Scam, kidnap by South African police

Scam, kidnap by South African police

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Scam, kidnap by South African police

Scam, kidnap by South African police

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My mother, Dr Patience, loved La Perouse, and she often went there to look at the sea, look at the Aborigines handling snakes and selling boomerangs.

The pictures above I took in La Perouse when I went home to Australia at the end of 2010 for 6 weeks with my remaining brothers, Patrick and Charles.

When I got back from La Perouse to Charles' house, I told him I needed to go there to say good-bye to our mother. And that when I was there, she gave me a lesson, as she always did when I was with her. I bought fish and chips, and I thought it was cute that a seagull hopped on the table to talk to me. Wrong! He was there to steal my fish, which he did rapidly. The 4 seagulls above enjoyed it.

That was my mother's lesson: a predator is a predator even if he looks cute. Be on your guard.

Charles told me on the day our mother died, in Prince Henry Hospital, maybe a mile away, he immediately drove to La Perouse to sit there and remember her.

Dr Patience loved the water, the power and the might and the changes in light and energy. Now I know why I do too, and at every opportunity, find an ocean to walk along, smell, listen to.

I wish my children had known my mother. Known her wisdom, known her knowledge, listened to her soft Irish voice, known how much she loved them.

Now that I am in my 7th decade and my parents have been dead for so many years, I wonder what was so important to me that took me away from my family in Australia, what was so important that I was so far away when both of my parents died.

I chose how and where to pass my years, this was my mother's greatest gift to me, and the source of my greatest regret.

MJoTAtalks: Fiction. The Irish Rose (c) 2001, SJ Dodgson.

Listen to the fictional story based on these facts about Dr Patience:

-she was a medical graduate

-she was Irish

-she worked in Sheffield hospitals immediately after graduating from Queens University in 1940 until she moved to London in 1944

-her appendix burst in Sheffield while she was working after she had told her superior that she believed she had acute appendicitis

-her parents in Belfast were sent a telegram saying she would not survive the night and asking them to come to her

-she never forgave her parents for not even making an attempt to come to her

These facts were all I had. The story I wove together from the facts and historical record.

Listen to the story by clicking on the sound icon below.

Dr Patience

Helen Patience Uprichard

Dodgson MB BCh(Belfast)

born 26 Aug, 1915, Belfast, Ireland

died 8 Aug 1995, Prince Henry Hospital, Little Bay, Sydney, Australia

My mother, Dr Patience Dodgson died 2 weeks before her 80th birthday in Australia after 33 years of a debilitating and crippling disease that left her blind and bedridden the last 6 years of her life.

But her spirit! I always knew when Dr Patience was feeling better because I could call from Philadelphia and have an argument about the Australian or American political situation.

In her last year, Dr Patience was thrilled to tell me that her refugee student had received a B in her English examination, due to my mother's tutelage from her bed.

Mother graduated from Queen's University School of Medicine in 1940 and was immediately swept up in the war effort in England.

She worked hard through her own burst appendix and bombs dropping around the hospitals in Sheffield and London and before too long caught the eye of a young medical student at St Thomas' Hospital, London.

She married Dr Michael Dodgson on January 25th, 1945, and waved him goodbye as he sailed off to Burma for 2 years with the British Army to finish World War II and mop up afterwards.

Daily letters followed, full of love and promises of a bright future.

Dr Michael returned, settled down to a career in Pathology and finally the first child was born in London in 1949, Robert Michael Dodgson.

Since Mother's career was effectively finished at this time, she decided to do child-bearing properly, giving birth to William John Dodgson 12 months later also in London; me in Bristol 14 months later and then also in Bristol Patrick William Dodgson 12 months after that.

William John died in infancy. and is buried near our Dodgson grandparents in Eastbourne, England. I hope to be buried with him.

Meanwhile Dr Michael's career in Pathology was not progressing as fast as he liked, and we had moved to Manchester which I remember as being gray at all times. My father clearly missed the warm air and blue skies of Asia, and meanwhile the British Government was desperately trying to prop up a dying Empire by paying most of the costs of moving British people to its colonies.

And so, following a trend, one morning Dr Michael woke up and announced to Dr Patience that they were moving to New Zealand and he was flying out in a week. My mother told me that her last words to her father-in-law and mother-in-law were that she did not want to go, this was not her idea.

In June 1957 Dr Patience packed up and moved us to Belfast for 6 months, where we watched Sputnik in the sky. In December 1957 my brothers and I climbed onto the ship named the Southern Cross for a 7-week voyage.

The trip of a lifetime from Liverpool through the Caribbean, across the Panama Canal, through the South Pacific to Wellington, New Zealand! Unfortunately I was only 6. Gosh! In Panama we were sitting under trees at night when the adults were drinking things that made them mellow. In Fiji I remember eating watermelon. Maybe for the first time.

Tight-rope walking on the ship's rails and a kidnapping attempt of the Robert in Fiji. Samoa, I remember dancing.

Trying to keep 3 hyperactive children from falling overboard exhausted my mother, and when we arrived in Wellington, my father put her in a hotel room by herself for several days. And she slept a long, long time.

New Zealand was paradise for Dr Patience and all of us. We lived on the top of a hill in a house on the grounds of Cook Hospital, where all food was grown and power generated. Dr Patience did not work for the only time in her adult life, and gave birth in 1959 to my youngest brother, a very blond Charles Heathfield Dodgson. My Charley.

My father was the only pathologist in Gisborne, and I found out years later, was the only neuropathologist in the entire country of New Zealand.

On Oct 1, 1960, the day the British rulers left both Cyprus and Nigeria, our British family left New Zealand, by boat, and traveled 6 days to Australia, the land of birth of Caroline Tooth Dodgson, my father's grandmother. Dr Michael immedaitely started work as a hospital pathologist in a University hospital in Sydney.

Two years after that, Mother was crippled with arthritis. She went from running rapidly everywhere to being scarcely able to hobble. And she was only 47.

Dr Michael could not handle his strong companion suddenly becoming needy, so he ran off with a young woman, came back and then after a few years, one day cleaned out their bank accounts, bought a VW beetle, and set up house with the young woman 1500 miles away in Adelaide. A year after living with my father, the young woman committed suicide, so after that he frequently came back to visit for a week or so or a month or so. Usually right after his latest girlfriend had realized that he might not be the prize she hoped. Mother never knew when a taxi would pull up, and he was always welcomed. My mother was grace itself.

Nearly 20 years later, when we were all getting my mother nursing and medical help, I called her physician from New Jersey. Before saying anything, he told me the medical folks in Sydney were appalled at the behavior of Dr Michael, had been, and still were. Which explains why my father could never again get a job in Sydney, and even if he had wanted to care for his wife and children, was not able to. We never were given the impression he wanted to.

When we heard in 1987 that Dr Michael was in the final stages of prostate cancer, my brother flew to Townsville to collect him so he could die in the family house. In his last week he was taken to hospital for hospice care, and his last words were "Patience!" Complicated love story. Dad died in January 1988, 8 months before my third son was born in Philadelphia. Allister Michael Dodgson Blossfeld has Dad's height, and his gorgeous big brown eyes.

Meanwhile, sick as she was, after my father left in 1967, Dr Patience supported my 3 brothers and myself through school and university. She worked as a rehabilitation physician in for Australian Veterans Affairs 1967 until she retired in 1980. Which meant she did a few physicals for young men conscripted to fight in Vietnam. She was very proud of making those not wanting to go to Vietnam ineligible. To her core, she was Irish. And because of her birth, I am entitled to citizenship in the Republic of Ireland, which is why this site is flying the colors of the Irish flag.

I left Australia in 1978 after finishing my PhD to work as post-doctoral fellow at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia.

When my first son Angus Zoltan was born in 1981, Dr Patience could not get onto a plane quick enough to visit her first grandchild. This was an arduous trip, the last plane trip she attempted. I brought Angus, and my other sons Miles and Allister to see her in Australia several times.

But she never saw my daughter Patience Caroline, who was born 14 months before Dr Patience died.