Birth­day is triple the treat

Mun­dub­bera’s first triplets cel­e­brate their 70th birth­day

Isis Town and Country - - Front Page -

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.

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