Birthday is triple the treat
Mundubbera’s first triplets celebrate their 70th birthday
IT WAS a cold and frosty morning when McConnell triplets David, Ernest and Norman were born at the Mundubbera Hospital in the early hours of July 21, 1944.
The boys’ parents were Cliff and May, who lived on a dairy farm at Glenrae, seven miles from
Gloria Miller The hospital had no special equipment like today.
Mundubbera, where they had no power, just horses and a spring cart.
Doctor Oregan, a highly respected medical man who had served in the First World War, was the medical superintendent of the hospital at the time.
Norman’s carer Gloria Miller said the triplets were put in one cot with lots of rolled up newspapers around them and taken to the hospital’s kitchen, where the wood stove was kept burning to give them warmth.
“They were tube fed for some time and considering that the hospital had no special equipment like today, Dr Oregan and his staff did a marvellous job,” she said.
“While the town was abuzz with the news of the first-ever set of triplets being born, Cliff was unaware of the birth until 12 hours later, as May had been living in town before the birth.”
The triplets’ sister, Beryl Imhoff, said the babies were born six weeks premature, all weighing between three-and-a-half and four pounds.
“I had to leave school at 13 at the end of scholarship to look after the triplets when they were 18 months old,” she said.
“When the triplets were born the family jumped from six children to nine, but eventually there were 13 altogether – 10 boys and three girls.”
The brothers recently celebrated their 70th birthday with family and friends at the Commercial Hotel at Biggenden.
Today, Norman lives at Apple Tree Creek, David lives at Biggenden and Ernest at Gayndah.
Norman and Ernest, who are identical, both enjoy woodworking and some of Norman’s work has been donated as stage decorations for the Tamworth Country Music Festival.
In early July he presented Joy McKean with a carved bust of Slim Dusty when she visited Bundaberg.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY: The McConnell triplets David, of Biggenden, Ernest, of Gayndah, and Norman, of Apple Tree Creek, celebrated their birthday with family and friends at Biggenden recently. RIGHT: Norman, Ernest and David McConnell on their first day of school in 1950.
Norman presented country singing star Joy McKean with a carved bust of Slim Dusty when she visited Bundaberg.