ANZAC Day is a time of remembrance. Edith, a homeowner in the Newport community in Port Macquarie, has reflected on the life of her late father who served in the army in Cape York. Mr. Smead cleared the ground and operated the search lights in Cape York as a young man. Edith remembers a wonderful caring father who kept in constant contact with his army mates throughout his life.
Mr. Smead also had a very long working life at Mackelly’s department store in Grafton from the age of 15, up until he finally retired at 75!
Mackelly’s was an important part of Grafton’s history and Athol Smead was their longest serving employee. In fact, Edith’s family all had connections with the store over the years. Her mother worked at Mackelly’s, as did her brother, two sisters and Edith also did alterations for the store.
Edith moved to the Newport community six years ago from Yamba where she’d lived with her husband for 20 years. After her husband passed away, she decided to move closer to her son in Port Macquarie and her other two sons in Sydney.
Edith has embraced life at Newport, “I still drive a little, but I like being able to catch the community bus on a Thursday and going to the ladies’ lunches.” She also commented, “I have good neighbours and I’m happy that people keep an eye out for each other”.
Living at Port Macquarie has also been a bonus, “I’ve got more visitors in Port Macquarie than I ever had before because the community is just off the highway and only a few hours from Sydney and from Brisbane in the other direction.”
Edith created her wall hanging in several stages. After sewing the squares together, she used an overhead projector to project her father’s photo onto a wall. She traced the image on to butcher’s paper and pinned it to the patchwork. Then using the big stitch on her sewing machine did the outline finishing it off using 12 ply black wool. It’s a great likeness of her father and a lovely way to remember his life.
To find out more about the Newport community visit