Mrs. Marie South
At 91 years old (although she certainly does not look it – and is even younger at heart), Mrs. South is a loyal supporter of the Priests’ Retirement Foundation.
Marie married Frank South when she was 20 years old and has six children. She was married for 52 years – Frank passed away at 74.
Once, twice, three dates then married.
She was from Concord and he was from West- Ryde. He played NRL for Marist, who were playing the boys from Concord. After the game, the Marist team were invited to come along to the Catholic Youth Organisation dance, where they would meet.
Frank knew what he wanted, because after three dates with Marie, he proposed…and she said yes!
They had a modest, but happy wedding, with 50 people attending. Commenting on the wedding celebrations today, Marie said “Girls today are too focused on weddings, and not enough on marriage.
It’s OK to have a small wedding”. Weddings she had attended previously were made up of barbeques at home, with local friends bringing food or extra cutlery and plates. “They were simple, and people were not getting into exorbitant debt for a wedding.”
Advice for a Successful Marriage
When asked what advice she could offer for a successful marriage, she said “Well, you’ve got to argue… but be sure to always say good night and good bye, even when you’re mad”. There were occasions, she described, where Frank and her would have a tiff, but he would turn around on the hill (driveway) and would wave goodbye and blow her a kiss. Sadly, she has known people who unfortunately lost their spouse, and didn’t have the chance to say goodbye – which remains their deep regret.
Faith in the Family
Marie and Frank were raised Catholic. They attended mass with their parents, and just continued going themselves, both as a married couple and later with their kids.
Marie believes that example, expressed by how things are lived at home, is the best teacher. Marie and Frank saw how their parents lived the faith, and they just continued themselves.
“If the example is not there, it’s very difficult for the kids to continue… this applies to living the faith, and equally to perseverance in marriage”.
One other prayer, that has inspired Marie’s increasing involvement in her faith is by St Angela “Whatever you wished you had done at the hour of death, do now whilst you have time, health and opportunity.”
Why the Priests’ Retirement Foundation?
When Marie was asked why she opted to support the Priests Retirement Foundation, over and above many other good charities within the community, she said,
“Well for all the priests that I have known in my life – Fr Bond, Fr Keith, Fr Joe, Fr Phillip, Fr Greg, Fr Brian, Fr Curran – they have all been lovely men and I have enjoyed the lot of them!
The Priests have been so helpful over our lifetime, helping with our formation and education, and they frequently visit us in the retirement village.”
Marie was particularly moved when speaking about Fr Josepho, a priest from Fiji, who not only made frequent visits to the retirement village, but also spent time with those hard of hearing and communicates with the little AUSLAN he knows.
On a Separate Note
When asked if there was any more advice she could offer our readers, she said “I hope you have a Will”. Part of the reason she strongly encouraged this was that if one is found to be without a will at death, the State will do what it can to find any eligible relatives to take the estate. However, if in the event there are no eligible relatives, all assets and estate are then passed to the State.
Marie suggests we take the opportunity now and choose who receives our estate.