Topic: Clara Taylor, Barclay nee Carter

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Born in the High Street nursing home adjacent to the town hall in Southbridge on 21 March 1919, Clara Barclay grew up and lived in the district all her life.

She was the eldest daughter of the late Thomas and Rita Carter, and was baptised and confirmed in the first St James' Church, Southbridge.

Clara had a hard life, the eldest of six and had to help look after her younger brothers and sisters. She was educated at the Southbridge Primary School and never experiencing secondary education, left school at 15 to begin her working life as a shop assistant in Chapman's grocery store on the corner of High and Wilson Streets. Later she worked in the same store for her father who took over the business.

Clara met Jack Taylor, son of the bootmaker and married him in 1940 in St James' Church before he went to the Second World War. He was wounded in the battle of El Alamein and returned before the end of the war. Jack joined in the grocery business, forming Carter-Taylor Co. Ltd. Clara and Jack had four children and shortly after the birth of twins, Jack died of war injuries in 1952, leaving Clara to run the company and bring up four young children. With typical fortitude and resourcefulness, she applied herself to the task in hand, raising her family successfully and continuing for some further time in the business.

She later married old time friend Fred Barclay, and they spent 19 years together before his death in 1979. Never one to grumble, Clara approached life with good positive attitude, a ready smile and a strong belief in God. She was a pillar of St James' Anglican Church, and started attending Sunday School from the age of five. She taught Sunday School for over 30 years, was a regular attender at worship and was the kind of person who did those valuable behind-the-scenes jobs such as sweeping leaves off the church path, putting on the heaters, ringing the bell, setting out morning tea after services or just making sure everything was in place. She was a member of the Mother's Union, a member of the church choir for many years and also belonged to the Association of Anglican Women. Although church played a big part in her life, Clara's involvement in the community at large ; was well known. Not one to seek the limelight, she was an active member of many , organisations including Red Cross, Country Women's Institute, R.S.A., Southbridge Garden Club, secretary of the Southbridge Scout Group for many years and president and secretary of the Southbridge Horticultural Society, at one time was treasurer of seven organisations.  For many years Clara also delivered Meals on Wheels.

As a keen gardener, she was often seen working in her own garden as well as attending to  various garden plots in public areas. Many in the community would visit Clara for her to make a spray or posy for some occasion, most of the flowers being from her own garden. Like her mother and grandmother, Clara loved her fancy work and her children and grandchildren treasure the gifts she had made for them. One of the older Southbridge residents, Clara had a great interest in the history of the area, was a member of the Ellesmere Historical Society and had a wealth of knowledge, many early photographs and written records, much of which has fortunately been preserved or recorded.

Before taking ill, Clara enjoyed the comradeship of Roy Batt, sharing in their old memories of the district. During the last few months spent at St Nicholas Hospital in Christchurch, she still kept up her wide interest in sport and in particular enjoying in reading about and listening to reports on the success of her great-nephew, All Black Daniel Carter. Clara is survived by her three sons Ian, Murray and Warwick, daughter Jennifer; seven grandchildren and two great-grandchildren; also her two sisters Hilda Lowery and Averill Palmer. She will be remembered by the community for her generosity, caring attitude and her unshakeable love of God.

Clara Barclay died on 27 March, 2004 aged 85 years.

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Tags: Southbridge

Clara Taylor, Barclay nee Carter

First Names:Clara
Last Name:Carter
Date of Birth:21 march 1919
Place of Birth:Southbridge, selwyn, NZ
Date of Death:27 march 2004
Age at death:85
User Name:Selwyn Library
Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 New Zealand License
Clara Taylor, Barclay nee Carter by Selwyn Library is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 New Zealand License