MARGARET (PAT) MASON Data Capture Page. Extracts from emails, etc.
From: Toddy [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org] 27 October 2011
To: Wendy Nolan
Sorry to have to tell you that Pat died peacefully in her sleep yesterday. She was 89 years.
Forward to N.F. 29 October 2011
Nov 5, 2011
Dear Paula Winton
Wendy Nolan has forwarded an email from you telling about the recent death of your mother.
I have been a bit confused, as I was under the impression that she, like most of her generation,
had already passed on.[She was 89 so I'm not surprised] Also,most people in our branch of the
clan ( African) call her Margaret, because of her book. But after a conversation with Wendy this
evening she has put me in the picture.[I don't know how much Wendy told you but at school there
were too many Margarets in her class so, as she had so many names to choose from, they called
her Pat. Also the chap who did the layout for the book misspelled her name Margret]
I wish I had known earlier that your mother was still alive, and that there was an email
connection with you. I would very much have wished to had some contact with your mother and
been able to express our gratitude for all the work she put into family research. [Mum would have
been extremely please to hear from you. She wrote to Hugh quite a lot. I presume you are from his
family. I have all her papers still if you have any questions]
Political circumstances in Zimbabwe have forced my family to finally leave that country and settle
in Australia. For several years I have tried to bring the family tree in your mother's book up to date
as far as the southern African branch is concerned. Save for a few families this has been achieved.
In the course of this work I have also come across some other Jura branch members; one family in
New Zealand, and one in Australia.
The southern African branch has a website, (not really searchable on the Web), which I doubt would
be of any interest to you; nevertheless we are happy to receive material and enquiries concerning
the Jura branch, in particular.[I would be happy to include any information you have in my own archive.
Did you know that there is a website for Fletchers as part of the My Family group. The site is
myfamily.com and search for "Glenorchy". It's run by a Canadian "cousin" Dave FletcherI ]
I am happy to have been able to write this note of appreciation of your mother, and to offer my
condolences and best wishes.
[Many thanks for your kind thoughts.Hope to hear from you again soon.Paula ]
Nannup, Western Australia.
From: Dawn Coburn Nov 5
Kia ora Neil
Like you, I thought Margaret Mason would have already died. .........
Sorry I have taken so long to reply. Funeral etc. Everything went as planned.
I am not a fan of too much PC and don't seem to get offended at anything much so please send me your link.
I remember mum telling me Hugh had died. They were regular correspondents. What a complex family
you have. I am very interested.
I don't know anything about Gordon Fletcher as he has never sent me anything to say he connects to my
tree so I don't know how he fits in. I think he has contacted the Canadian "cousin" but know no more.
Feel free to tell who you wish about mum's death. I expect a lot of people I don't know will be interested.
Once Gordon puts it on his website I expect a few more "cousins" will come out of the woodwork, so to speak.
I can't think how to get my material to you although I can send a GEDCOM file of the tree. There are loads
of mistakes on it. Mum copied all the information she had from her mother. The chap who wrote it down
originally made some suppositions, which were convenient to fill in the blanks, but which have now been
passed on as fact. Also spelling mistakes and misread handwriting were to blame for some errors. Any
other questions just ask.
My husband is cooking dinner at the moment. Seems a lot of men do these days. Time for me to lay the table.
We still have two of our sons to feed who are due home from work soon.
Many thanks for your reply. I emailed Dawn Coburn, a "cousin"!, descendant of the nephew of my
great grandfather who established our Africanbranch. Hers is the New Zealand branch. She also
was surprised to know that your mother had lasted so long.
Hugh was also a "cousin"...... He died about six years ago.I would very much like to see material etc
which you have, and can think of a number of questions.Am quite happy to give you the link to our
website, ..........You might come across some stuff offensive to current norms ........... Do you have
contact or know much about Gordon Fletcher at spaceless.com?............
Reply |neil fletcher to Toddy
.......... would you mind sending me a good photo of your mother,
one that you do not mind being used on our website for a page
devoted to material from your family. I would send a link to such
a page to all family members who I think would have heard of your
mother and who would be pleased to receive details.
Would you mind sending some biographical information
I am sure you must have quite a lot of material of
interest to our site. In particular, for example, it would
be interesting to know where your mother got the image
of Agnes Eaglesim, my great grandmother, in her book.
Was it from Hugh? Do you still have the original?...............
Nov 19, 2011
Thanks for the link. It'll take a while to look at it all.
Yes I think have the original photo of Agnes that I suppose Hugh sent mum. I have all mum's
files stashed in a large blanket box which is not easily accessed. I think I have a photo on
computer disk somewhere too so it might take a while to find it. I'll send it when I find it.
I was quite annoyed when I found that (Spaceless) Gordon had put mum's book on Wikipedia.
He never even told me let alone asked permission. I know it isn't a legal requirement but courtesy
seems lacking these days. That makes me sound old doesn't it? It is so inaccurate it annoys me
that people seem to accept it is factual. Gordon has the "MacGregor Papers" which mum used as
some of her source for the book, and put all their content on his website. I told him, nicely, it was
inaccurate but he never wrote back. At least it appears some of your family realise it.
I have attached two files which may interest you. I hope you can open them. They are from the original
"Society" which got the research started. I have them because my grandmother was secretary and
when the war came the group folded and she was left with it all. Mum took it up in the 1960's and we
suggested she wrote the book so other Fletchers might benefit. Mum was very good at keeping files
and lists. I have every letter she received and it will take years to read let alone sort the good stuff out.
I have just retired at the age of 60 and have been married for 39 years to Tod. We have four sons and
one grandson. We live in Wimborne Dorset. That's the south of England. Could you please let me know
who you are? I mean roughly age, family and where you live. I like to have a rough idea of who I'm talking
too. Maybe a photo.....
Attached is a photo of me and mum in the care home last Christmas, with Rob, my nephew. Another of mum
earlier in life I will send later.
Below is some of mum's potted life story read at her funeral. I hope it's enough.
Bye for now Paula
Margaret Frances Patricia Mason, Pat, as she was always affectionately known, was born on
19th February 1922 and was brought up in Leigh-on-Sea in Essex. After her formal education
Pat then went to Clarke's Secretarial College in Southend. Pat and her Mother decided to
move to London where they lived during the Blitz. It was while in London that Pat met her lifelong
friend, Joey, and the two girls decided to move away from the war-torn city to find new jobs.
Later Pat decided to move to Watford. It was here, whilst working as the boss's secretary at
Cox & Co, who produced amongst other things, decoy targets for the War, that she met Albert
who was a toolmaker and foreman in the factory. A romance blossomed and the couple were
married in 1945 in nearby Aldenham and after the war the newly-weds left Watford to find work
and accommodation. They moved to Blandford, where Pat's "Aunt", owned a few houses and
they opened a small private lending library, which they ran for a few years.
After Terry, Paula and Jill were born Pat used her secretarial skills to start a small business
from home, typing and duplicating - long before computers meant everyone could do this work
for themselves. Later while Albert worked for Flight Refuelling, the family all moved to Wimborne
when the new factory was built there.
Pat started delving into her family history and travelled many miles scraping gravestones,
searching Records Offices, and finally producing a book which sold more than three hundred
copies before it "went global" on the internet. Many of her contacts are still in touch today and
have sent the family their condolences.
After retiring a year or so early Pat and Albert carefully packed themselves, their camping
equipment and a small amount of food, and set off for their Grand Tour. They "disappeared
for over six months. Travelling by road or ferry, once with the car hoisted aboard a coaster,
and sleeping in campsites and on the roadside under the stars along the way, they took in
France, Spain, Italy, Sicily, Yugoslavia, Greece and finally Turkey, where tourists had not
yet arrived. They drove miles along cobbled roads, ate fish cooked by the fishermen
straight from the boat's catch that day and spent days exploring markets, bazaars, and
villages. They bought local produce from roadside vendors, and ate like the locals.
Letters to and from home were few and far between. Each letter home was eagerly devoured
and shared with friends who followed the "Adventurers" from Wimborne. The family could only
send letters "post restante" to pre-planned stopping places. These and the daily diary and
photographs are now an invaluable record of Pat's trip of a lifetime.
After Albert died in 2000 Pat moved to Meadow Court in Verwood and a new episode in her
busy life began. Pat joined the Scrabble group, enjoyed the musical appreciation evenings,
and took her turn to set the questions for the weekly quiz evenings. Sadly, Pat had a fall and
was whisked off to St Leonards Hospital. She eventually "escaped" from there to her final
home, Streets Meadow. She often told her family that she was very happy and well cared for
there, although she thought it was a hotel and was worried about paying the bill. Everyone at
Streets Meadow will remember Pat for her smile, as indeed you all will. She didn't talk much
or make any undue noise, but everyone seems to have liked her, and some will be as sad
as her loved ones are not to see her smile again.
November 19, 2011
........... Meanwhile do you mind if I draw family attention to our emails in which your
address appears. It is not a bad thing I feel to have it known to others of the clan.
It has taken a lot of work with other branches to track them down.!
Nov 19, 2011
You may put my details on your family site as long as it stays within the "family".
I do appreciate all the work your family has done. I still feel I am representing my
mum in a way. Thanks
From: Margaret King
Nov 21, 2011
Thank you for the sad em: about ...Margaret F.P. Mason, as I have come to know her.
In fact the 'Fletcher little blue book' is but 3 inches from my left hand.
JP gave all the family copies.
In mine he wrote ...'To Margaret my sister
From Johne your brother.'
I have treasured this little gem, for one can see it was created by a diligent hand
and enquiring mind.
A mission in life that has made ripples and dug lasting impressions in our scattered clan.
Alas, had I know of her whereabouts, I would have loved to meet her.
So often we have to live with our regrets.
Please convey my thoughts to Paula.
Many thanks for passing this on. I have sent it to my sister. I can't tell you what it means
to have such lovely words spoken about my mother.
Would Margaret mind if I emailed her?
I have found this photo of mum standing in front of Dunans when we went there in 2005.
On her right is the owner Charles Dixon-Spain and on the left is my husband Tud. [Tod]
Points, Questions, Matters Arising.....
J.P. in an email, said he met Margaret Mason (on one of his two last trips to UK?) and
ordered 50 copies of her book. JP certainly gave all our kids a copy. [N.F.]
Adam and Robbie: re your DNA results. Check Margaret Mason's tree. Her family
were in the West Indies at some stage. This is probably how you are linked to the W.I.
in your profiles. [N.F.]
Paula, it would be interesting to know more about that printing of the Clan Fletcher Society
rules and office holders etc. What is curious: there is a RA Fletcher and his wife Mrs A. F,
his brother Angus who went to America, and a Miss Jean Fletcher, in Wynberg SA, a
sister of the above. But she did at some stage marry. Wendy Nolan's mother says she
met Jean in c. 1933. Then there is a Dugald Fletcher (there were probably many!) said
to be in the Black Watch and in North Africa. I suspect this might have been my uncle who
was certainly in the B.W. early on in the war, and also in North Africa. But he only went to the
war in (say) '41. So I suspect the information on that printing might have been added to without
revisions. Not surprising in days before email. [N.F.]
Paula, please keep an eye open (if you ever use those various ancestry sites) for any info on
Jean's two sisters Isobel and Murray who both (probably) left Africa and went to UK shortly before
WW1. Our family seems to have lost contact with them in about the Thirties. The married names
were Dawson and Mainwaring. On our site mainpage there is material on them in "The Girls". [N.F.]
You might be interested by a few names in these pages from Paula Winton
The Clan Fletcher Society
23 November 2011
Thanks. I had seen these before, but it is clear that the Westbury Fletchers were very much involved
with the first modern clan group, especially the women.
File Opened 20 Nov 2011. Filename: docs/margaret_mason.html
Last Modified xxxxxxx
File Created:xxxxxxx. Last Archived:
Margaret Mason (right) with daughter Paula Winton (centre)
and her nephew Rob
Margaret Mason and Tod Winton outside Dunans, 2005,
with Charles Dixon-Spain (left), its present owner.
Images pending: Clan Fletcher Society material, etc etc