Message from Hebe Morgan
Before Doc passed away I had made up my mind that one of the first things I
would do, once the long fight with Alzheimer's Disease was over, was to make
a long overdue visit to the UK. My last time there was in 1982, and I found,
as we all do as the years pass, that some of the people I would like to see
again were no longer with us.
So in June of this year I left Perth for Heathrow, and spent a wonderful
four months travelling widely, meeting many old friends and making new ones,
seeing the spectacular countryside, and being invited into people's homes.
In all that time there were only two downsides: steep stairs which my
arthritic knees didn't like (I live in a bungalow, so the shock was
considerable), and strange fittings on the shower heads which meant that
after three or four days of discovering how to make them work I moved on to
a new welcome, and had to learn how to deal with the next, slightly
different, system. If that's all I can complain of, you can see it was a
pretty good holiday.
In those four months I went from Chichester in the south to Derbyshire; from
there to the Orkneys; eventually to South Wales and Cornwall; through
darkest Dorset to ancient Canterbury; tasted the Midlands; and looked for my
grandfather's house near Manchester (it had been demolished to make room for
what I imagine will be a block of flats).
I twice hired a car - the first from Cardiff to Shropshire, then on to
Launceston in Cornwall; and the second to give me the freedom to travel
around Surrey. That one was a Mercedes! It was the only automatic they could
provide. 'Have you ever driven a Mercedes?' the girl in the office asked. 'I
don't think I've ever touched one,' I replied. I managed not to scratch it.
I collected cathedrals - eleven at the last count. And how magnificent they
are! But the high spot for me was the Memorial Service for Doc, which
exceeded all my hopes. I thank all of you who took the trouble to come and
remember him with me. It was truly an unforgettable occasion.
To those of you who offered me accommodation, who took me out and about and
gave me splendid photo opportunities - you know who you are! - my particular
thanks. I hope it will not be impossible for me to come again one day and
renew the ties I made this year. There is always a warm welcome for any Old
Dorkinian who wants to see Australia. Just don't all come at the same time!
Hebe Morgan (1939-1947 - not to mention 59 years with Doc)