My beautiful, exceptional mother – Annie Beckensal Carter (Nee Spencer)

Annie Beckensal Carter (nee Spencer) Born December 7th 1908, Died June 6th 1965 Ann was my mother. She was the most beautiful person I have ever known. I cannot find fault with her,as she was faultless in my opinion. She came from a wealthy and affluent family. The Spencer’s of Lancashire and Norfolk, UK. Her Grandfather James Spencer came to Australia with his wife and children. Some of the names in our Family Tree on my mother’s side are the Spencer’s, Miller’s, Barker, Kinchella and Beckensal families My mother grew up on a farm in the Laurenston, Kyneton area in Victoria. I do not know a great deal about my mother, but I do know the important things. You see I guess we took our mum a bit for granted, we assumed she would be around for a very long time. I actually thought my mother was only about 35 years of age when she died. I had no idea. She looked so young and beautiful to me. She was actually 57 when she passed over. She was always a lady, regardless of the situation. She was a very caring person who not only empathized with others, but was very generous to those less fortunate, or in need of help. She performed her generosity  anonymously. A parcel of food and clothes left on the doorstep of the recipient, after dark, with no sign or note of who had made the gift. I know that she went to college and studied Business Studies. She was very close to her parents, especially her father who mentored her and groomed her to run the family farm. Her father Hugh James Spencer was a Cabinet Maker, and also a Violinist, as well as a farmer. He had played the violin for Dame Mellie Melba on occasions. He was a quiet man, intelligent and firm. My mother was a very independent young lady. She was driving an MG Coupe when she was very young. I believe my mother was not easily enamoured with the men. She needed a man who was at least her equal. That would have been a hard task, knowing how competitive and assured in herself, that she was. She was a very competent horse woman, who showed her horses, and competed extensively around her district. She was quite wealthy in her own right. I think she had known several spinster friends of her parents, and was impressed and mentored by these ladies. It was a chance meeting that she met my father. She was looking for a good horse for her baby sister Edith to ride. Edith was 20 years her junior. My father had been recommended as an excellent horseman, living in Melbourne. Mums search for a horse for her baby sister was not the usual horse, otherwise it would have been easy for mum to find a horse herself. No, this horse needed to be good in a carriage, as well as ridden under saddle. Mum was in her early 30’s when she met dad. Dad was well known along the east coast of Australia as a great horseman and stockman. When they married mum was 34 and dad was 52. They moved to Wodonga, Vic on the Victorian New south Wales border. My mother bred stud cattle, that was her business.  She was not a housewife in the usual sense. She employed nannies and housekeepers to look after her four children, while she concentrated on running the stud farm. She had her four babies all within four and a half years. Amazing feat, but also for a reason. If the children were closer together in age they should have a close relationship. Age gaps in siblings can create tensions in some families. She cooked on a regular basis, and loved being with her children. We all adored her. She was the most caring loving beautiful person. She raised her two boys and two girls to be equals. The boys learnt to cook and sew and do most things one would need to do to become self sufficient. So too the girls. We learnt to do most things the boys were taught to do, or mens work. The only exception was mum  expected us all to lift above our weight, literally speaking, not in a physical sense. Both my parents were very social people, and entertained on a very regular basis. It was normal to have large gatherings and dinner parties at our home. We loved meeting mum’s and dads friends and business associates. The children visitors always seemed to want to ride our horses, which meant work for us, rather than playing. We contrived our own tricks and responses to the child visitors demands on our free time. Mum was a trickster and played pranks on us children. Turning off the electricity and making ghostly sounds in the dark was a favourite. We never really knew if it was one of mum’s pranks or the real thing. We all had a good laugh, more so relief when we realised it was mum and not a real ghost. I hope to reveal more about this beautiful woman in later stories. She was a very popular lady and this short summary will not do her justice to her short life.


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