“My mother made my headpiece, the bridesmaids’ hats and also the baskets of flowers carried by the little girls – it was wonderful,” she said.
Five children would follow in the years ahead, three girls, a boy “and then a surprise baby girl when I was 42,” Irene said.
Daughter Kay recalls her mother working “equally as hard as Dad” during five decades at the Boatshed.
“Mum ran the Kiosk successfully for many years and the moment her kids turned 12 we were expected to work on the weekends,” she said.
“It was a real family affair and Mum would hire out the boats while dad was sailing.
“She was a lot tougher than Dad and wouldn’t put up with bad behaviour from anyone.
“Nor was she open to negotiating the price of boat hire with day trippers!”
“If they thought she was less able as a female they were wrong,” Kay says, “with a baby on her hip Mum would drag a boat down to the beach with her other free arm, leaving customers both amazed and horrified!”