VALE KATHLEEN ANNE HAYMAN 7th November 1930 – 10th August 2017
‘A Truly Memorable Life, of Dreams fulfilled and Adversity faced . . .’
The Requiem Mass and funeral of one of Ryde’s enduring and endearing women – Kathleen Anne Hayman – was held last Thursday August 17 at St Therese Catholic Church Denistone.
Mass was was offered by Father Roberto Castillo and a graveside burial service was held at Macquarie Park Cemetery followed by a wake.
Entrance hymn was Amazing Grace and Symbols of Life were placed by John Guest, Shelagh Hayman, Regine Schreck, Terry Wood and Tom Wood and introduced by Tess Hayman.
Firdst Reading from Book of Proverbs 31: 10-31 was by Pamela Webber and the Gospel reading was from John 14: 1-6 with the Responsorial Psalm 136 read by Jason Guest.
Prayers of the Faithful were offered by Brendan Guest and Ting Ciren, Evan Guest and Gareth Guest, Verity Emslie and Thomas Webber, Laura Gunn and Ben Hayman, Tess Hayman and Katy Hayman, Liam Hayman and Luisa Schreck.
Visual tribute was presented with photographic memories of Kathleen to the music of “I’ll take you home again”, Words and The Carnival is Over with recessional music Louis Armstrong’s What a wonderful world.
Gregory Hayman presented Words of Remembrance followed by tributes by David Hayman and his sister Wendy Guest.
In a moving address David spoke of the “end of an era” with his mother’s passing.
In this address he told the story of his mother’s life in North Ryde as well as her childhood experience during World War Two and her bravery and fortitude as she raised a large family alone after the death of her husband Bob (52) in 1981.
Kathleen Hayman was born on November 7, 1930 into the Sullivan family, who served as famous lighthouse keepers at Nobby’s Head, and Barrenjoey, Palm Beach.
Her father Frank fought in Passchendale, Belguim and France and was awarded the Military Medal.
She was educated at Monte St Angelo Catholic College in North Sydney, where she made lifelong friends Gabrielle Smith and Val Morgan.
Her son David takes up the remarkable story of his mother’s life…
“Mum lived a truly memorable life, of dreams fulfilled and adversity faced, but was always resilient…she just got on with it, always looking for the best in every situation,” he said.
“Her passing is the end of an era.
“Mum grew up in Willoughby and Chatswood and was nine when World War Two broke out. The war had a huge effect on her world outlook as she always idolized what the Americans had done for Australia.
“At 14, mum began a part-time job at the local grocery store, weighing flour and sugar and wrapping it in paper bags. She also worked at the GPO sorting mail.”
Kathleen soon met the love her life – Bob – at the local Catholic Youth Organisation. “She asked him to be her debut partner and over time they grew to know each other better,” David said. “Mum always knew that he was her forever man”.
Kathleen and Bob married in 1952 and had their honeymoon at Forster. “Dad was very excited about flying there and back, while Mum was quite scared because it was just something ordinary people didn’t do back then,” he said.
David was born in 1958.
“When Aunty Dorrie secured them an opportunity to buy a three bedroom house in North Ryde, they found the extra space handy and their new home was in a family orientated street which was great fun for the kids and parents.”
With four young children to care for the Hayman family moved to a four bedroom house and in Eastwood in 1969.
The Catholic Faith was always a central part of family life, David explained. “Mum and Dad became very involved with the St Therese Parish Church and its Primary School.
“My parents enjoyed a truly loving relationship and they always made time every day for a drink together to discuss the events of the day that had passed and to talk about their children. We children knew that this time was not to be interrupted for anything less than a major emergency.
“Many of us have carried this tradition into our own marriages, helping us foster strong and loving relationships.”
David remembers his parents would hold weekly date nights where they dreamed of travelling the world together. “Sadly, their dreams weren’t realised, as Dad died suddenly in 1981 when he was just 52 and Mum was 50,” David said.
“The immediate years after were dark days for mum and her family as we all missed him so much. Mum was so brave as she faced the rest of her life without the love of her life.”
It was during these years that David followed his father’s footsteps in business. “I had returned from Europe to take up the reins of Dad’s clothing business and Mum joined me to build what became “Stepping Out”. Mum and I worked really well together.”
Kathleen also had the joy raising grandchildren and great grandchildren.
David concluded by recalling how much Kathleen would always mean to him and to other family members. “She showed us how to brave adversity, and to always try to do the right thing.
“This for me is her true measure as a mother: that no matter what life throws at you, you dust yourself off and get on with it.
This is her legacy. She also showed us how to have fun, to laugh and to celebrate at a party or picnic, to enjoy friends and family coming together.
“She showed us the importance of a family unit and how to nurture it with love and support, as that is the future.
“My mother was a very special woman, a loving wife, a caring mother, grandmother, great grandmother and a devoted friend. “