Obituary to Veteran Josie Everton
It is with deep, deep regret that we acknowledge the passing of our dear friend and fellow Honourary Veteran, Josie Everton. Josie died in the early hours of Sunday the 2nd March 2014 and she was buried on Friday 7th, after a Requiem Mass held at St Anne’s in Seaford, Victoria.
Josie has been an amazing part of our SAMVOA life right from our second ANZAC Day March in Melbourne back in 2005, when her husband, Cliff and Tom Robinson joined us as two South African WW2 Veterans. How proud we were to have these two fine gentlemen amongst our numbers!
Josie was made our very first Honourary Veteran at the SAMVOA Formal Mess in 2012
As you might recall, Cliff and Tom were our Guests of Honour at our first Formal Mess Dinner in 2006 at the Toorak Services Club. We subsequently honoured Josie by making her our only local Honourary Veteran at the 2012 Formal Mess Dinner. Josie was extremely proud of this acknowledgement, which recognised her dedication to the ideals of SAMVOA and, very importantly, her dedication to Cliff and in ensuring that she and Cliff were present at every possible parade and meeting. The first question Josie had for me that evening was, “When do I get my SAMVOA tie, SAMVOA medal, beret and beret badge”. She delicately chased me on this matter and she subsequently wore her SAMVOA kit with great pride.
Her dedication to supporting Cliff has been an act of pure love and an example to us all. She has always been very proud of what Cliff has achieved and we are so glad that she was able to witness the moment when a North African medal that Paul Roos had sourced, was presented to him. Those of us who were privileged to be present at the Frankston RSL that evening and witness this event, were touched to the core, and we will never forget Cliff’s “Thank you speech” when he recounted how little acknowledgement they, as soldiers, had received on returning from WW2 – how they had not expected people to fall over themselves, but they had anticipated more than what they had received. That evening, Cliff felt vindicated and was both overwhelmed and emotional on receiving this medal, and he told us in his own special way, just how much this meant to him, to have received this acknowledgement and how much he appreciates the camaraderie he enjoys with his fellow members. This made him feel very proud to be part of SAMVOA and of his WW2 service to South Africa.
And a big part of SAMVOA he really was, with Josie forever by his side, also enjoying and joining in on the camaraderie and good fellowship that is the hallmark of being a member. Today Cliff is 94 and Josie was 87 when she died, and who would have thought that Josie would have preceded Cliff! Unfortunately Josie was found with cancer two years ago and she has never complained, and she bore the pain with such dignity that there are many of us did not know of her ailment, yet she kept right on coming to all the meetings and parades!
Marie Theresa Josephine La Marque was born on December15th, 1926 at the quaint sugar-growing town of Mt. Edgecombe, North of Durban, South Africa. “Josie”, as she was more commonly known, was the eldest of 8 children.
Josie attended Mt. Edgecombe Primary School, where she quickly discovered her love of style and fashion – a passion she kept with her, her whole life. Her first post-school job was with the millinery company ‘DuBrey’, where she spent 7 years perfecting her craft.
It wasn’t until a trip to Pietermaritzburg where she would meet her soul mate, Clifford. Some say it was ‘love at first sight’. On October 29th, 1949, at the tender age of 22, Josie took Cliff’s hand at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church, Mt Edgecombe and said ‘I do.’
Now, nearly 65 years after their marriage, Josie has fulfilled her vow and promise to Cliff and has been an exemplary and wonderful wife, and an extraordinary and loving mother, grandmother and great-grandmother. Our very sincerest condolences go out to Cliff, Sandra, Lola, Pricilla, and their families. Josie leaves 9 grandchildren and 4 great-grandchildren and she now rejoins her son Hilton in the arms of the Lord.
Something that I don’t believe any of us at SAMVOA knew about Josie was her love of music and it was this that Josie was best known for in her younger days. Her instrument was her voice, being blessed with an angelic voice; she was a soloist of note, who was very much in demand at church services, weddings and similar functions.
Good-bye and God bless you, Josie - thankyou for being the person and example you were.
May the souls of the faithful departed through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.
Lest we forget.
Tony Macquet MMM.