Obituary: Margaret Chamberlain

CELEBRATION: Deirdre Cisco with Bev, Margaret, Denis and John Chamberlain at Margaret and Denis' 50th anniversary celebration in 2014. Photo: CHRIS SEABROOK 060114chamber1
CELEBRATION: Deirdre Cisco with Bev, Margaret, Denis and John Chamberlain at Margaret and Denis' 50th anniversary celebration in 2014. Photo: CHRIS SEABROOK 060114chamber1

MARGARET Chamberlain was born on September 3, 1944 at Strathmore Hospital, Russell Street, Bathurst. She was the daughter of Laurence Valermere and Joyce Edith Hargans (Menzies).

Margaret had three sisters named June, Deirdre and step sister Betty the latter being a daughter to her mother and step-father Brian Lett.

Margaret also had brothers Fred Hargans who as a child was adopted out to his grandparents at Evans Plains and John Hargans who later worked as a house painter.

Due to domestic violence in the home, Margaret and her sister June were admitted to St Joseph’s Orphanage in 1951 to 1952 from where they both attended St Philomena’s Catholic School.

Deirdre went to the Far West, Manly and John went to Croagh Patrick Boys Home, Orange. Margaret’s parents separated whilst living in Vittoria Street and due to rent being owed by her father, her mother was compelled to leave.

By this time Margaret’s mother was divorced and would eventually marry Brian Lett, who retrieved Margaret and her siblings from the Orphanages.

Margaret had already left school when her family rented a residence on the Oberon Road on Hazelwood’s orchard property just outside of Bathurst.

From March 1951 and again in 1952 to October 1954 Margaret attended Bathurst Demonstration School (now Bathurst Public School). Margaret attended West Bathurst Public School when it first opened in November 1954 as a pioneer pupil.

Margaret left West Bathurst Public School in December 1957 and spent two years at Bathurst High School leaving in 1959. 

Margaret met Denis Chamberlain in 1961 and married on June 5, 1964. The couple had three children, Janice born 1966 and twins John and Beverley born 1972. She lost her eldest daughter Janice in 1979 and life was never quite the same for Margaret.

During her working life Margaret worked at Robbins Shoe Factory, as waitress in the hospitality trade; Marsden Girls School, Bathurst Teacher’s College, Mitchell College of Advanced Education, working seasonal at Gordon Edgells food processing factory, Motor Travel Lodge, Scots School and at various establishments, her last employment was at Bathurst Base Hospital where she left in 1994.

In 1994-95 Margaret served as a volunteer in the Bathurst City State Emergency Service and at Headquarters Rural Fire Service.

In 1977 Margaret and her family ventured on a camping holiday to Cobar, Wilcannia, Peterborough, Port Augusta, Coober Pedy, Uluru Rock, Alice Springs, Tennant Creek and returned back through Queensland via Mount Isa, Winton, Charleville, Miles, Warick, Tamworth, Guyra and through the Central Coast.

In 1982 Margaret along with her remaining family cruised the Pacific Islands as far as Tahiti.

Margaret also travelled on the Indian Pacific train journey to Perth WA in November 2000, enjoying the journey and always brought it up in conversations.

In 1977-78 Margaret played bowls with the Rosemary Women’s Bowling Club, winning a number of trophies.

Margaret later played bowls with the Majellan Bowling Club in 1994 only staying a few years.

In 1999 Margaret took up Tenpin Bowling and won many trophies and only gave it up a few years back.

In recent years Margaret joined the coffee culture club partaking daily of vanilla latte at Banjos Restaurant.

On October 26, 2004 Margaret was blessed with a baby magpie. His right wing having been run over and crushed by a car.

Margaret Chamberlain loved magpies

Margaret celebrated her golden wedding anniversary in 2014 and had been married for 53 years.

On October 26, 2004 Margaret was blessed with a baby magpie. His right wing having been run over and crushed by a car. She named him Jackie and nurtured him back to health and taught him to talk. At time of Margaret’s passing he was 13 years old. She loved magpies and started feeding a few in our backyard; the few magpies grew to 50 or 60 birds coming in four times a day for feeding.

Margaret brought her mother Mrs Joyce Lett up from a Central Coast nursing home to live in Bathurst where Margaret would regularly visit her in the care centre until illness struck her down, the last visit being by wheelchair on April 17, 2017.

Margaret had suffered indifferent health over recent years and it was only seven weeks before she died that her illness was diagnosed as pancreatic cancer, her condition being terminal.

From this time onwards Margaret was in and out of hospital and due to a severe pain in the stomach was admitted on April 18, 2017 where she remained in and out of coma until her death on April 26, 2017.

Her funeral took place at 11am on Friday, May 5 at Holy Trinity Anglican Church, Kelso followed by interment in the adjoining lawn cemetery.

FEATHERED FRIENDS: Margaret loved magpies and started feeding a few in her backyard. That number grew to 50 or 60 birds.

FEATHERED FRIENDS: Margaret loved magpies and started feeding a few in her backyard. That number grew to 50 or 60 birds.