The death occurred, on January 13 in the Boorowa Multipurpose Service, of Lesley Mary Mason, at the age of 95 years, just four days short of her 96 birthday.
Lesley was a lifelong resident of Boorowa and a link with the ‘pioneering’ farming families of the 1920s and 1930s.
Her parents, Les and Flo Mason, arrived from England in 1920 and became one of the first families to develop farming country amongst the larger holdings on the Kenyu Road.
Lesley was their second child and only daughter. She was pre-deceased by brothers Walter and Lloyd, while another brother, Derrick, survives her.
When presenting the eulogy at the funeral service in St John’s Anglican Church on January 22, long term friend and former neighbour Jill Hodgson told of the early hardships of Lesley’s life, which included riding a pony across the paddocks to her first school at Suffolk Vale, and later some distance to ‘Limberlost’ to travel with teacher Mrs Flannery to school in Boorowa.
Jill spoke of Lesley’s love of the lumbering draught horses that her father used for farming and the affection she had for all animals during her long life. On leaving school she spent her time on home duties, and one of her tasks was taking lunch to the men of the family working in the paddocks or in the shearing shed.
She was a keen gardener and walked regularly right up until the last few months of her life. Lesley never needed to use a walking stick or a walker and she never wore glasses.
When describing Lesley’s personality Jill said: “I guess a kind, gentle, shy, happy and non-confrontational soul are the adjectives that fit.”
Lesley was in her fifties when she ‘spread her wings,’ learnt to drive, acquired a motor vehicle and began a series of overseas trips.
Shortly after her mother’s death in 1993, she became one of the first residents of Burrowa Cottage, and as Jill Hodgson said, it became easier for her to continue her regular attendance at St John’s Anglican Church.
When she finally gave up her driver’s licence she would be brought to church and driven home.
She was later to spend many happy years among fellow residents and staff of Burrowa House, where she moved in 2012. There she enjoyed being involved in activities and the staff in turn enjoyed her sense of humour and gentle character.
A kind, gentle, shy, happy and non-confrontational soul are the adjectives that fit.Jill Hodgson
The Rev Geoffrey McAuliffe conducted the funeral service, niece Suzanne Hopner shared memories of Lesley, and cousin Shirley Robson gave the reading.
Pallbearers were Lesley’s nephews Greg, Roger and Walter Mason and great nephew Christopher Mason. Paterson Brothers of Young were in charge of funeral arrangements.