Ann Parish

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It was with great nostalgia I started reading the Telopea site after having the link sent to me by Phil McAppion a few weeks ago.  At the time we were coming to terms with devastating news which meant a big upheaval for myself and family - luckily we have made the right choice to come back to Canberra where I have the support of doctors, family and friends.
I do remember Telopea being a shock to the system for me after growing up with the Nuns in Katoomba and being a star pupil. The size of the place, the co ed (Telopea) made me revert to a sense of shyness and loss of my comfort zone. I suppose many kids went through that though as their parents dragged them around the country looking for the better life and better job.

Gradually I did make friends and had fun but scolastically i was just biding time till I could get out in the 'real world'...the public service. How easy was it then to work till 4.51, rush out of the building to the old Anglia and drive away??

After a few Oz trips by myself and with then boyfriend Terry, somehow met a French lady Chef who convinced us we could take over her Creperie which sounded like fun at the time. It was a big learning curve for us but being young and fit, it became a way of life for 23 years. Starting a restaurant was a natural progression and Canberra then was lacking any fine cuisine other than some of the hotels..e.g The Red Door..... and French Cuisine was very popular..... till all that changed with the bombing of the Greenpeace ship in the Mururoa Atoll, so we reinvented ourselves and became Moods restaurant in the Pearce shops till selling in 2002.

Many, many meals, celebrations and hard work later, we were very lucky to be able to then have time to take on Banardo's care, mainly on a temporary basis and have had lots of lovely children - shame about the parents - living with us, right up to last month.

I guess I never had time to get sick till stopping working 7 days a week so it was a shock to get a melanoma diagnosis and God knows how.. to recover completely and be able to get on with life so instead of waiting we went for the Sea change although Terry's business is still in Canberra.. Random Computing 20 years and still going .. and moved to Wollongong to a life by the beach
and one of the country's best kept secrets, so we have had a 3 year beach holiday .. more than some .. and what if we hadn't gone???

The email I am forwarding is one written by my only son the day after receiving my  current diagnosis so it was a with a sense of awe and pride that I realized what a compassionate man my boy has turned into and I could not ask for more, this is his way of dealing with the situation and what is to come and we have all been amazed by the support he has been given by his friends - the gen Ys who are often made out to be selfish and uncaring but as they say it has gone off!

Not only the donations which are soo important to stop this insiduous disease that affects so many people and their families but his Ann's Angels team  - 40 and growing - many of whom won't be running but will be there for support .. and a good party afterwards. He has exceeded his target and it has restored his faith in humanity and a sometimes uncaring community. [see City News article and ]

I have had limited social contact in the years with any school mates mainly Phil, Gunter, Archie, Sara and Jim Knox's wife, Chris, who is one of our best friends thru the years . Sadly lost contact with people like Cheryl, Vicky .. altho I did see her when our house burnt down but that is another story. Val, Kathleen, Sandy and sadly noted a couple of deaths beside other familiar photos in the gallery.
I think you are doing a good thing and hope you get help from those that can and that the functions are well attended for all the effort you are putting in. If I could be of any help on the catering side of things I would say .. keep it simple .. and remember people don't eat much when they talk a lot and thats what this is about isn't it??

At the moment I am going to begin a short course of chemo and will have to see how my body responds to it so I am not making any social commitments but will be checking out the site when I can to see what everybody is up to. Bye for now
Ann Griffith (Parish)

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