GREAT LIFE: Ena Featherstone when she celebrated her 106th birthday with family and friends at Petrie Gardens Aged Care, Tiaro; and Ena (on the right) with her daughter Melody and son-in-law Errol Williams at the Rockhampton Show in 1964. Ena made the dresses.
GREAT LIFE: Ena Featherstone when she celebrated her 106th birthday with family and friends at Petrie Gardens Aged Care, Tiaro; and Ena (on the right) with her daughter Melody and son-in-law Errol Williams at the Rockhampton Show in 1964. Ena made the dresses. Valerie Horton

Vale Ena Featherstone - you will be missed

MEMORIES flowed, laughter was loud and those walking out of Ena Featherstone's funeral were heard to be saying it was the best one they had been to.

Daughter Carole Whittaker said she might have missed her 108th birthday but the family was fortunate to have had her in their lives for so long and she will be missed.

Ena Eleanor Miller was born in Warwick on February 6, 1909 to parents Herbert and Beatrice Miller. She was an older sister to brothers Eric and Douglas.

She became a tailoress and eventually worked from home with her mother helping by doing the intricate beading and hand-sewing of clothes worn in that era. Ena met Joe Featherstone at a dance. They were both 27 and they married on August 27, 1938.

Because Joe's employment in the railway required transfers, they started their married life in Gladstone where Melody was born. They were then shifted to Cairns where during the next few years Kay, Carole and Joy were born.

Their final shift was to Maryborough in 1958. After less than 25 years together, Joe sadly passed away in 1962 and Ena remained a widow for the rest of her long life.

Carole remembers growing up with her parents.

 

Jo and Ena Featherstone in 1954 with the Peugeot which Ena drove around Maryborough until she stopped driving in her mid eighties.



Photo Contributed
Jo and Ena Featherstone in 1954 with the Peugeot which Ena drove around Maryborough until she stopped driving in her mid eighties. Photo Contributed Contributed

"We were well looked after, with mum being the typical stay-at-home mum as was the norm in those days, and dad heading off to work in his job as a signalman in the railway," she said.

"Because mum was such a good dressmaker, she was always sewing or knitting and even made dad's shirts."

"They worked as a team because dad taught himself many skills particularly in woodwork and made pretty well all the furniture.

"Mum still had the furniture in her house until she went to live at Petrie Gardens in Tiaro.

"Mum always had us girls beautifully dressed when we went out which included hats, gloves, handbags and hair done with ribbons.

"Also, always proud of her own dress sense, she often had shoes to match which had been painted by dad."

Ena enjoyed living in Cairns but it was during World War II things got a little scary.

When Carole was just two weeks old, Joe evacuated Ena, Melody, Kay and Carole to Warwick to live with her mothers.

 

Ena Featherstone (right) with her daughter Melody and son-in-law Errol Williams at the Rockhampton Show in 1964. Ena made the dresses.



Photo Contributed
Ena Featherstone (right) with her daughter Melody and son-in-law Errol Williams at the Rockhampton Show in 1964. Ena made the dresses. Photo Contributed Contributed

Carole said she remembers her mother saying it was a very long train trip.

"It's hard to imagine how she coped with three little kids," Carole said.

"But she told us of how the train was full of soldiers and they were wonderful to her buy getting her cups of tea and looking after and amusing Melody and Kay.

"However she was not too happy living with her mother and missed dad too much.

"So she took herself back to Cairns after about six weeks - war or no war."

Carole also remembers her father liked to have a good car.

"At some stage mum was taught to drive and that didn't go down to well with dad when she backed into a post and put a dent in his precious new car," she said.

Joe and Ena bought a Peuguot when they lived in Rockhampton and Ena still drove it around many years after Joe had died.

During her many years in Maryborough, Ena joined and was a very active member of the Civilian Widows Association, Maryborough Services Bowls Club, and Excelsior Club.

Ena moved out of her 6 Percy St home at 105.

Ena Eleanor Featherstone died in January.

She has four daughters, nine grandchildren, 14 great grandchildren and one great-great grandchild.


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