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Wilson Maisie Margaret

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Fast Facts
Type of person Individual
Date of birth 1919
Place of birth Western Australia
Principal occupation Musician, Farmer,
Date of death 2003

MRS. MAISIE WILSON .....in Memory of Maisie Margaret Wilson. 2nd January 2004. Prepared by Lois Stout and Graeme Morrell.

Maisie was born in Perth, Western Australia on August 23rd 1919 to parents Bevan and Edith Kitto who had traveiied from Allandale, South Australia to take up land in Cunderdin, Western Australia, in 1906. Maisie had two older sisters, Verna and Merle. All three went to primary school in Cunderdin and at the age of twelve, were sent to the Methodist Ladies' College in Perth, where they stayed for two years. While there, Maisie commenced having singing lessons and proved to be an apt pupil. After leaving MLC, Maisie returned to the farm, but each week, she travelled by train, the one hundred miles to Perth, to continue her singing lessons. In 1938, she was champion female vocalist in a musical festival and was rewarded with the opportunity to sing (live) on Perth National radio. Graeme's father reported hearing the broadcast loud and clear, even though he was shearing well north of Perth. Maisie' s rich mezzo soprano voice was much in demand in the Methodist church in Cunderdin and surrounding districts. It was also heard in at least one charity concert held at the Cunderdin Town Hall.

Another talent Maisie developed was that of painting in oils. Many of her lovely artworks adorned the walls of the home she had grown up in. Maisie and her sisters used to play tennis, hockey and golf. All learned to play the piano and to dance. At a young age, they learned to ride a horse and later, learned to manage a horse and sulky. Later still, they learned to drive a car. During the war years, Cunderdin, like Mallala, was a Royal Australian Airforce base. One of the young airforce men at Cunderdin was attracted to Maisie, but Maisie's mother was not happy with the friendship. Whether by her insistence, or by the young man's initiative, when he called to take Maisie out, he also took her sister! Another young man who was attracted to Maisie was a famer' s son. The two had grown up in the Cunderdin district, and Judith remembers getting excited when he came to visit, because of what she hoped the friendship might lead to; but the match was not to be. Like many young women of her era, Maisie was not required to earn her living independently, but for some time before her marriage, she worked at the Co-op in Cunderdin. My early memories of Maisie are connected with the hot summer holidays we used to have at the farm. My sister and used to share Maisie's bedroom and on one occasion, we helped ourselves to her lipstick. We were dressing up to entertain the older members of the household who were dutifully seated in the lounge room. When we emerged with lipstick liberally applied, Maisie said with dismay, " That's my best lipstick It cost . l" I don't remember the amount, but it sounded like a lot. Maisie never mentioned it again. Maisie was a loving aunt, a dutiful daughter and a much loved younger sister. She had a great sense of humour,was artistic, and enjoyed going to the pictures.


About 1950 she came to Mallala to have a holiday with the Revd. Alwyn Broadbent and his wife. Here, she attracted the attention of another young farmer. Some time after Maisie had returned to Cunderdin, the young farmer from Mallala travelled west to visit her, and succeeded in persuading her to marry him. Maisie Kitto and David Wilson were married in the Methodist church at Meckering in West Australia on August 29th 1951. After a short honeymoon, Maisie and David returned to South Australia and took up residence in the farm house at Barabba. For Maisie, the migration undertaken by her parents forty five years before, had boomeranged...


'Eulogy' for Maisie's Funeral Service in the Mallala Uniting Church, Friday, January 2nd, 2004 by Rosemary Jenkin of Mallala.


It is my privilege to recount Maisie's life here in Mallala, South Australia. This began in 1951. The Rev. Alwin Broadbent, who was the resident Methodist Minister at Mallala, and his family , were family friends of the Kitto family in Cundedin, Western Australia. Maisie came to Mallala for holidays, where she met David Wilson. They married in August, 1951, in W.A., and Dave brought Maisie to live in the Mallala area — on the farm at Barabba until Dave retired from farming — and then in their house on Dublin Rd. in the township of Mallala. My mother, Margary Roberts, was one of the church organists, and an accomplished pianist. So began a friendship based on music which continued until my mother died in 1985. Maisie, as we all know, had a beautiful soprano voice and was much in demand to perform at concerts, church services, fetes, wedding (yes, she sang at my wedding) and everywhere that Maisie was invited to sing my mother Margary Roberts accompanied her on the piano. Also, many an enjoyable time was spent together at our house —just practising. Another local lady Mrs. Effie Baker joined Maisie in many of these performances. Their duets were a delight to see and hear. Maisie loved to go to the concerts in Adelaide — Dave would take her and my mother was always invited and I attended some of these too. Maisie took mum to Canberra for the only Australian performance of the opera Aida. It was a dream come true to see this.

Maisie joined the local branch of the country Womens Association. Then in the 1960's, Mrs.Eileen Collins began the Mallala C.W.A. Choir so Maisie, as you can imagine was the leading soprano. This choir performed often and entered state C. W.A. choir competitions with success. Carols by Candlelight at the Oval was an annual occurrence.

The church has always been to the forefront of Maisie's life. Whilst on the farm, the Barabba Methodist church was the church that they attended, but when Barabba closed, Dave & Maisie were welcomed into the Mallala Uniting Church. There was a church choir, and my mother was the choir leader, I was organist/pianist for the choir. From about 1976 at Christmas, this Church choir, with a few extra singers from the other churches in Mallala, performed a Christmas Cantata This was a wonderful period of Church Choir life. Maisie was our leading soprano and assistant to all parts in learning these cantatas. She could sing bass, tenor, alto & soprano — whoever needed help — she gave it. Then after my mother passed on, Maisie took over the baton. She really did not enjoy conducting but she loved to sing, loved the Christmas music and encouraged us all. Memories of Maisie singing 'O Holy Night' at Christmas time still brings a shiver to me whenever I hear that carol.

Whilst music and singing played a major part in her life in Mallala, she had other interests. She loved to read. She loved lovely things. She loved her garden and flowers. Maisie Wilson would be on the Committee involving flowers. Stage decorations for the C.W.A. Debutante balls in the 50's, 60's & 70's were always just beautiful and Maisie directly involved. If she wanted a certain urn or pedestal or something or other for stage effect, she would find it, make it, or paint it.

Her welding ability to turn wrought iron into decorative works of art was well known. In fact, over at the Institute now, are two wrought iron pedestals made by Maisie. Her husband Dave was a very keen Masonic Lodge member and the Masonic Lodge Installation Balls were an annual event. Again, the flowers and decorations for these Balls were always just beautiful — Maisie would be very much involved in these decorations and spent many weeks planning such. Maisie was also a very competent artist. In her younger days, she enjoyed painting and in her house are some of her art works. She could have been a very successful artist but singing took over. However, Maisie's talent for art was evident in her China Painting. Many hours were spent with this hobby — Maisie even had her own small Kiln and produced many beautiful pieces.

Dave was a Life Member of the Mallala Bowling Club. Whilst Maisie never played bowls — remember the old adage 'behind every successful man there is a woman' and Maisie was there assisting. Maisie was not a sporty person however she did play golf at Owen for a few years and enjoyed the social side of it. In the 1990's, the Probus club began in Mallala and Maisie joined their regular trips Ten Pin Bowling to Salisbury, which she loved. She had a hip replacement earlier, ..then at aged 80 a knee replacement ...yes, we celebrated the birthday in Hospital in Adelaide .... Her other hip was worrying her but with the aid of her walking stick, she found that she could play Ten Pin Bowls.


Maisie was a very independent lady but I think she would like me to acknowledge the help and fellowship of many friends in Mallala and particularly in these last few years . ... her neighbours, Maureen & Tom Heath just next door, Ray & Ethel Earl across the road, Jessie Bates, who was a regular visitor, John & Gwenda Griffiths who were always looking out for her & only too willing to take her places, and Fay & Malcolm Dunstan who were always there when she wanted help . .. -for instance... Maisie washed her curtains very recently — pulled them down with her stick and her broom and then rang Malcolm to come & put them up for her ... which of course, he did!

I will never forget the pleasure and time that she gave to our family and in particular to my mother Margary. Maisie gave herself and her talents for all to enjoy. Her contribution to the Church and community at Mallala has been invaluable and just so enjoyable.

Sources

  • Rosemary Jenkin



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