Seat 'reunites' Mavis with mum
Mavis Morrison left Byron Bay in 1951 to live in Melbourne, but the town never left her heart.
Until the day she died in March this year, Mavis never stopped talking to her family about the Byron Bay she grew up in and loved.
And although her final resting place is in Melbourne, her husband Malcolm and daughters Victoria Denton and Jeannine Boothroyd thought it only fitting to do something to ensure her name lives on at Byron Bay.
So when Malcolm found a secret stash of money Mavis had been sticking in a sock over the years, the family decided to use some of it to erect a memorial seat in her honour at Byron Bay Cemetery near the grave of her mother, Jean Woolridge (Moore), and other family members.
The seat, paid for by the family and with a plaque attached, has been put in place by Byron Council, with the council chipping in for the concrete slab.
Last week Malcolm, Victoria and Jennine flew from Melbourne to visit the cemetery and those places in town which had been close to Mavis’s heart, including the lighthouse.
Mavis was the daughter of Jean Moore, who married John Wooldridge, whose parents had a farm where today’s Byron Bay Golf Club is located.
She lived in Ruskin Street until her father went to war, when she moved to Shirley Street.
Her father was captured by German forces and spent most of the war as a POW. Her mother died, aged 39, the day the war ended.
As a young girl, Mavis was a member of the children’s branch of the Red Cross and was an entertainer at the Literary Institute.
She worked for the Feros family in their shop and looked after their children until she got married aged 23.
Mavis had met Malcolm when he came to Byron Bay during the war and it was because of the post-war lack of work that forced them to leave the town and go to Melbourne.
“Mum loved Byron Bay,” said Victoria.
“She spoke daily of her life growing up in Byron Bay, and dad loved living there too.
“Me and my sister were brought up as Byron Bay kids in Melbourne. Mum was the only Melbourne hippy and used to go around barefooted.”
Victoria said the seat at the cemetery was a reminder of her mother’s life in a ‘wonderful part of the world’.
“She was a Byron Bay girl,” said Malcolm as he polished the plaque.