Life­time of mem­o­ries

The Tatura Guardian - - Community - By Tara Whitsed

Tatura’s Ruth McCracken holds a life­time of mem­o­ries, dili­gently cut from news­pa­pers and pasted into a scrapbook de­pict­ing the town­ship’s past.

The 89-year-old has lived in Tatura for over 80 years and has been heav­ily in­volved in the com­mu­nity af­ter mov­ing from Ton­gala when she was just eight years old.

‘‘Dad used to work on the rail­ways and we­moved around a lot, but when we got to Tatura my mum said ‘we’re not leav­ing’,’’ Mrs McCracken said about how she came to be a val­ued mem­ber of the com­mu­nity.

Most no­tably dot­ted through­out the col­lec­tion of achieve­ments and mem­o­rable mo­ments, is pho­to­graph af­ter pho­to­graph of Mrs McCracken’s in­volve­ment with Tu­ra­ton.

‘‘We al­ways sang at wed­dings and con­certs and the like,’’ she said.

‘‘I got very busy with my singing.

‘‘It was such a lovely, fun thing.’’

A colour pho­to­graph of Mrs McCracken, along with three other Tatura res­i­dents dressed as Abba, is stuck to a page within her scrapbook.

‘‘Some friends and I from the Moth­ers Club did Abba,’’ she said.

‘‘We were the host club so we had to do an item.

‘‘We were booked for 11 en­gage­ment par­ties af­ter that.’’

It was not just the stage where Mrs McCracken show­cased her tal­ent and en­thu­si­asm, also in­volved in the for­ma­tion of the Lions Ladies Club.

‘‘We’ve still got the club,’’ she said.

‘‘We have a monthly meet­ing . . . we just work to help the Lions Club.’’

Af­ter many years of in­volve­ment with the Tatura com­mu­nity, Mrs McCracken was re­warded for her ef­forts, named the 1987 Rod­ney Shire Cit­i­zen of the Year.

‘‘Ted my hus­band also won the Cit­i­zen of the Year when he was 80 years old,’’ she said.

The pair were an iconic Tatura cou­ple, where Mr McCracken was elected to coun­cil and served as a coun­cil­lor for four years.

‘‘He was in the pub­lic eye as much as I was,’’ Mrs McCracken said.

With Mr McCracken now liv­ing at Moy­ola Lodge at Tatura Hos­pi­tal, she re­flected on those great many years in the spot­light.

‘‘We have had a won­der­ful mar­riage,’’ she said.

‘‘What­ever we did, we did it to­gether.’’

Their nuptials would have been a mem­o­rable Tatura af­fair — the first dressed wed­ding in the town­ship since the the Sec­ond World War ended in 1945.

‘‘The whole town came to see it,’’ Mrs McCracken said.

‘‘I bought all my dress, shoes, every­thing at Rock­mans in Shep­par­ton.’’

The pair raised four chil­dren in the com­mu­nity and now have seven grand­chil­dren and seven great-grand­chil­dren.

‘‘Now we’re re­tired of course and we wouldn’t leave Tatura for quids,’’ she said.

‘‘I have had such a happy life here.’’


Look­ing back: Tatura’s Ruth McCracken has a wealth of mem­o­ries, grow­ing up in the town­ship since she was eight years old.

Tara Whitsed

Mardi Gras: Ruth McCracken pic­tured with Dr David Hod­son at a Tatura Mardi Gras event. The im­age fea­tured in her scrapbook.

Tatura girls: Ruth McCracken (left) with a friend at a Back to Tatura event. The pair are dressed in school uni­forms.

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