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Melita's song by
Pam McLean

Melita Grace Law (Scotland)

"Celebrating the life"

August 31, 1917 - March 16, 2002
84 years

Nieces and Nephews Memories

Robyn Dennis

Helen Mulley

Peter Scotland

Don Elks

Gary Elks

John Scotland

Brian Haynes

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Niece - Robyn Dennis
My memories of Aunty Melita are many and fond.
Porridge with soft brown sugar. Soft boiled eggs with thick wholemeal soldiers. High backed, low legged chairs with vinyl seats made lower because the stuffing was falling out and the springs showing through (family chairs that had come through the ages). Deep baths with floating toys and saturated floors. Grandma's room ­ a high bed and bookcases, of being quiet whenever we went in there.
Slices of apple or a carrot at bed time and tucked in with a loving kiss. Of sleeping on the old brown couch with blinds down at night so that if you woke in the night you didn't even know what house you were in, let alone where the light switch was. Of the beautiful pendulum clock which held me mesmerized on many occasions.
Of a rambling red brick house with an oil burning stove where delicious food aromas were ever present. A high picket fence surrounding a wonderfully over grown back garden with secret corners and a bird cage. A front garden where you could make cubbies out of the old canvas fold up bed and all the pillows and rugs you could find, where Tim and I awaited our picnics of healthy snacks; buffered from busy Rochdale Road by the big peppy tree.
Of Tim's pet goldfish in a bowl. Of blowing bubbles with a straw to aerate the water, and when you had to suck with the longer tube to clean the bowl, it wasn't a good idea to suck too hard.
And the garage where the white mice were kept. The new, pink babies and cleaning out the shredded paper. The long ride to the farm for a couple of white mice much to the delight of our cats. The smell of mice still reminds me of the garage at Rochdale Road.
And never a word expressed in anger. Tim being told ­ "Dear boy, I don't want you to do that". And on occasion Uncle Max being bought in - "Now Tim, you know you shouldn't do that". I loved to be at that place, where Tim was happy to play whatever was going, a place as close to home as you could get in the city. Of a loving Aunty, so like my Mum, but with her patience tested by one child not four.
Child's memories I know, but extremely special to me.
When I heard the sad news on Saturday 16th March, Jahde and I headed over to Mum and Dad's. We spoke at length of Aunty Lita and the special recent times of seeing her. Of her week at the farm last year, by now confined to a walking frame, when she systematically sorted Mum's house for her. And forever independent, gently pushing aside Emma's offer of a helping hand. "I can do that, dear". And only last month at a family occasion, sitting with the twin sisters, surrounded by young relations.
When we returned home that night, I dreamed vividly. We were on a train going on a long journey. Mum and Dad sat opposite Bindi, myself, Mjuri and Aunty Lita. We were crammed on the seat and trying to get some sleep, Aunty Lita on the inside. When Aunty Lita got up to stretch her legs (she climbed over the back of the seat mind you), Mjuri was squashed against the side of the train. She was saying "I don't want to go to Mexico". Aunty Lita came back and said "It's OK I don't mind going to Mexico, I'll sit on the inside", and she climbed back in to the squashy side without any further complaints from anyone. That was Aunty Lita, always conscious of other's feelings and quick to fix things if she could.
This was a very special message for me. It helped me to realise that someone I have known forever is on another journey now. She is happy to be on that journey and content with her life. She is loved by many people. Her quiet presence will be missed by many people.
On Sunday morning while cuddling the kids in bed, I explained that Aunty Lita had passed on the day before. They were shocked, I don't think she seemed old to them. "I will miss my Perth Nanna, my emu and my Aunty Lita", (all lost to her recently) said Mjuri (4). "When I have my babies, the first one will be called Nanna and the second one will be called Grandad" (her precious grandparents). What happens in a child's mind when they think of someone special leaving them? I am so glad my children had a chance to know her. They don't know why I love old, brown furniture and high backed chairs. Why I keep soft brown sugar on the pantry shelf. I think I'd better tell them.
What can I say! We have been blessed with knowing an angel.
March 18, 2002

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Niece - Helen Mulley
My Aunty Melita has gone. My dear Aunty Melita! When I lay awake thinking this last Saturday night, it came to me that there are lots of others who would make that same statement with the emphasis on the MY! We all feel she is our own. It never occurred to me that I was sharing her with others. She was able to be special for each of us ­ so great was her interest in us and caring for us. There is proof of this around when you realise how many others have been named Melita after her. My own daughter, born on the same day as My Aunty Melita, is also named Melita.
Being the oldest of the Scotland grandchildren, I definitely felt a possession of MY Aunty Melita.
Not long after my birth my Mum took me to Singapore to meet my Dad and I was farewelled by my fond aunties.
During my 4 years in Singapore, we came down to stay at Fairway, Nedlands with her and Grandma.
She also came and lived with us in Singapore. I have clear memories of screaming every time my mother (Norah) washed my hair, but when Aunty 'Lita washed it, I was beautifully behaved ­ hence my gorgeous locks today!!
I remember swimming in Singapore where it rained every day at lunch time. Aunty Lita would take me for swims. She would strike out a strong breaststroke and I would float along behind with my hands on her shoulders. When it rained I was worried we would catch cold but she said it would be OK if we swam a bit harder; we would keep warm and not catch cold!
Later when living back in Perth I would often spend weekends at Fairway, Nedlands, with Grandma and Aunty 'Lita and remember the house and fun times there. Aunty Melita would take Grandma's breakfast in on a tray to her every morning.
I remember the building of the house at 32 West Coast Highway, (later Rochdale Road) grubbing outa huge stump from the depth of the ground, many family members there to help.
I was old enough now to catch the bus into town to meet Aunty Lita when she finished work at Dr. Beech's and travel in her little green Ford home to spend the weekend with her and Grandma. I would sit in the back seat of the car on the way home and imitate her hand signals out the back window. Her car had a little indicator which ours did not.
At times I was so naughty, thinking it was fun to keep putting washed cutlery back into the wash-up water, pretending it had not been washed. This was a great game and she made it fun. I thought she enjoyed it - she must have hated it.
I continued to visit after she and Uncle Max were married and the first time I saw Tim he had no pants on!! He was only 2 months old!
Many family gatherings were held at that house and how wonderful they were ­ all the aunts and cousins together. My family moved East, unfortunately, but our memories, and sense of family warmth of those happy times have never faded.
March 18, 2002

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Nephew - Peter Scotland and Jennifer, Belinda, Laura and Miranda
Auntie Melita has a very significant place in the life and heart of every person who has come into contact with her. Even her name has a history, but I will leave that to others to tell. Being one of many of her nephews in a large Scotland family, my story is probably replicated times over by many of my cousins. But I still must say farewell to my second Mum and confidante.
Many photos remind me of Auntie Melita in my baby days as one of six doting Aunts. I still recall her wedding day in 1956 when I was only five and the grand entrance and school Chapel hall and Max waiting way down there. Melita looked and was beautiful. Max was a very lucky man, and as time would show, a very deserving man.
Together Max and Melita opened their home to Grandma Scotland to live, and to the whole clan as we would meet together to celebrate absolutely anything at all, at any time. The post war years brought a bonding of family and were a special period as we unknowingly came together to celebrate our freedom after war, especially those uncles who were returned servicemen.
In 1960 and 1962 I stayed with Tim and the Laws and romped around the backyard and became bestus mates with Tim while Auntie Melita hovered nearby. Many home movies shot by Uncle Max show Auntie Melita caring for others and doing things to make others comfortable. She was the ultimate mother hen and we love her so very much. It was at this stage when I was nine and eleven that Auntie Melita became my second Mum and confidante. We lived in Tasmania and then Sydney and this consistent Auntie cared even though I was far away. We wrote to each other at odd times and I grew up to become a man.
During later years Auntie Melita and Max came through Sydney on many trips away and we maintained our friendship. Trips back to Perth always featured Scotland "doos" and invariably were held at Auntie Melitas place. She was able to sit and chat even in the busyness of looking after others. As the decades passed Auntie Melita was a constant in a changing world.
On arriving back in Perth to live in 1986, our own little family was welcomed at a Christmas/New Year doo at Auntie Melitas place. She was still loving and caring in a similar way after so many years. Our oldest daughters Belinda and Laura came to love Auntie Melita in the same way I had, so many years before.
In a letter written to me by Auntie Melita dated last year she says that she was quite well and ready to face the world for a long time yet. My expressed concern over her heart condition was dismissed and she went on to ask about us all and comment on her visit to an Alzheimer group farewell. Recent photos of our loved Auntie show a diminutive figure, but in her rightful place in the Scotland family group. Her mind was active and caring to the last.
We salute Auntie Melita in her life and in our memories of her life, and we thank God for every remembrance of her. Her faith and action are a testimony to us all. Very much love to Tim and Kerry and children on this celebration day as we remember Auntie Melita.
Peter and Jennifer, Belinda, Laura and Miranda Scotland
March 19, 2002

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Nephew - Don Elks


You influenced me, that gentleness and warmth I think
Your caring heart could reach out with comforting thoughts
And you always had time to listen
Your supportive responses did not seem so important as a kid
But your thoughts and ideals helped shape us
And you are a part of us all

We had some great times and got to know each other
Your place was a second home for me as a kid
We went on holiday to Kalbarri or, Karridale and Kulin
You were right to doubt us when we tricked you into speeding
Because Tim and I overstated the time between mile posts
When the speedo in the car didn't work
But that didn't give you the right to overload my bike enroute to Karridale
And Aunt I did grow up to be tall on those ever present morsels of fruit

Your inner strength and determination carried you
Through life, its challenges and rewards
Surviving the war and rearing Tim, but you seemed so unruffled by it all
A flurry of activity as your small family bloomed
Tim married Kerry, and Jacob, Christopher and Cassidy arrived
What I don't know and I meant to ask you
Whether Tim came clean about damaging the house that you built
When Soxy the cat threw that brick on your roof

Your faith helped guide you and you helped others
I remember being with you and Max at church when we stayed as kids
Although I am not a practicing Christian, I do remember some of the lessons
You knew what you wanted from life and found it rewarding
You raised money for charity, and actively supported your church
Although you sought respite from rattling the tin for the Red Cross one day
Having "happened" upon Kerry E. you asked her to take the tin
She quickly overfilled it, to continue her journey to the beach

You maintained an interest in all things family
And kept family stories and taught us about the past
Who is going to keep those stories now?
You communicated with letters and phone calls
I still remember your old phone number 33419
The family gatherings were often at your place
32 West Coast Highway for many years was the family headquarters

We will miss you, thankfully we have your memory

March 19, 2002

Don read this at the funeral service
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Nephew - Gary Elks
Tim and Kerry and family,
I am sorry to hear the news of Melita passing. I have so many good memories of her kind and giving nature. She had that Scotland strength and resilience and also was not easily deterred. I remember she wouldn't take "No" for an answer when offering a slither of apple or some other healthy morsel. I can remember she still managed to stay calm and kindly in a crisis, like one of Tim's tantrums eg when Soxy broke the roof tiles with a brick!! (sorry to bring that episode up Tim).
She was a precious soul. All the best for tomorrow. My thoughts are with you.
Hugs from Gary Elks
March 19, 2002

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Nephew - John Scotland
I imagine you will receive many e-mails - this too is heartfelt.
Dad phoned me on Sunday morning (I am in Sydney for the week) to give me the sad news. I am feeling for you during this time. I wanted to give you a call, but imagine you are busy with the organising and also with your own response to her passing. So I will e-mail and speak with you next week.
I feel I have lost someone very special and an important figure in my life. She was also Dad's favourite - very special to him. He will miss her as I will. She was always there - and always happy and positive and encouraging. I recall the many afternoon teas, parties, meals and the odd overnight stay at your old home in Rochdale Road. She was the perfect hostess, a wonderful aunt with a very rich and meaningful life.
Take care of yourself Tim and I know her love will be with you during this time - as well as my thoughts.
John Scotland
March 19. 2002

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Nephew - Brian Haynes
Dear Tim
I have just heard from Gillian that your mother, my dear Auntie Melita has died. I can only imagine how you must be feeling at the loss of her, and my thoughts are with you.
Your mother was was truly the gentlest and sweetest person I have known. My memories of the large Scotland family Christmases (especially) at your house (even before you were born) are as vivid as any of my childhood. My contacts with her became infrequent but always that lovely human kindness was there.
With my sympathies on your loss
Brian Haynes
March 19, 2002

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