Phyllis by Her Cousin Joan Huber (nee Lawrie)

Tuesday, 21 December 2010 09:26 PM GMT

Contributed by: Jerry Green

Some very interesting observations on Phyllis's early life in Argentina.

Have been thinking about just what I should tell you about growing up with Phyllis. I remember it as a time of lots of fun as she was really marvellous "playing" with us and keeping us amused and quiet at the same time. Our Mother was suffering from a heart condition that today is easily corrected with new valves etc, but in those days she was told to keep quiet and not to worry about her kids. Ivor and I were too much of a handful for her to manage and Fee, as we called Phyllis, took care of us so that our Mother could rest. Fee lived with us until till we were both old enough to be put into boarding schools. She came out from England to Buenos Aires after our 1925 visit. Apparently Auntie Ilma (Your Grannie) and Uncle Lyd were going through hard times. I believe betting on the horses in Newbury and Reading was the cause. Pigeon House was lost as a result. Our parents offered to take care of whichever older Spackman children agreed to leave home to live with an Aunt and Uncle in Argentina. Biilo and Fee were willing. Bob came out to Argentina later and went to work on an estancia (ranch) as assistant to the manager. Fee lived with us and Billo went to a family in Cordoba north of BA to look after the children. That's where she met Arthur Roberts. They were married in BA and lived in a flat in town for a year or two before returning to England and the Dairy Farm near Melton Mowbray. Once Ivor and I were in boarding school, 1932, Fee went to the Benitz family to look after Olga Benitz's nephew and niece, John and Mary Horner. This was also on an estancia "Las Tres Lagunas" (the three lakes). Fee was dearly loved by Olga Benitz who became Auntie Olga to all of us and when John and Mary were sent to the same boarding schools, Ivor and I were in, Fee remained with Auntie Olga. Some time later Fee met and married Tony Gerdes, Diana's father. Fee and Tony lived close by to Auntie Olga. You will have to get her history from then on from Diana. Mary Horner and I became Diana's god mothers. We were still in school and when she was christened, Mary & I were dressed in the school uniform and because I had been confirmed I was allowed to hold the baby at the ceremony. Diana's two brothers, John and Eric were both born in BA. Fee would come and stay with us in BA for the birth of the babies. That's more than enough for today!!!

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