Joan Barlow

Joan Barlow

“Faith and a Thirst”, Joan Barlow, 94 years

My background is Irish and they gave me faith and a thirst – but I’m easing up on the thirst!
I came from a wonderful background, the Irish had nothing but their sense of humour, it was wonderful.

I just feel that it’s all so different now. I was born in 1925 and we went through the wars. My grandmother lost one son in the war. He was pulled out of the march and he just collapsed and died with a whole lot of others. A lot of sadness but the irish never lost their sense of humour. My grandmother gave me a real broad mindfulness and I was just so grateful. I’ve got 18 grandchildren and you think I didn’t do anything else but have babies. I had 7 children, 2 sets of twins. One of my daughters became a Josephine nun. She was only young, 14 years old. So we talked her into staying for another term or year. And she’s 71 now, she’s the eldest. She told me that there were 4 nuns today and when she went in, there were 21.

I had a wonderful husband, a lovely man. We went to the same school, in Bankstown. He was 2 years ahead of me. I was a little shrimp, I had my eye on him, but I wasn’t so sure at first whether he had his eye on me. You see in our day, you definitely didn’t get involved before you married. When we did marry, it was such a bonding experience for us.He’s been gone 12 years unfortunately. But he was a wonderful husband. His faith was wonderful and he was Irish too. We were great mates and I do miss him so much.

Prayers have been my life. I’ve got all these little special prayers I say and my faith is very strong. And definitely they should let the priests marry. Definitely. I have conversations everyday up here. I don’t know who is listening. But I still talk to them. See I’m here, nobody got into their 90s in my background.
Well, its such a good life, It was a very good life. I’m very blessed.