Great Aunties


Pearl. NOT Great Great Aunty Kit Clements.

I sometimes show my photos to others to gauge their first reactions. I am frequently surprised at the comments, and get new insight into my collection. If I see something of a family member in a face or other point of interest to my rellos, I will show them first. The photo, above, is a case in point. I showed it to my mother and asked if it reminded her of anyone. “Aunty Kit”, she said without hesitation. This made me very happy as the only reason I bought this photo was for the resemblance to said Aunt.

On my maternal grandfather’s side of the family there was Great Great Aunty Kit Clements. On my maternal grandmother’s side of the family there was Great Great Aunty Kit MacAteer. Both were christened Katherine. Despite this I was named after neither of them, sadly. Mum and Dad say they just liked the name Katherine. (Luckily, so do I).

Whenever I think about Great Aunts, I think of P.G. Wodehouse and have a wee chuckle to myself.

Aunt Agatha is like an elephant—not so much to look at, for in appearance she resembles more a well-bred vulture, but because she never forgets.

When news had reached me through well-informed channels that my Aunt Agatha for many years a widow, or derelict, as I believed it is called, was about to take another pop at matrimony, my first emotion, as was natural in the circumstances, had been a gentle pity for the unfortunate goop slated to step up the aisle with her – she, as you are aware, being my tough aunt, the one who eats broken bottles and conducts human sacrifices by the light of the full moon.

Neither of my Great Aunts were so ferocious, but neither were they faint-hearted ladies. Kit MacAteer was a cook at Freer’s Hotel in Moray Street, South Melbourne ( for hotel, read respectable public house) and helped her sister (who owned the hotel), bring up my grandmother and her brother when the children’s father died.  Kit Clements was forced to give up an “unsuitable match” to care for her invalid mother. Neither woman married, which may have been a great sadness to them, but it meant they were very close to their nieces and nephews, great nieces and nephews and where longevity allowed, great great nieces and nephews!

This photo is from the USA and is dated 14 November, 1949. The sitters name is Pearl. She looks like a darling.

  1. maclancy1950 said:

    by the looks of her fancy jacket, she had an artsy side to her as well. She has the proverbial, twinkle in her eye!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, for the 1940s she had a unique style. Harks back to her Edwardian youth perhaps. A youth she never lost by the looks of her twinkle!


  2. Rachel McShane said:

    I love this commentary Cousin 🙂 love the way you put this story together 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Linda said:

    This lady has a very nice face, great story of your Aunt!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I am sure you have a few aunts tucked away in the family albums who sound more like Dahlia. One, there is a clear advantage of having an Anatole around. Two, she has a publication for which an unpublished nephew/niece could always whip up a piece on the current trends in dressing.

    Liked by 1 person

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