Interviewee: Judith Frances Newing (nee Christmas)
Date of Birth: 22-3-1948
Interviewer : Lynnette Lee
Date of Interview: 23-3-2005 & 24-3-2006
Synopsis: Lynnette Lee
BOHG No: 2006-003
Total Length: 1hr 30min
Born 22nd March 1946 at the Hillcrest Hospital North Fremantle.
Mother: Viola Evelyn Elizabeth Smoker. Born 1924.
Father: Francis Raymond Christmas. Born 16th February 1923.
Grew up in Grass Valley and was one of 5 children. Worked packing groceries as a boy before joining the army.
Viola & Francis married 7th November 1944.
Sister: Annette Evelyn 14th August 1945.
Brother: Brian Raymond born 4th October 1951.
Father worked for McGillvray’s and Mac’s Food Centers. Was good with his hands. Made a lovely doll’s house and many wooden toys for Christmas.
Mother was very good at sewing, making all clothing. Suffered rheumatoid arthritis from aged 21.
Family first lived at Monument Street Fremantle. Then to 18 St Leonard Street Mosman Park, Peppermint Grove and finally Mount Claremont.
First started Sunday School at Mosman Park where she and sister Annette attended Methodist Church. Loved Sunday School.
When living in Mount Claremont, went to Saint Michael’s Graylands Sunday School.
Fond memories of Graylands Primary School. Several teachers were very kind to her. Did not like High School, found it very challenging and hard to learn.
Parents had financial struggles. Father had his first heart attack aged 34. A stroke at 57, and died 4th April 1991.
First job was with Nestles Australia doing clerical work.
Met Brian when he was a student at Wollaston Theological College. He came to Saint Michael’s as a curate. First date was 13th March when Judith was nearly 17. Also the date her grandmother died. Brian took her to Evensong and their relationship went from there.
Married 13th January 1968, Saint Michael’s Graylands. Honeymooned in Bunbury.
Brian posted to Jerramungup. Became involved with Sunday School, Brownies and other community activities. Worked at local school as librarian and commercial teacher. Stayed there for 6½ years.
Paul 5th January 1970.
Alison: 23rd March 1972
Louise: 21st November 1974.
All children born at St John of God Subiaco.
Rheumatoid arthritis was first diagnosed five weeks after Louise birth (January 1975). Could not breastfeed Louise because of medication. Once home had the support of Silver Chain, Infant health sister and many friends.
Lived in Pinjarra for 8 years.
Transferred to Corrigin 7years 9 months. They enjoyed their time living in the country. The children had now grown up and were boarding at Bunbury Cathedral Grammar School.
Lived in Brunswick Junction where Brian then became Dean of Bunbury. They lived there for 2 years before moving to Bunbury where Brian was made Archdeacon, a position held for 15 years before retiring.
In most of these towns, she taught Sunday School, and became involved in the parish and community.
In 1986 Judith got Myasthenia Gravis which further impacted on her life.
Talks of her struggles with illness, and how she copes by praying and staying positive, keeping the mind occupied.
Sewing for friends and fete’s are one way of keeping her busy. Writing poems and letters is another way. Describes herself as a ‘cardaholic’ because of her passion to send cards to friends.
In Bunbury. Leader of Caritas for 5 years. A group for women, guest speakers, craft nights, luncheons and helping seniors. Also taught Sunday School. Always available for fellowship and friendship to anyone who sought her confidence.
After Brian retired, they have moved to a smaller house. The first house that they have owned since they were married. Using her gopher which was donated to her, she is able to go to the Bunbury Forum and Spotlight independently, giving her some freedom from having to ask people to help her.
Has now acquired a small car and able to drive herself around.
In retirement they are able to travel to Kalgoorlie to see their children and grandchildren. Using new medications Judith is able to travel much better.
Grandchildren: Kate. Grace. Tahnee and Chelsea. Evie.
Loves being a grandmother.