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1957 Diary of Agnes (Logan) Roy

A record of the last nine months of her life


agnesAgnes - Maurie Roy's mother - died in 1957 aged 67 from renal failure because of her addiction to Bex powders which she took for pain - as you will see from some of the entries. This form of pain relief was eventually banned from public sale.

So this diary covers the last nine months of her life. She records rather mundane, matter of fact details of that time, and doesn't say much at all about how she feels about the events or people. But I found it interesting just to see what her everyday life was like. It appears to have been written for Peg, her daughter, to read, and my hunch is that Peg gave her the diary and asked her to write in it.

The diary was transcribed by her grandson George Roy.

From second term (May) in 1956, Bruce, George and Marilyn (Maurie's children) had gone to boarding school in Charters Towers - Thornburgh College for boys and Blackheath College for girls, though it was co-ed as far as most tuition was concerned. They have since amalgamated into Blackheath and Thornburgh College. Dad had been forced to send us there because Grandma (Agnes) was not coping too well. (Cousin Tom and step-brother Nicky also went to Thornburgh.) You will see us appear from time to time in the diary, and there is reference to correspondence with us. Prior to our going to boarding school, George and Marilyn had been "boarded" with family in Mareeba for a period (a year maybe?). This will explain why there is not a lot of reference to all three of us at the same time. We travelled to Charters Towers by a special school train and this will explain some of the references to trains and timetables.

You will probably be amused by some of the terms like "lotta" and "beano". And the canasta competitiveness is very evident! Especially if Sam, her husband, lost. Comments:

  • Editorial notes in the diary added by me are indicated as: italics .
  • I have also added some links in case you need to work out who is being referred to.
  • Sometimes Agnes seems to use the diary as a reminder, especially for her needles - I have put these remarks in italics.

Bruce Roy

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