Audrey was born Tuesday, January 14, 1919 in Croydon, England, which is now a suburb of London. Audrey’s parents, John Henry Parish and Margaret Barbara (Tindle) Parish, were both born in London, England in 1894. She was the eldest of their five children - Audrey, Jack, Barbara, George and Ron.
On July 5th 1920, John, Margaret, Audrey and Jack, arrived in Quebec City aboard the SSVictorian. The family first lived in Toronto, Kingston, and Napanee.
Audrey began her schooling in Kingston in about 1923. Once back in Toronto in 1926, she attended many elementary schools as the family moved almost yearly. Then she attended Western Commerce. Audrey was a life-long learner. As an adult, she attended many different night school classes, including chemistry and a woodworking course.
Once out of high school, Audrey worked at Christie Biscuits and then Canadian General Electric before moving on to the McDonald Nicholson accounting firm where she met her future husband, George Matthew Hamill.
Audrey and George were engaged long distance on May 8, 1945 as Audrey was in Toronto and George was serving overseas in the Canadian Army in Holland. George’s father, Robert George Hamill, acted as the go-between by placing his mother’s ring on Audrey’s finger, to signify their engagement.
On May 18, 1946 Audrey and George were married at St. Jude’s Anglican Church in Toronto. Twins, Douglas John and Brian Robert, were born in 1946. Douglas died in infancy. Gregg Courtney was born in 1951 and Barbara Joan in 1956. The family lived in Etobicoke near Royal York Road and the Queensway beginning in January 1951. Audrey supported her children in many ways, often serving as a chaperone on various school trips.
When her children were older, Audrey worked occasionally, part-time with GOTemp, Government of Ontario Temporary Services, work she found interesting in its variety.
In 1964, challenged by George to find a home much closer to his workplace near Eglinton and Yonge, Audrey viewed thirty-three houses before she found the right one in North Toronto.
As a young woman, Audrey belonged to the Anglican Young Peoples’ Union (serving a term as president) at St. Jude's, and played on a St. Jude's women's basketball team that won an Ontario championship. For decades, she was a member of the Ladies' Auxiliary of her local Anglican parish. She was also active in the Victoria College Women’s Association, and the Local Council of Women.
Audrey had a number of other interests including the Royal Family, and British History, especially Mary, Queen of Scots. She and George loved to square dance and were members of the “Skirts and Flirts.” They both loved live theatre and attended plays in Stratford beginning when the plays were staged in a tent, and had season tickets to the Royal Alex. She enjoyed collecting Royal Doulton figurines, watching PBS and TVOntario, especially Saturday Night at the Movies. Reading was another passion of Audrey’s.
Loving stories are told of special occasions to celebrate major birthdays and anniversaries. Audrey’s favourite foods were Lemon Meringue Pie, Chinese Food and Fish and Chips.
Audrey visited England and Paris with her English cousin, Derek Knott, in 1962. She visited England with her mother, Margaret in 1970 when Brian was a student in London. She and George went to the British Isles, including Northern Ireland, in 1981. They also visited Holland in 1995 for the 50th Anniversary of VE-Day (Victory in Europe), followed by travel through Germany and Switzerland to Rome.
In January of 2006 Barbara, Gregg, George and Audrey moved up to Chesley. Both Audrey and George moved into Parkview Manor in January 2009. George died in April 2009. Parkview was Audrey’s home and community for ten years. Thank you to the staff for kind, loving and thoughtful care over those many years.
Audrey died in the presence of her three children, Brian, Gregg and Barbara, on December 19, 2018 in her 100th year. She was buried along with her husband, George, on December 21st in the Chesley Cemetery.
Audrey was the mother of Brian (Diane), Gregg and Barbara, grandmother of Tara (Jonah), Jonathan (Brett), Robin and Courtney, and great-grandmother of Damien. She will be sadly missed by her sister, Barbara. She was predeceased by her parents John and Margaret Parish, her husband George, son Douglas, grandson Timothy, and brothers Jack (Ella), Ron (Pip), and George.
Memorial donations to Parkview Manor Residents Fund would be appreciated as expressions of sympathy.Send to friend