Melba Morris Slamen remembered
MELBA Morris-Slamen was farewelled at a remarkable funeral and celebratory wake at Brown’s Plains near Rutherglen last week.
Over 100 friends and family members came from far and wide and braved the 44 degree heat that turned the North East into a furnace.
It was as if Melba was saying, “I spent a lifetime working outside in all kinds of weather so you can endure some of it too.”
Without a doubt she was one of the greatest women in Victoria and her story is told by her son Fred Slamen in this abridged version of his eulogy.
“My mother was born in 1923 and from the start she was independent, resilient, resolute (some may say stubborn) yet these were qualities that put her in good stead for what was to come.
“With the death of her husband, she was left with three children below the age of six and my father’s business interests, consisting of a convoluted business in the mercenary world of horse racing and a few bookshops that were just getting off the ground.”
Mr Slamen described his late mother as supportive and demonstrative.
“But to us she was just Mum; warm, supportive, interested, and an old school discipli- narian,” Mr Slamen continued.
“She was not an effusive, demonstrative person but a few people she had dealings with mentioned that Mum was very proud of us children.
up and I remember Mum asking me (a 14 year old) whether she should buy it.
“I said yes (not that my opinion would have swayed her one way or the other).
“The purchase went ahead and a new and
“Despite National Trust architects telling Mum it was a lost cause she went ahead and successfully restored the family mansion, being awarded a medal by the National Trust for her work a few years later.
“Vine planting and wine-making began with Woody Woodroffe and Leo Dawson phen Morris, Andrew Sutherland-Smith and other winemakers connected to the Morris family.
“Production was small but many prizes were won at Melbourne and other wine shows.
“Mum was annoyed when she was referred to as a Collins Street farmer.
“She could have had a more laid back life all, rolling around heavy hogshead casks, washing down machinery, picking grapes, and driving tractors.
“Once she came back to Melbourne ill and stayed in bed for a day after driving the tractor spraying 245T, also known as agent orange.
“Since becoming a parent I have come to realise the challenge it would have been for Mum bringing up us children as a single, female parent, especially in the 60’s era.
and juggle parenting with the demands of a male dominated business and later her belov
“She gave us a warm, stable, secure and inviting home-life with many great memories
“Thank you Mum, for doing such a great job.”