A Tribute to My Sister Sadie Robinson
By Mary Hammill, August 2009
Many people who have known Sadie for many years are surprised to learn her name is Sarah, none more so than Joe her husband, when she signed the Marriage Register. “I’ll be calling you Sarah from now on” he said.
Our dad served with a
Scottish regiment in
Sadie studied Book-keeping
but preferred tailoring and dressmaking. She enjoyed hockey, dancing and
swimming. She literally dropped out of hockey when she was knocked unconscious
by an opponent’s club. She was a member of one of the first Women’s Lifesaving
In addition to all her activities Sadie found time to help our mother with cooking etc. and looking after us, the young ones. I have a fond memory of her hushing me to sleep when I was three years old. She kept saying “mummy will be home soon”. All we younger ones loved our big sister.
Her love of dancing was not confined to the dance hall. When friends came around on a Saturday evening the old house shook as the verandah became a dance floor to music provided by the gramophone.
When she and Joe Robinson married, they bought a house in
Years went on and to their distress there was no patter of little feet in the house. As both Sadie and Joe came from large families this was puzzling. After five years Sadie was referred to a gynaecologist who cleared a blocked fallopian tube. A year later Terry was born and just over two years later Colleen arrived. What joy — a pigeon pair!
When many years later Sadie was diagnosed with advanced glaucoma it was a devastating blow. Joe provided physical and emotional support. He never complained so it was a shock when an operation revealed bowel cancer that had spread to his liver. He died within a few months in 1982. Sadie amazed us as she pulled herself together and managed on her own — even taking a bus to Toombul shopping centre regularly.
There she discovered a music shop where she took organ lessons and delighted in playing the organ. Her hearing deteriorated but faced with blindness she could not accept the possibility of deafness —“you all speak too softly” was her dismissal. By the time she agreed to a hearing test it was too late — she couldn’t cope with hearing aids, and so she sank into an ever darkening silent existence.
Written by Mary Hammill, Sadie Robinson’s sister.
Sadie is one of the much loved residents in Grevillea ward at Clifford House nursing home, Kalinga, (