Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Dolores Brewster RIP

Dolores Brewster
Photo: Johnny Bambury
Click on any image for a larger version

I met Dolores Brewster (m. Scott) for the first time in March 2013. I have only met her on two occasions since, but I feel I've known her all my life. There are probably two reasons for that.

In the first place, she was a very special lady. In her mid-eighties she was the most positive, optimistic and serene person I have met. And she was very open, would talk about anything without any side to her. To know her was to like her.

The second reason is that the family connection goes back some seventy years when her father, Gordon, died suddenly in my mother's shop when Dolores was just seventeen. At our first meeting we spoke about that and shared memories of Howth, though mine were from slightly later as I was only two at that time.

Dolores was born in 1929 and the family lived in Howth. Her brother Richard was born two years later and it was in that same year, 1931, that another big family event occurred.

Now that Dolores is no longer with us, and beyond the long arm of the law, I can reveal that she burned the house down. How do I know? She told me so. It was not any childish fit of pique, however. She was only two at the time and it appears she knocked over a clothes horse full of drying clothes straight into the fire and the place went up.

Some time later her parents' marriage broke up. Her mother went to England and Dolores and her brother Richard were raised by their father until his untimely death in 1946. Their mother came back briefly from England to sort out Gordon's affairs and, as Dolores put it, "to claim the children". Then they all went back to England. Dolores went into nursing and her brother into the Merchant Navy.

The children had a great relationship with their father and Dolores, and her daughter Lynne, have come back on occasions to visit his grave in Kilbarrack. It was on one such visit that I first met Dolores, in fact three generations of Brewsters including her daughter Lynne, and her grand-daughter Lottie aged three.

I wish I had met Dolores much earlier and we might have shared a lot more stuff, but I was thrilled to bits when she made it over to attend a talk I gave on Gordon in November 2014.

Strange to say, after such a short acquaintance, I'll miss her.

She died at home last Saturday, peacefully and in the company of her two daughters, Lynne and Micki.

May she rest in peace.

Dolores & myself at the launch of Michael Laffan's
"Judging W T Cosgrave" in October 2014
Photo: Johnny Bambury

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