Friday, 13 July 2007

MiMi - Irene Alice James nee Reardon

She was a grande dame of Bondi. For forty years she lived right on the beachfront in Campbell Parade, when Bondi was an ordinary working class suburb. Rene as everyone knew her, was my Grandmother, who insisted my brother and I called her "MiMi', today would have been her birthday!

She was outrageous! Before her time! In 1919 she'd auditioned to join the Tivoli, her Irish Dad, a burly butcher, said "No". Defiantly she found a job as barmaid at the Paragon Hotel that still trades today in Alfred Street, Circular Quay, Sydney where in 1920 she met Roy. After a short courtship they wed in September 1920 and in August 1921 my Mum, their only child was born. Mimi was a larger than life character in Bondi.

Widowed in 1935 she saw the bombs come over Bondi and by the time I remember her she drank 'Est' out of tea cups and had a 'boarder' we called Poppy! She was normal really!

Born 13th July 1895, she died in November 1963 after a long, painful battle with cancer.

Here's MiMi and Moi in 1945, at the fete at the War Memorial Hospital, Waverley, (where I was born) - both looking the epitome of fashion of the day ... gorgeous!


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