Lois Naomi Wright nee Homan's Memorial

Lois Naomi Wright nee Homan
(1928 - 2009)


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General Details

Name: Mrs Lois Naomi Wright nee Homan
Nick Name: Toos
Maiden Name: Homan
Gender: Female
Age: 81 years old
Lived: Wednesday, 9 May 1928 - Sunday, 19 July 2009

My Story


Behind Lois’ life, there was not only a wonderful story but more importantly, a wonderful person.

She was born in May 1928, one of number of siblings of Louis and Nellie Homan. She grew up in the Arncliffe area, and like many children in the depression, she had a poor but happy upbringing. The family often frequented Botany Bay. One of Lois’ fondest childhood memories was playing on the beach, digging a hole in the sand and watching the waves roll into the hole she had dug. She also enjoyed watching the family dog Chum swimming way out into the bay before returning to the beach.

Lois, like many of  that generation, left school early and obtained a position in David Jones. When war in the Pacific threatened Australia, she became (like her Mother before her), part of the VADs. She joined the 204th Detachment, Barton Division on 11 May 1944, two days after her sixteenth birthday. She served in a number of convalescent homes, for a considerable number of hours (according to her record, over 3,000 hours). She treated many former prisoners of war. One ex POW from Changi said to her he would never walk again, as his legs had been beaten every day. Of course Lois Wright got him walking again, helping him one step at a time. Her understanding of the plight of POWs had her work with the Japanese War Crimes Commission.

After the war, she became an usherette, firstly at the Mayfair and then at the Savoy in Bligh Street (which is sadly no longer there). When working at the Savoy, she took a cab from the St James rank, driven by a young ex Bomber Command fellow called Horrie Wright. She was 21; he was 25. A pair of gloves were left in the cab, (not hers as it turned out), which led to a further meeting, marriage in 1957 and a relationship which endured for 60 years.

After several different jobs, including as a nurse in the X-Ray Department at St George Hospital, she took up the most important vocation of all – that of housewife and mother.

I fondly recall as a boy that she walked us to school, cut our lunches, cooked our dinners, gave us medicines, made us cups of tea, and cared for us when we were sick. She kindly cared for us more than any mother could.

Her kindness was not only limited to humans – it extended to the family pet, Don (The Black Champ), and to numerous stray cats (such as Snowball, Blacky, and Tiddles) who, once they experienced her great kindness, never wanted to leave. She cared for injured birds, and wept when she saw any living being suffer.

She shared in our triumphs and disappointments, the highs and lows of the Bulldogs and my target shooting scores at the Rifle Range, and late nights of study. She waited up for us when we went out on a Saturday night, and waved us goodbye from the back door (she said to me on many an occasion, “You’re only young once”). She instilled in me a love of books and music, and of various electronic gadgets. She loved all things Irish, and any Australiana.

She shared with me a love of travel, and was particularly fond of visiting Hervey Bay in Queensland. Some of her most pleasant memories arose from visits there (such as the beach, and the delicious Mangos).

She met people from the highest walks of life, yet she always felt for the underdog. Lois would often say that so and so was a “battler”; Lois knew herself what hard knocks life could dish out. She lost her first born baby, Guy, which was a great blow to both herself and Horrie; we’re glad she’ll be joining him today in the family plot.

Our happy days with Lois were, alas, eventually clouded by various health issues which manifested themselves over a number of years. I won’t dwell on these, except to note that whatever ill health she had, she always was stoic (Dr Stephen, her treating surgeon, described her as “courageous”;  the bravest woman he had seen). Her sense of humour remained a constant – who else would say, when asked about their medical history, “I’ve got leg ulcers, arterial and venous disease, diabetes, a quadruple heart bypass and valve….but apart from that I’m ok”.

She also never stopped putting others before herself. I remember her saying to me often, when I would ring her before a visit to her in hospital or at Wallgrove, “Don’t go to all that trouble mate, I’m alright, it’s such a long way”. When it was coming up to her birthday, she would always say “Now don’t go spending money on presents for me mate, I don’t need anything”. When I was coming down to Sydney from Queensland for her 80th birthday, she said to me “Don’t go spending all your money on airline tickets Bluey, I’m fine”. She always loved to introduce me to various nursing and care staff on various visits, saying with a smile “This is my son Glenn, he’s down from Queensland”.

She could be feisty too. When a certain Local Member and then Prime Minister called Paul Keating missed one signature for recognition of her service as a VAD, and issue of medals, she insisted that the PM be spoken to again to remedy his one omission. I really hope that he had to interrupted in the middle of a Cabinet Meeting or something similar to do so!

I’m very grateful she was here for us for Horrie and Lois’ 50th Wedding Anniversary, which was celebrated at 6E2 in Royal Prince Alfred Hospital. She again showed her sense of humour – saying at the time, “50 years! Some people get less than that for murder!”.

She maintained her true spirit towards the end. On the day before she passed, I saw her tapping her wrist several times, which was all she could do to ask me the time. On the second occasion she did this, she pointed to the television, which I arranged to be switched on. She had me operate the controller for her, and with all the available strength she had left, said loudly “Channel 10”. Well, when I switched to Channel 10, it all made sense. Her favourite show, the Simpsons, was on. She wouldn’t have missed that for the world.

Dad said that you could see the spark of life slowly drain out of her. Illness and old age indeed claimed her body, but not her spirit. On the night she passed, I looked out at the Harbour Bridge and saw the lights flickering in the distance. It occurred to me that whilst she had passed, her soul was now out there, blazing brightly for the rest of time.

I recall at her 81st birthday, celebrated sadly as many of them were away from home in her later years, she said to me “I hope you’ll remember me when you’re 81”. It was the last we were to celebrate. Mum, I’m sure we’ll remember you every day, not just on birthdays, but always.

Lois Naomi Wright, you were a stoic, compassionate, optimistic, cheerful, unselfish, kind hearted and loving person. You only saw the good in people, and found joy in everyone you met and the little things in life, despite your ill health, your pain, and loss of mobility. I never knew anyone who met you, that didn’t warm to you instantly.

If I could be 10% as good a person as you were, Lois Wright, then my life would be well worth something. As Dad says you were a fragrant flower who touched us all. Peace be to you Lois Wright, you were not only a wonderful Mother to us, but you were also a friend to us all and my very best friend.

Here are some lines from the VAD’s  poem “If”, which I think is worth reflecting on:

“If you can take the trials and tribulations,
the good times with the bad in your stride,
if you can do all this and keep good tempered
then  you’re not a VAD but a saint who hasn’t died”

I’d like to extend the thanks of our family in particular to Lois’ treating surgeon, Dr Michael Stephen, and the staff at 6E2 at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, for all their kind and professional treatment of her over the years. They saved her life on many an occasion, and gave us so many more years of joy with her.

Coladh Samh
(Kull-ah Saw-ve)        Lois            Gentle Sleep, Mum

From all of us, and from myself, your mate, Bluey.


Lois Naomi Wright 103 Wollongong Road, Arncliffe NSW
DOB 09/05/28   Church of England Next of Kin: Mother, Nellie Homan
Sundays available.
Joined Barton Detachment 11/05/44
Uniform issued: 21/11/49 (new uniform)
Resigned 31/12/51

Certificates of Home Nursing: achieved 09/11/44
Certificate of Royal Life Saving: 14/12/44
Bridge Course, H & S (course mixture - Home and Nursing First Aid) : 05/04/45

Worked with the Information Bureaux
First Aid (3 hours) in jazz concert
Worked in various convalescent homes ("she did a considerable number of hours", according to the source for this information in the Red Cross):

Berida - 143 hours
Neringah - 855 hours
Ritz Red Cross Home - 2,280 hrs
Glen Mervyn Red Cross Home - 145 hrs
(became a Children's Home)
Red Cross Parades - 80 hrs
Army Tattoos - 20 hrs
Amenities - (entertainment for troops) - 30 hrs
Classes - 174 hrs

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Fathers Name: Louis William Homan
Mothers Name: Nelly Myrtle Myra Homan
Spouse's Name: Noel Horace (Horrie) Wright
Children's Names: Guy Glenn Grant
Siblings Names: Joyce Godfrey
Country of Birth: Australia
Country of Residence: Australia
City of Residence: Sydney
Occupation: Self-Employment
Marital Status: Married
Religion: Anglican


Favourite Music Genre: Classical
Favourite Artist: Mozart Enya
Other Interests:
Travel People Food Television Life Family Animals


Place of Passing: Canterbury Hospital Banksia Ward Room 11
Date of Passing: 19 July 2009
Cause of Passing: Age and Illness
Type of Funeral: Civil
Place of Burial: Woronora Cemetery
Plot Number: Anglican Section AK Grave 202
Funeral Director: Euro Funeral Services
Funeral Location: 890 Canterbury Rd Roselands NSW
Funeral Date: 23 July 2009
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