For the Love of Books, Kathleen Hoskins

Kathleen grew up in the country town of Parkes. She was the eldest of five, a big sister to four brothers. Her earliest memories are of joining her father, a drover, during the school holidays. “We loved going to see the horses,” she said.

When it came to school, Kathleen wasn’t a fan, but she absolutely loved books - and reading romance and mystery novels was one of her most favourite things to do. “I had a magazine I was meant to be reading for school but I would hide my book in front and read that instead,” Kathleen laughs as she recalls the memory.

The urge to break free from school often led Kathleen to mischief. “One day my girlfriend and I wagged school and went to the park to look at the caged birds - but my mother popped up behind us,” Kathleen said, remembering the angry look on her face. “She asked what we were doing, then took us straight back to school”. Kathleen finished by saying, “We always got caught!”.

It was one of these expeditions from school that Kathleen and her friend Ruth got caught by a bushfire heading in their direction. “We had to run away fast,” she said. Thankfully they both got home safe.

Kathleen married her husband Den at the tender age of 18 and they had two wonderful children, a son and daughter. Kathleen said her proudest moment was having her first child - her son Russell.

“One day, Russell’s friend Lance came over and he asked if he could stay the night. That one night ended up being 10 years. His mother kicked him out because he hadn’t put on the vegetables for the kids. I couldn’t see kids out on the street,” Kathleen said. “He was no trouble and he still keeps in touch after all these years. He’s like a son”.

To this day, at the sprightly age of 94, Kathleen’s love of books has never waned, with several books piled up beside her. ”I’m just about to start reading a new book,” said Kathleen smiling.

Continue reading

Stay up to date with all SummitCare's latest news and blog posts