Joan Cox - Words of Wisdom
This week I caught up with the wonderful Joan Cox, “I worked very hard and I always had money because of that, if there was any overtime, I was the one who got it. Times were tough.”
Where and when were you born? I was born in Neville (a little place the other side of Blayney… a very little place) in 1925.
What are the most important lessons you've learned in life? To persevere, and don’t be too hard on people.
What is your favourite childhood memory? There wasn’t much going on in Neville, I used to love going to school. I loved knowing things, I was a very good scholar, I always got good marks.
I can remember my father borrowing a horse and sulky to go into Carcoar, to get food... the depression was so bad.
What life advice would you pass along to your grandchildren? Be honest and be kind.
What could you tell me that I would be surprised to learn about you? I served in the Airforce during the war. I was 17 years old when I first went in. I was a site mechanic, I trained in Sydney, Melbourne and Narromine.
Was it a strange thing back then for a woman to be a mechanic? I s’pose it was a bit, but this was the second highest ranking. I went up in test flights, I even took the controls at one time, it was great, I loved it. Just being up there and being free, accomplishing something.
What did you want to be when you grew up? I wanted to be a school teacher, I couldn’t because Neville was only a little school and I couldn’t go to high school because there was no high school in Blayney then. I can still hear Mr Curtis pleading with my Mum to let me come up to Orange to do high school. We couldn’t really afford it, we were pretty poor in those days.
What was your first job? I had a lot of jobs, I was at Bloomfield for 40 odd years as a nurse... I suppose the Airforce, I loved it. It wasn’t something I ever really wanted to do, we went through several tests and they decided I would make a good mechanic, so that was that.
What are you most proud of? I’m very proud of my needlework, just about everything I’ve done. Mum made sure I took a dress making course when I was younger.
What did you get up to when you were young? We didn’t have many toys, very little in the way of toys... I did have one that I remember. I did quite a lot of hopscotch. I was the only girl in my family so I had to entertain myself.
What is your favourite thing to do for fun now? My needle work, I’ve done a lot of cut-out embroidery and knitting.
Who is the person who influenced your life the most? Why? My Father, my parents were both very strict... but my Father was someone I could always depend on, he always knew the right thing, you know? He made sure we did the right thing, I had four brothers and I know things were very hairy at times *laughs* we kept him busy.