Patrick John MOONEY

MOONEY, Patrick John

Service Number: VX13952
Enlisted: 27 March 1940, Seymour, Victoria
Last Rank: Corporal
Last Unit: 2nd/2nd Field Company (Squadron) RAE
Born: Mount Gambier, South Australia, 13 February 1919
Home Town: Burnley, Yarra, Victoria
Schooling: Corpus Christi College, Sydney
Occupation: Retail Manager (menswear store)
Died: Natural causes (heart failure), Melbourne, Victoria, 5 April 1988, aged 69 years
Cemetery: Springvale Botanical Cemetery, Melbourne
Memorials:
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World War 2 Service

27 Mar 1940: Involvement Australian Military Forces (Army WW2), Corporal, SN VX13952
27 Mar 1940: Enlisted Private, SN VX13952, Seymour, Victoria
27 Mar 1940: Enlisted Australian Military Forces (Army WW2), Corporal, SN VX13952
28 Mar 1940: Involvement Private, SN VX13952
22 Aug 1945: Discharged Corporal, SN VX13952, 2nd/2nd Field Company (Squadron) RAE
22 Aug 1945: Discharged Australian Military Forces (Army WW2), Corporal, SN VX13952

My Dad

Patrick John Joseph Mooney (1920 – 1988)

He had wavy brown hair, and an Errol Flynn moustache. His Irish blue eyes were always smiling, even when passive & thoughtful. If you saw him on the street, you would notice him. He walked erect & had the persona of a “gentleman”. You would call him a handsome man. Women adored him … he made them blush with his charm. He had a way of making them feel beautiful. Men considered him a friend at first meeting. He was funny & masculine … an honourable man of high ethics.

My mother called him “Paddy” and she loved him dearly. He was her Leading Man, her hero, her protector … and the laughter in her life. His quick wit delighted everyone who had the pleasure of his company. He was funny because he was a happy person…. Always at ease and he loved life, and humanity … and God.
In all the years I knew him, I never heard him speak ill of anyone. He would always give a person the benefit of the doubt.

We kids thought he was “Figarney”. Figarney was king of the leprechauns. That’s what he told us and we believed him. Born the first son of an Irish immigrant, he loved his Irish roots. Our parents would sing & dance to Irish music, and my sister and I learnt Irish dancing when we were children.

He used to have these little teasing answers for us when we were kids:

“Where are you going Dad?” … He’d say “Looking for deserts”
“What’s that Dad” … he’d say … “o that?.. that’s a wigwam for a goose’s bridle”.

I remember he used to let me sit on his knee & pull his face out of shape. This was one of my favourite games with him. I would pull part of his face like the side of his mouth & he would freeze his face in that position. It was so funny & I would laugh & laugh & play like this for ages. I don’t ever remember him stopping me so I must have given up on the game before he did. My favourite memory of him as a child is of my sister & I running down the street to greet him as he walked home from work. There he was, big smile, arms spread, ready to take us both into his loving arms.

My Dad loved his religion. He was a devoted Catholic … joined a seminary when he was seventeen to become a teaching Brother. Lucky for us, he didn’t really fit in. I think he was too cheerful and would see the funny side of something when he was supposed to be serious. I remember he said he would always forget & say hello to someone during “silence” time. So instead, he got to be our dad. I thank God for that.

I grew up during the birth of Rock & Roll. He was the best dad a teenager could ever have. Although I was right in there with the mischief of the times, my dad always gave me the impression that he thought I was a great kid. This kept me on the straight path, while my friends were wandering off it. He laughed at my jokes. He was a mate to my boyfriends. He even listened with interest to my music.

He drank of course, he was Irish after all. He was a funny happy drunk. My mother tried to get mad at him at times, but she always ended up laughing instead. He had Friday drinks down the Pub with the boys & had a couple of bets on the races on Saturday. He was passionate about the Richmond footy team, and his great love was his mates from the war. He never told us much about the war … only the funny bits. But I found out after he died, just how much danger he was in during his service abroad. Somehow, I always understood his attachment to his war buddies. I often wonder if I was there with him in a past life.

It has been fifteen years since he died. He is as close to me now as he ever was. I delight in his memory daily. I found out that just because someone dies, they still remain with you … in your heart … forever. And you can still enjoy their wonderful personalities in your memory. Isn’t that a supreme example of the Lord’s love and compassion.

My dad was reluctant to go & leave his family…
“What’s going to happen to my girls?” .. he would say. “What’s going to happen to my son?” I think he was fearful to leave us to live our life without his love & strength.

He had angina for many years & then finally his poor old heart got so weak that he had to have a quadruple bypass. Unfortunately, it was not successful. He died eight months after the operation. He was in a coma at the end, but a few moments before he escaped this world, I was in his hospital room alone with him & I said my Arti prayers for him. …. Maybe he was waiting for that last prayer.

Tricia Migdoll (nee Mooney)
Dec 2001

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