Margaret Grace Hayes

Margaret Grace Hayes
19 March 1940 - 22 January 2015

The Young Margaret

Margaret was born on 19th of March, 1940 in Sydney NSW and had lived in Padstow and Bankstown as a young girl. Her father was a salesman, selling milk and dairy products with his Clydesdale horse and wagon. At one time he did enter his wagon into the Royal Easter Show. 

Margaret only went to Grade 3 as she suffered two bouts of rheumatic fever which had her bedridden for 6 months the first time she had it. Rheumatic fever left her with a damaged heart valve. She always knew she would need to undergo valve replacement at some point in time. Margaret's mother, Violet, did try correspondence school with her until it was beyond Violet. Essentially, Margaret was self-taught and an avid reader. Among her life regrets were not learning Algebra (A+B=C), percentages nor multiplication. Another was when she went back to school for a while she could not join in playtime activities with the other children but had to sit quietly in the shade. She did however learn from her father and brother how to ride horses. And when she was 6 years old, she and her horse, Bubbles, entered the Royal Easter Show and at one time she led horses into the show. 

Margaret went on to business school to learn typing and shorthand writing, skills she very much excelled in which got her noticed by the big bosses of British Paints and Lambson & Paragon. She was headhunted by other firms for her excellent work ethics and her last job in Sydney was working for de Havilland's Aircraft factory that built the Vampire aircraft. Then she moved to Tamworth when she was 18 when the family purchased a dairy farm.

Married Life

Margaret started working as the Secretary to the Chairman and Assistant Secretary to the Manager of East West Airlines where she met Cleve (who had curly hair back then). They were married approximately 2 years later in April 1961 when Margaret was 20 and Cleve was 25. Four children came along soon after with Christopher born in 1964, twins Denise and Darren in 1966, and Neville in 1967. The beginning of their marriage started lots of movement and home/land buying and selling. They moved to Toowoomba for 3 years to take on a job improvement. Cleve went to Papua New Guinea for 3 months in charge of an aircraft contracted for geographical surveying for the Papua New Guinean government. In 1970, the whole family had to move with him to Papua New Guinea when he accepted a position with Ansett which later became Air New Guinea. As Cleve worked his way up the ranks to Chief Inspector for Air New Guinea, the family had to live from one town to another, from Madang to Port Moresby and then to Lae. It was such a good time for all filled with fond and exciting memories.

It was common for families in Papua New Guinea to have house-boys to help look after the house and take care of the children. This enabled Margaret to grab interesting work opportunities in CIB, Law Courts, and Judges. On one occasion she went with the Harbour Master on a boat down the Sepic River to take notes of interviews on safety issues on boats.  Her shorthand writing and typing skills came in quite handy. She was doing very well with her career, at one time during this period, someone even did suggest she study and be a solicitor or a lawyer. 

Back to Australia

Then in 1975, to everyone's dismay the whole family had to return back to Australia, in Redcliff. Cleve had to do shiftwork and Margaret was back managing the home. Within 6 months, they were back rebuilding their lives, investing in a rust proofing business on the Gold Coast which was very challenging. Margaret went back to work as a legal secretary also spending one day a week at the Coolangatta Golf Club. They also ventured into window tinting business which proved to be a good investment. Margaret's experience as a legal secretary was a great benefit not just to her family but to other families too as she helped them with a number of conveyancing transactions, imparting her extensive knowledge in relevant legal matters. 

In no time, Cleve and Margaret were back to investing and building real estate duplexes including properties like the Dogwood Drive house on the canal, a Currumbin home up the valley, and apartments on the beach at Currumbin Creek. It was calculated they had purchased and sold 15 homes by this stage and made 22 home moves. 

Passions and Crafts

One of the passions Margaret got herself into at this time was her love of breeding and showing cats. She started off with Siamese cats and fell in love with all other breeds from then on. She was very interested in their genetics and became a champion breeder and judge. She did this over many years until she became an executive of the Gold Coast Cat Club and wrote articles for the Cat Fancy Magazine. 

For all who knew Margaret, she was always busy with her crafts. From oil painting and water colours, china painting (including some commission work that were sold in a gallery on the Gold Coast) to quilting, crochet, knitting, sewing, crafting, hardanger. She even started the 'Crafty Travellers’ craft club at the Big 4 Complex in Casino, where the family currently live. She taught crochet, knitting among others, and made kits for travellers to keep them entertained and busy while on the road. Of course, when not doing crafts, Margaret was reading. 

Travel Bug

In 1996, Margaret and Cleve were hit by the travel bug and went all around the world by bus, motor home and car. They toured around Australia, including Tasmania in a Hi-ace pop top, bus and motor home. They toured Europe twice -- did a motor home swap and went all around Europe. They purchased a camper then went through the UK. Purchased 2 campers and went through the USA. They managed to get through Europe, the United Kingdom, Asia, Russia and Scandinavia. As well as a number of cruises. The first of which they did with their daughter, Denise, with her ex-husband, Dave, where they travelled to Alaska.

You would have recalled Margaret having had rheumatic fever when she was young which later attributed to her weak heart. Over time, her heart grew weaker and weaker. Their extensive travelling must have taken a toll on her weak heart that in 1998, she finally needed to undergo a heart valve replacement surgery. Her heart valve was replaced with a metal valve that made a significant difference to her energy level. Within 6 months she was back to travelling in Europe again. A funny story Margaret shared about her metal heart valve was when her granddaughter Ellie and her were laying down and Ellie asked if she could turn it off as it was ticking so loud she couldn’t sleep. On a couple of occasions when Margaret was in training hospitals, some senior doctors suggested to training doctors to listen to Margaret’s heart and let them know what they could hear. Most didn’t know what to say as the sound was pretty unique. It was quite unique to have a metal valve heart. Cleve could recall those nights he would 'tune in’ to Margaret’s heart clicking to check her heart rate, which sometimes raced, just to see how she was going without having to wake her up.

Ovarian Cancer

In 2011, Margaret was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. She took on the challenge of the cancer like any challenges she had faced in her life -- head on. She had undergone over 35 chemo treatments, enduring even the exhausting 12-hour round trip drive every week to the Gold Coast for her chemotherapy. She did go on a trial with a new drug which unfortunately was unsuccessful. She courageously fought 'the good fight' even though she knew there was only one outcome. Apart from her illness she would say she had a good life. She had a positive attitude, always looking forward. She will be missed by all her family and friends as well as her precious cats.