Remembering Alma Middlebrook

Alma Jane Middlebrook  7.12.1920- 25.10.2018

FONDLY REMEMBERED: Mrs Alma Middlebrook is remembered as a much-loved member of her family and the wider community. She is pictured during the unveiling of a gallery at the Dungog Showground in 2015.

FONDLY REMEMBERED: Mrs Alma Middlebrook is remembered as a much-loved member of her family and the wider community. She is pictured during the unveiling of a gallery at the Dungog Showground in 2015.

Alma Jane Middlebrook (nee Hudson) was remembered by family and friends at her funeral service on Thursday, November 1 as a determined and generous, much loved member of the community.

Mrs Middlebrook died on October 25 following a short illness.

She was aged 97.

Described by her family as a determined, proud, independent and generous person, she was thrilled when her life story was printed in the Dungog Chronicle on 24 July this year.

Early years

Born in Dungog on 7 December 1920, Alma was the second daughter of Marion and Anthony Hudson.

She lived all her life at Myall Creek except for 10 years when she attended Bandon Grove school and the family farmed on the river at Bendolba.

In 1942 she married Vic Middlebrook, and they lived and worked on his family dairy farm at Myall Creek.

Their two children were Helen and Charles. When she was 49, Vic died suddenly but Alma drew on her strength and excellent farming skills and carried on as owner manager of the property and never fully retired.

She was very proud of her excellent vealers which often topped the local markets.

She had played tennis and cricket and took up bowls and won many championships.

New adventures

A partnership with Kevin Smith became a time of adventure over 30 years. They bred and trained race horses.

Alma was the strapper and organiser and was thrilled when they had a win at any of the many country racecourses they attended. These good times ended in 2008 when Kevin died suddenly and Charles passed away.

Alma always looked forward to November each year  – besides the Melbourne Cup and the Calcutta it is Dungog Show time.

She was proud to be made Patron and Life Member in recognition of her service to the annual show.

Alma managed to attend the show in 2017 despite being a patient in Dungog Hospital. Nursing staff and her community helped make it possible. She was able for what was to be the last time, in the centre of the ring and present her prize money to the winners of the Kevin Smith Memorial Camp draft.

In spite of the tragic losses of loved ones during her life, she had the strength of character to carry on.

Mrs Middlebrook (in red) at the Dungog Show in 2017.

Mrs Middlebrook (in red) at the Dungog Show in 2017.

There were always fresh flowers in the house from her garden and a cuppa and home cooked food for visitors. 

Driving

She drove her car nearly every day on a licence which she had held for 80 years without a single traffic infringement.

Many have watched with envy as she reverse parked in Dowling Street.

Her zest for life was irrepressible and at age 97, she had a remarkable memory and a genuine interest in her community.

Sadly she caught a virus that even she couldn’t fight and passed away in Maitland Hospital on October 25.

“She will never be forgotten, but will live on in our hearts, our memories, and as part of the rich history of Dungog,” said her daughter Helen Stacey.