June 2002 Newsletter - Merle Walpole (Wood)

Merle Walpole (Wood) died last year, aged 85 years. The late Mrs Walpole was born at Geelong but completed her secondary education at Yallourn High School when her family (Florence and Amos Wood) moved to Yallourn in 1927. During her teenage years she led a full life being a member of various youth groups, the Girl Guides and later Rangers, as well as continuing her studies in classical ballet. She was also a member of the Yallourn dramatic society and took part in numerous productions in Yallourn. After leaving school she was appointed registrar of births and deaths in Yallourn as well she commenced teaching ballet in Trafalgar, Moe and Traralgon where she and her pupils performed in a number of very successful concerts and pantomimes. She resigned from this occupation when she married Bernie Walpole at St John's Anglican Church, Yallourn on 15th January 1938. Merle and Bernie moved away from Yallourn in 1940 to the family farm. Merle remained busy rearing her three boys Graeme, Noel and Dennis as well as being secretary of the Woodside Red Cross and Woodside Hospital Auxiliary. She also helped with various charitable organisations including the church, school and the Woodside Football Club. For the past 50 years, they have lived in the house they built together from where she watched her family grow with the addition of six grandchildren and four great grandchildren, whom she loved dearly. She is survived by Bernie her devoted husband of 63 years.