person, she’s allowed to take the dog into the shopping centre. Honey is well known, especially in Merrylands.

And of course Gaby is well known also, not just in Merrylands but also in a lot of other suburbs of Sydney. In her electrified wheelchair Gaby travels by bus or by train, usually all on her own, with the help of kind public transport staff. Nearly every day she goes out

This picture was taken in June 2012

This picture was taken in June 2012

somewhere. A collection box sits on the table in front of her, also her mobile phone. She collects money for a charitable organisation. Some people approach Gaby on a regular basis to give her a donation. Honey, being fastened to Gaby’s wheelchair, always makes the rounds with Gaby. So no wonder that Gaby is a well known identity in Sydney.

A Hearing, that took place for the past couple of Days, established that Gaby died of Natural Causes.

12 May

 David died in August 2013. On the 22nd of August 2013 I wrote about David’s passing. Here is a copy of the post I published in 2013:

“Some bloggers may not want to read any more about the lives of Gaby and David.  However I am still at this stage where I keep thinking about it a lot. Recently I wrote two long replies to comments from ‘Words fall from my Eyes’ and ‘Island Traveler’. Just for recollection I want to publish these two replies here. They only touch on the lives of Gaby and David. But anyhow here is what I wrote:

Wow, Noeleen, there’s so much to remember. Both had kind, big hearts. But Gaby was very demanding. It did get too much for David over the years. He just wanted to be left alone. He led a very unhealthy life over many years and often drove Gaby’s carers round the bend with little bursts of energy, screaming, yelling. this sort of thing. But most of the time he would stay semi conscious in his room. A nursing sister who would come to see him after he had been in hospital for a while he would chase away. He would not visit his siblings any more. They just could not cope with him. The only person who could always cope best with him was his long time friend Steve. But even he could not do much for him after Gaby had died and it was apparent David could not cope on his own. However he strictly refused to make any changes in his living arrangements. until he collapsed last Christmas. Sheila, his neighbour, noticed and called an ambulance.

It’s very sad when someone ends like this. But I think he went peacefully. And this is a comfort. We do remember a lot of good things about David. He was the only person who would take on the challenging task of taking on a life together with Gaby, and he did so out of his big good heart. He stuck with Gaby right to the end. I think he had the feeling that he could not desert her. Yes, great honour to him! Dear, dear David and wonderful life loving and caring Gaby!

—–

You are right, IT. It was quite amazing how Gaby always tried to be there for David. It must have been very difficult for her at times. Everyone kept telling her that David was too sick to stay at her place. He should be in a nursing home where he’d be given proper care. When Gaby died last year David refused to move to a different place. Any attempts by his siblings to help him were in vain. David just did not want to be helped!
For as long as Gaby was alive, the house got cleaned by Gaby’s carers. The carers often had a hard time when David was in a bad mood. If something displeased him, he would shout at them. We often wondered how Gaby and the carers could cope with all this.

The last few months of his life David received very good care in  Parramatta Nursing Home.. He was not allowed alcohol; and cigarettes he could afford only very few and had to smoke them in some outside area, wheeling himself out there a few times every day. He could not eat very well any more. It turned out there was something wrong with his gall bladder apart from many other things. But he was not an angry man any more. He didn’t give the staff any trouble. I think they liked looking after him.

For years David had always told me: Don’t worry, Mama! I could not make him change his mind about anything. 

The youngest brother of David, Anthony, took very good care of David after he collapsed last Christmas and ended up in hospital again. During the two months in hospital they had to amputate his left leg below the knee. After this he spent the last months of his life  in Parramatta Nursing Home. It’s good to know that he did get proper care there and was able to die peacefully.

– – – – –

Gabriele (Gaby) was Peter’s and my first born daughter, an extremely lively child who was struck down by poliomyelitis on her fourth birthday. She ended up being a quadriplegic. She also had breathing difficulties and needed to sleep in an Iron Lung. Towards the end of 1989, when Gaby was 32 and David 40, they moved in together into a house provided by the Department of Housing. David became Gaby’s main carer at this stage. But David was never Gaby’s only carer. At that stage Gaby was always provided extra outside help. And when David needed a break, there was always one carer who could sleep in Gaby’s house overnight so she wouldn’t be alone in the house. When we were much younger  Peter and I would sometimes stay together with our youngest daughter Caroline in the house for a few nights so that David could have a break. When David was supposed to go on holidays for five nights, he often would return already after three nights. That would then mean we, Peter, myself, and Caroline, would be able to drive back home after three nights already.

Well, this is just a bit about the lives of Gaby and David.

Peter and David in an outside area of the Nursing Home Peter and David in an outside area of the Nursing HomeDavid was allowed to have his lunch outside. But he hardly touched it. David was allowed to have his lunch outside. But he hardly touched it.David gave me this Mother's Day gift on the day Peter and I visited him. He said he had bought raffle tickets to win this to give it to me. I was very touched by this. David gave me this Mother’s Day gift on the day Peter and I visited him. He said he had bought raffle tickets to win this to give it to me. I was very touched by this.
Here is another recollection I want to add:

With some departed loved ones you get the feeling that it was time for them to leave. You are grateful for the times they could be in your lives. But when the time runs out you have to accept that they really want to be somewhere else. In my family’s case I think they are at peace and with God, which is a great comfort. I am very touched by what both families did to give them the last rest. Both our daughter Gaby and her long time carer David led rather difficult lives. But there were times when they could greatly enjoy each other. And Gaby was always very life confirming and always found ways overcoming some of her disabilities. Last year Gaby died rather suddenly but knowing her disabilities not all that unexpectedly. She died when she was the most happy. David survived her by a bit over a year even though he had been in extremely bad health for many years. David’s family gave him a very good funeral and I was very touched by this.
When our daughter died so suddenly last year it was our family who put together to give her a good parting. Sadly David had neglected to inform his family. So they weren’t part of the celebration of Gaby’s life. Yes, I feel very sad about this. We shouldn’t have left it up to David to inform them. Somehow we thought because he had informed us about Gaby’s passing he would be able to ring someone in his family too. But he didn’t.
Last Mondays celebration of David’s life somehow made up for it now. We were able to talk to David’s four brothers and three sisters

I published the following photos on the 31st of July 2012 after Gaby had passed on the 15th of July 2012. I wanted David to have the original photos. I thought at the time it was a good idea to have these photo scanned before I gave them away. The result of the scanning is this post which I did copy for today’s post since I was reminded today how much David had been a part in Gaby’s life.

David did get to know Gaby while she lived in Ferguson Lodge which is a place for disabled people in a wheelchair. In this place people were well looked after. However it was institutionalized care. Gaby was very happy when in 1989 David made it possible for her to move into her own home. She was 32 at the time and David was 40.

The picture of Peter holding baby Caroline was taken ca. March 1979, visiting Gaby at Ferguson Lodge with friend Ron Bates.

Next to Gaby is David’s father, on the left David’s mother, on the right friend Coral

Gaby has a birthday cake in front of her, David is on the right, David’s mother left

David and Gaby

ca. 1973 when Gaby still lived with us: Mum, Dad, brother Martin, sister Monika

David and Gaby came to visit for Christmas celebrations. David is Father Christmas and Caroline, who just turned 6, and the twins (5 1/2) have fun. Behind Gaby is Monika, the twins’ Mum.

Caroline and friend visit Gaby at Ferguson Lodge

The “Pioneer Family”

30 Apr

Today I was looking for some more pictures from the past. I came up with two pictures from 1958 and another two pictures from 1960

Peter with Gaby

Peter with Gaby

This pictures was taken in Düsseldorf, Germany, in a park called ‘Hofgarten’, on 17th June 1958. Gaby was not quite nine months yet at the time.

Uta and Peter with Gaby

Uta and Peter with Gaby

This pictures was taken by Uta’s Mum on her balcony in Berlin in August 1958. Gaby was nearly one year old. We were for a visit in Berlin at the time.

Uta with Baby Martin, two months, Monika, eighteen months, and Gaby  thirty-three months.

Uta with Baby Martin, two months, Monika, eighteen months, and Gaby thirty-three months.

This pictures was taken near Fairy Meadow Beach, New South Wales, Australia, in June 1960.

Uta and Peter (25) with all three children

Uta and Peter (25) with all three children

This is where the pioneer family ended up in Oak Flats, NSW, Australia, which was ‘the sticks’ at the time. This picture was taken on the 28th August 1960 which was Gaby’s birthday. We were building a garage at the time. One year later the children were stricken by polio; as it turned out, Gaby very severely.

I wrote the above in January 2013. I was looking for a photo from our Berlin visit in August 1958 and found one in this blog. I was pregnant at the time. In December our daughter Monika was born in Düsseldorf where we had one room in my father’s apartment. We thought being given the opportunity to go to Australia as migrants was the best thing that could have happened to us.

11 Responses to “The “Pioneer Family””

berlioz1935
January 23, 2013 at 4:47 pm Edit #
The beginning in Australia was tough and sometimes we felt like a “pioneer family”.. On the beach picture you can clearly see the Fairy Meadow Hostel were we lived for a while.

REPLY

auntyuta
January 23, 2013 at 5:18 pm Edit #
You’re right, Peter, the beach was only a few steps away from the hostel. I thought it was great to have the beach so close. The picture you refer to was taken in June, in the middle of the Australian winter!

REPLY

Robert M. WeissR
January 25, 2013 at 8:41 am Edit #
Great archival type photos, which reminds me it’s time to straighten up our family photos.

REPLY

auntyuta
January 25, 2013 at 11:12 am Edit #
Thanks for commenting, Robert. I read your profile, which is very interesting. Do you do any writing? You seem to be a very contemplative person. If you’re writing, I’d like to hear more about it.
Cheerio, Uta.

REPLY

backonmyown
January 26, 2013 at 12:00 pm Edit #
I love the old photos. Your family was beautiful. My youngest sister Gerry had polio when she was two years old. Fortunately she had no lingering effects, and recovered completely. I was ten at the time. I remember how scared we all were.

REPLY

auntyuta
January 26, 2013 at 6:01 pm Edit #
Hi, Pam. We always love to look at all our old photos. Gaby was severely effected, She became a quadriplegic and needed an iron lung.
Monika had some lingering effects in one of her legs and Martin recovered completely. It was a very scary time for us when all three children suffered from the disease.

REPLY

backonmyown
January 27, 2013 at 2:44 am Edit #
I can’t even imagine how terrified you and Peter must have been with all three children seriously ill at the same. My middle daughter is a public health lawyer. She has asked me lots of questions about the polio epidemics. I’ll tell her about your family’s story. Thanks for sharing it. Pat

Three Well Beings
January 26, 2013 at 4:56 pm Edit #
I really enjoyed seeing family photos, Uta. From what you’re sharing, the children were very young when they contracted polio. I cannot imagine how difficult that must have been! I do remember when that disease frightened families and changed lives forever!

REPLY

auntyuta
January 26, 2013 at 6:07 pm Edit #
That’s right, Debra, they all contracted polio. Martin was 1, Monika 2 and Gaby was struck down with the disease on her fourth birthday. No vaccinations were available at the time. A bit later oral vaccinations were introduced. I think this stopped the spread of polio in Australia.

REPLY

Three Well Beings
January 26, 2013 at 6:50 pm Edit #
I really can’t imagine, Uta! As a mom, this must have been devastating. They were just babies. I’m a little awed you can even talk about it. oxo

auntyuta
January 26, 2013 at 8:45 pm Edit #
It was a very emotional time for Peter too. All three children were admitted to Wollongong Hospital. Gaby went on to Intensive Care at Prince Henry Hospital in Sydney where she was in a coma. According to the specialist there was not much chance of her surviving. We had gone in the ambulance with her and stayed with her through the night. Early in the morning we went back to Wollongong on the milk-train. That morning after a lot of weeping we went to see Monika and Martin in Wollongong Hospital. Martin Baby soon became the darling of the nurses. He looked so cute. When we saw him he started throwing all the toys out of his cot the nurses had put in there for him. Monika was more sick than Martin and absolutely quiet. A few days later Martin was allowed to go back home. We were overwhelmed when we had him back home. Monika had to stay in hospital a bit longer. Once she was home she was referred to a specialist who treated her leg. Some muscles were weakened because of polio. She had to wear special boots and a splint on her left leg which she hated!

Our Five Weeks Holiday in 2010

27 Apr

From Sydney we did fly with Malaysian Airline to Kuala Lumpur. Our connecting flight was with KLM to Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam. From there we had another connecting flight with KLM to Tegel Airport in Berlin.

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Gaby, Caroline and Matthew had come to Sydney Airport to farewell us.

Caroline took this photo.

Caroline took this photo.

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Peter took a few photos in Kuala Lumpur at the airport.

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We enjoyed the Tropical Garden in the midst of Kuala Lumpur Airport.

We enjoyed the Tropical Garden in the midst of Kuala Lumpur Airport.

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When we arrived at Tegel Airport there were Daniel, Ilse and Ingrid waiting for us.

When we arrived at Tegel Airport there were Daniel, Ilse and Ingrid waiting for us.

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They took us first of all to Scharnweber Strasse, where Ilse lives. It was Spargel (Asparagus) time in Berlin. Ilse served us a sumptuous Spargel lunch. Soon after lunch, Ilse’s son Daniel drove us to our holiday unit in Bastian Strasse. We stayed in this unit for fifteen nights. On the morning of Tuesday, the 15th of June we were picked up by Peter Uwe, my brother, and his partner Astrid. They took us to their home in Neu Canow in Mecklenburg Vorpommern where we stayed for nine nights. On Thursday, 24th of June, they drove us back to Berlin. Peter’s sister Ilse accommodated us for the rest of our stay in Berlin

On Friday, 2nd of July, Klaudia, my brother’s ex-wife, drove us to Tegel Airport for our departure back to Australia. Several family members farewelled us at Tegel Airport.

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For Saturday, the 26th of June, our last Saturday before our departure, Ilse had organised a family meeting. One cousin came from England, another one with his daughter came from Frankfurt and Peter’s sister Eva came with husband Harald from Windischgarsten in Austria. And of course Ilse’s sons and family, who live in Berlin came also as well as Eva’s daughter and granddaughter. Ilse’s partner Finn made a great video of the occasion. A copy of it he sent to us to Australia. There were also some photos taken of this family gathering. I show some of them here:

We met at this restaurant in Scharnweber Strasse.

We met at this restaurant in Scharnweber Strasse.

Peter with his sister Eva who came from Austria.

Peter with his sister Eva who came from Austria.

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Another photo in front <a href=

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Ilse und Finn

Ilse und Finn

Ilse and Finn invited us for another farewell meal at the same restaurant a few days later.

Here Ilse talks to Daniel, the manager of the restaurant.

Here Ilse talks to Daniel, the manager of the restaurant.

Finn took this photo.

Finn took this photo.

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Berlin in 2010

22 Apr
A street in Berlin-Friedrichshain

A street in Berlin-Friedrichshain

This is where my niece lives in Friedrichshain.

This is where my niece lives in Friedrichshain.

DSCN0450 There’s no lift in the building, but a beautiful staircase.

Here I see Carlos, the son of my niece, for the first time.

Here I see Carlos, the son of my niece, for the first time.

This picture was taken some other day with Klaudia and Corinna.

This picture was taken some other day with Klaudia and Corinna.

I took this picture of Peter with my brother Peter Uwe and partner Astrid.

I took this picture of Peter with my brother Peter Uwe and partner Astrid.

This is a street in Berlin-Friedenau where my brother Bodo used to live.

This is a street in Berlin-Friedenau where my brother Bodo used to live.

Peter took this picture on my brother Bodo's 72nd birthday.

Peter took this picture on my brother Bodo’s 72nd birthday.

Some time later. . .

Some time later. . .

 ' ' '  we met Ilse and her friend Erica in Berlin-Friedenau.

‘ ‘ ‘ we met Ilse and her friend Erica in Berlin-Friedenau.

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That same day we went with Ilse to this 'Friedhof'.

That same day we went with Ilse to this ‘Friedhof’.

The ashes of Peter's and Ilse parents and of Ilse's husband are buried here.

The ashes of Peter’s and Ilse parents and of Ilse’s husband are buried here.

This site is in one of the next rows.

This site is in one of the next rows.

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