Sunday, May 14, 2023


My mother when I took her by car from Devon to Buckingham for her 80th birthday

My dear mum, the late Mrs. Josephine (“Jo”) Johanson, was born in Scotland, but lived for thirty-seven years in Devon. I would visit her every year in the summer and she visited us in the winter. She died in March, 2007 at the ripe old age of 88, after a short illness.

Every year, while she was alive, I would call her to wish her Happy Mother’s Day in March, as that was when they celebrate Mother’s Day in the U.K.! Of course, there were few Mother’s Day cards in our shops at that time, because we celebrate Mother’s Day here in May!

Trained as a Comptometer Operator (the comptometer was the forerunner of the modern day computer), she served in the Women’s Royal Air Force during World War II as a Radio Telephony Operator, giving pilots on active duty bearings for home. During the war she met and married my father, Australian Royal Air Force instrument repairman, the late William Johanson. She and Dad, a watchmaker jeweller, once owned a jewellery business in Buckingham.

Mum worked as Head Receptionist at the Royal Clarence Hotel, Exeter, for several years, and as her hotel career progressed, she became Manager of the White Sands Hotel, Bermuda. During her lifetime, she also lived in Australia and Canada.

Mum enjoyed painting watercolours and had written two delightful, but unfortunately not published, children’s picture books. I still hope one day to try and get them published in her memory.

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