Alfred Australia Dennis (1878 - 1965) and
Clarinda Mary McGovern (1883 - 1961)
had nine children, all of whom received nicknames or diminutives. In order, they were:
1. John McGovern ("Jack") 1906 - 1976, farmer
married Louisa Stafford. Children: Stafford, Maureen, and Alexander
2. Alfred George ("Harp") 1908 - 1991
bachelor, soldier, solicitor, reformed alcoholic, and highly colourful, if often infuriating,
Received nickname from inability of a younger sibling to pronounce "Alf".
3. Margaret Clare ("Girl") 1909 - 2006
milliner, globetrotter, gardener, and my mother.
Married Sydney George Smith. Children: Malcolm and Warren (the youngest of the
Received her nickname early from being the first girl of the family.
4. Olga Louise ("George") 1911 - 1994
Married Jack Foster. Daughter: Hazel
At her funeral, the eulogist said that no-one knew the origin of her nickname. My mother could have told them. At one stage, as a child, Mum started calling her siblings names such as George-Fat and Jim-Fat etc, the operative word being "fat". Somehow, the first term stuck to Olga, and no-one else.
5. Harold ("Halley") 1913 - 1969
Married Iris Drought. Children: Rex, Carl, Marian, Pam, Alfred, and Janet.
Received his nickname from inability of a younger sibling to pronounce "Harold".
6. Lillian ("Lill") 1916 - 1992
Married Bryan Smith (no relation to my father). Children: Adrian and Denise
7. Charles William ("Charlie") 1919 - 2006
Married: Thelma Schirmer. Children: James and Robert
8. Douglas Edgar ("Doug") 1922 - 2013
Married: Doris Pumpa. Children: Owen, Allen, and Lorna (the second youngest of
9. Hilda Marie ("Babe") b 1925
Married Edward Emmett. Daughter: Christine.
Acquired her nickname as the baby of the family.