Monday, January 26, 2015

David Younger (1920 - 1985)

This is a short post about my step-grandfather, David Borthwick YOUNGER (1920-1985). As a young boy he was my 'Pa', but I learnt after his death that he was in fact my mother's step-father, as her father John BORDER died when my mother was an infant. David and my grandmother had a daughter, my mother's step-sister (and my aunt) after they married in 1957.

I was prompted to make this post as we recently moved an I found a Holy Card from the funeral service:

David Younger
Who died on 3rd November, 1985 aged 65 years.

Some of the following family information is anecdotal.

David was born in Edinburgh, Scotland to parents Roger James Paton YOUNGER (abt 1890-1936) and Elizabeth nee BORTHWICK (?-1966). I know little of his parents in Scotland and have not identified their marriage (but a Scottish Borthwick named Maurice Frank has emailed me a GED file I have not had a chance to look through yet).

Their emigration to Australia was shortly after David's birth in 1920, and I have a note that they arrived on the 'Berrima' in 1921. He had a younger sister Susan (Sue, who married Thomas SUTTON) who was born in NSW. In the 1930 electoral roll the YOUNGER family was living at 105 Laycock Rd, Hurstville, James entered as a plumber. James' death was register in Newtown in 1936, and I have been told it was the result of a workplace (construction) accident. I cannot find an newspaper article to support this (or Ryerson). David's mother Elizabeth died in 1966.

David went to Canterbury Boy's High School (on a scholarship). I am also told that when WW2 arrived, David was training to be a lawyer, but his enlistment record states he worked for the Maritime Services Board. He entered military service during World War 2 (Service Number N24700), and he told me he served in Papua New Guinea. His military records are now available at the National Archives of Australia on-line and this is confirmed. After the war he resumed work for the Maritime Services Board (MSB, in the building now known as the Museum of Contemporary Art, MCA, at Circular Quay). He ultimately met my grandmother in that capacity. She had started working at the MSB as the President, Captain George Whitton, was also President of Legacy at the time and gave her a job after she became widowed when her husband John BORDER died (in 1953). My mother, Clare HALL, recalls being taken to watch him play basketball as a young girl, and recalls that he also played cricket. He was about 37 when he married.

David and my grandmother with family ultimately relocated from Sydney to Newcastle, living in Kahibah where I spent many a happy visit playing in 'Pa's garden and vegetable patch. I recall assisting him with his gardening and pulling carrots, but in hindsight I was probably a bit of a nuisance. He called me a 'switcheroo' because when we watched the Rugby League on TV (I think he was a St George fan) I would support the time who looked likely to win, which would of course change during the game. He also collected aluminium cans with me to go and weigh and sell with me when I visited, and I remember once couldn't believe I'd earned $1.20 - he prepared me for disappointment all the way to the recycling station. I have a small scar on the 'webbing' between my thumb on forefinger on my right hand where I reached out to grab a ubiquitous cigarette in his mouth as a young child. He died just before my 9th birthday.

Amazingly, I do not have a photo of his gravestone.

L-R: my grandmother Yvonne YOUNGER formerly BORDER nee QUINANE, me (Matthew HALL) and my step-grandfather David Borthwick YOUNGER (1920-1985). This photo was taken in the backyard of our house in Saxon St, Belfield probably in 1977.

Quite the crowd. Back: my grandmother Yvonne YOUNGER formerly BORDER nee QUINANE, and my cousin Michael O'CONNOR (looking away). The in front row/gaggle, me (Matthew HALL), my cousin Louisa O'CONNOR,, my sister Renee HALL, our step-grandfather David Borthwick YOUNGER (1920-1985), and my brother Chris HALL. This photo was taken in the backyard of my grandparent's house in Kahibah (a suburb of Newcastle, NSW), probably in 1983 given my sister's age, and probably around Easter based on the warm clothes we are wearing. I remember those slatted outdoor seats well. 

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