Max Barton reaches major milestone

Max Barton celebrated her 100th birthday last Wednesday COVID-style inside RM Begg Kyneton Aged Care, with family members and friends outside the home listening to the bagpipes that Max has always enjoyed.
Max’s chief form of entertainment when young was singing around the piano with her piano-playing mother and her four siblings. This is something that has continued to the present day even in her fragile state.
Jean Maxwell Barton was born on October 21, 1920, the youngest child of Jean and Huntly Gordon of Wedderburn. They shortly after moved to Goschen, a district south of Swan Hill, to a soldier settler’s block.
Max spent her formative years there, attending primary school at Ainsbury, and later attended Swan Hill High School.
“These years were imprinted in Mum’s mind; dust storms, mice plagues and continual hard work, but also great times riding to school on horses and community gatherings. Most of all nothing was wasted,” her son Huntly said.
Max moved to Melbourne after high school to train as a nurse at The Royal Children’s Hospital in Carlton and later trained in midwifery at St Andrews Hospital, East Melbourne. At this time her parents were forced off their property at Goschen and moved to Drummond where they leased a property called ‘Bunyule’.
“After training, Mum moved to Kyneton to help her parents after the death of her brother John,” Huntly said.
“This is where she met her husband Ken. They were married in 1949 and had five children. Max went back to work in 1967 at the Kyneton Hospital where she spent many happy years in the midwifery area and helped to deliver many children within this community.”
Max’s daughter Sarah said she and her siblings hated going down the street with their mum as she stopped every mother in the street to have a look at their baby, having delivered so many.
“It drove us mad as a half-hour shop took two hours!” Sarah said.
Max retired in 1980 and spent time travelling with Ken, tending her garden and continuing her community work.
“Mum moved into RM Begg in 2015 where she has spent many happy years,” Huntly said.
“Up until recently Mum has enjoyed good health but time and white ants has taken its toll (our father’s expression).
“We appreciate the great effort and care that the staff of RM Begg have given to Mum particularly during these difficult times.”

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