Lifestyle

One Gympie family proves – good things come in fives

Beryl Hoolihan and Karyn de Vere (at rear) with Iris Atkinson and Emma Novak holding baby Amelia Novak.
Beryl Hoolihan and Karyn de Vere (at rear) with Iris Atkinson and Emma Novak holding baby Amelia Novak. Renee Pilcher

"I'LL need more than that - I'm celebrating!" Iris Atkinson laughed as she was offered her regular two tablets of medication at St Patrick's Villa this week.

The celebration was all about a very important person in her family, six-week-old great great granddaughter, Amelia Sofia Novak.

The occasion brought together five generations in a female line that includes some of Gympie's best known surnames and which stretches back to the early years of the Twentieth Century.

Guest of honour was little Amelia, probably the only one in the room who did not get the joke.

She was also the only female at the gathering with dark hair.

"That's her daddy's hair," her mum, Emma Novak said.

"She's got his family's blue eyes too," she said.

Iris, whose family pioneered the Gunalda and Glenwood areas, was born in 1919, the year Gympie welcomed the boys' home from the First World War, when Bert Hinkler paid a visit and the year electric street lighting replaced gas in Gympie.

"We had kero lamps at home then," she said.

She witnessed the Great Depression, the Second World War, many droughts and floods, the advent of television, the visit of pioneer aviator Bert Hinkler, the invention of mobile phones, computers, the jet engine and just about everything else we take for granted now.

It was an era of horses and carriages, very few automobiles, no home refrigerators and very few telephones, even of the landline variety.

But on Tuesday she had a much more significant event in which to participate.

She held Amelia, barely six weeks old, for the first time.

Sharing the moment were her daughter, Beryl Hoolihan, granddaughter Karyn de Vere, and great granddaughter Emma Novak, along with husband Paul.

All the women were born in Gympie, except Emma and Amelia, both of whom were born in Brisbane.

"I moved to Brisbane two years ago, met Paul, married and had a baby," Emma said, summarising her life quite briefly.

"She's a really good baby too."

Iris was one of 10 children, but the only one to survive, due to the tragedy of the then-unknown Rh factor, a blood condition which can make a mother's immune system attack her child.

"We didn't know much about blood conditions then," she said.

Amelia was born in the Mater Mothers, Brisbane.

Gympie Times

Topics:  family, generations, gympie



What to expect at this weekend's Steam Festival

PRIDE OF THE FLEET: Davey-Paxman Boiler is one of the stars of the weekend.

The annual Steam Festival is on this weekend.

Wide Bay's 'unhealthy' statistics a funding focus

FROM LEFT: Tracey Warhurst, Llew O'Brien, Dr David Gillespie, Kath Thompson and Amber Scott.

Sitting members are trying to tackle the Wide Bay's health problems

Teenage business owner brings Coast store back to life

Jess Kopp is the newest owner of Mary Delicious.

One of the city's best loved cafes will open again

Local Partners

Talented young musicians hitting all the right notes

PITCH PERFECT: Gympie High School Students Eliza Parker and Sarah Thomas ahead of their big weekend at the Conservatorium in Brisbane.

YOUNG Gympie musicians are hitting the next level.

Kim Kardashian West wants restraining order against prankster

She was attacked by Vitalii Sediuk for the second time in two years

Cliff Richard to release 101st album

Sir Cliff Richard's album cover

Sir Cliff Richard is to release his 101st album

Gympie Gig guide for the coming weekend

SOULFUL: Gypsy Hawk will play the Kin Kin Country Life Hotel this Saturday night from 7pm.

Want to know about Gympie's nightlife? Read on!

CMC Rocks faces fan backlash over date change, headliners

The 10th annual CMC Rocks festival will be headlined by The Dixie Chicks.

FANS are not happy about festival being pushed back by two weeks.

Beach-side real estate starts at $85k on Fraser Coast

HERVEY BAY REAL ESTATE: You can buy this townhouse in Scarness for under $300k.

Live your beach-living dream locally.

Gympie Century 21 owner forges his own path

ON THE ROAD TO SUCCESS: Billy Mitchell (right) with Queensland franchise manager at Century 21, Glenn Stanton.

It's been a meteoric rise over the past few years for Billy Mitchell

$40million hotel, shops development project for Mackay

Mt Pleasant hotel and retirement accommodation, proposed at 194-202 Malcomson St.

$40m development to take Mackay to 'the next level'

Huge Gunalda service station set to open by December

NEW STATION: The Gunalda Service Centre, owned by United Petroleum, will include a 350-seat eating area and a truckers lounge.

The massive servo is the biggest United development in Queensland.

Highway upgrade drives momentum in affordable market

Accessibility and affordability are keeping interest high

Property 200m from ocean selling for just over $100K

BEACHCOMBER PARK: Work has started on a new $19.2 million development at Toogoom.

The estate's developer is offering huge discounts for early buyers.