Bob Murray with his mum Patricia France at bingo at the Sportsman's Club at Urangan.
Bob Murray with his mum Patricia France at bingo at the Sportsman's Club at Urangan. Alistair Brightman

Wasting no time making memories

PATRICIA France and Bob Murray are making up for lost time.

The 92-year-old mum and 71-year-old son have had too many years apart and are now determined to share old memories and make new ones.

The two see each other three to four times a week, enjoying dinner, exploring the Fraser Coast or playing bingo at The Sporties club.

They are both thrilled with their renewed relationship.

More than a year-and-a-half ago things were very different.

Bob was living at Mount Magnet, 650 kilometres north-east of Perth, and had not seen Patricia for 65 years.

He was just five when Patricia left him in the care of her mother and father-in-law in Bulli, New South Wales, in the 1930s.

It was only after Bob's father died in a 1965 mining accident he started inquiring about his mum, eventually making contact.

When he retired at age 66 Bob decided it was time to get to know the other side of his family.

So, on January 22, 2008, the Chronicle and local businesses chipped in to fly Bob to Hervey Bay as a surprise visit for Patricia's 91st birthday.

Now Bob has moved to the Fraser Coast to start a new life with his new family.

“After coming over here last year everyone was so friendly,” Bob said yesterday.

“It's lovely,” Patricia added.

“It's nice having him here after not seeing him for so long.”

Bob said that although he has a sister in Western Australia he was always a lonely child. Not any longer though; Bob is surrounded by Patricia's four other children from her second marriage, including Trish Lewis, with whom he lives.

He is fitting in well too, joining one of Patricia's sons, John, at Rainbow Beach for fishing trips and another of her sons, Robert, at Howard for bingo.

Bob admits Queensland's humidity is getting to him a bit but he is not too concerned because he lives opposite the beach.

“We're having a good time together,” said Patricia, smiling.



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