Margaret Healy was born on 30 June 1887 in Kyeburn, Central Otago. Her mother was Margaret Healy was aged 31 from Ireland, and her father Thomas was aged 40.
Margaret was enrolled at Kyeburn School on 1 October 1894.
Margaret married John Bentley Sharp on 1 January 1913 in Dunedin, however no wedding notice or photo has been found.
Margaret and John had 7 children:
|Eileen||4 July 1913||16 January 2010|
|Joan||1 December 1914||29 April 1975|
|Doreen||29 August 1916||24 September 1998|
|Denis John Thomas||30 August 1918||6 February 2004|
|John Ross (Twin)||2 December 1926||11 June 2010|
|Desmond Dynes (Twin)||2 December 1926||6 January 2012|
|Norwood (Norrie)||29 June 1931||20 February 2013|
Margaret was a painter, mainly using watercolours. She was inspired to paint scenes around her home when she was relaxed, and two paintings are of the Nelson area. She also painted the Sydney Harbour Bridge.
She worked in the Hyde Hotel in Hyde, Green Island and the Royal Hotel in Nelson.
She used to create bark pictures of Central Otago scenes, crochet and embroidery, and sent them to her grandchildren as Christmas presents in her later years.
Unfortunately the marriage split up in 1949, though they remained in touch. Margaret returned to live in Dunedin.
(pictured: Margaret Sharp (right) with Margaret Bremner, Dunedin. Margaret has written on the back of the photo: "This snap was taken at Christmas time. I had to go with Margaret and help her with her shopping, she is quite grown up now! and very pretty. Mum" Margaret Bremner remembers: "I do remember Grandma coming back to Dunedin from Nelson - I would have still been at primary school. She stayed with us for a while then she became the head housekeeper at the Grand Hotel [now the Southern Cross] and she was in charge of the day to day running of the maids and all the linen, cleaning up and bed changing etc. She used to live-in there and came and stayed with us at the weekends and I can remember it was a big treat on Sunday night to take her back to the hotel as it was a ride in the car at night time! After her days at the hotel finished, she had a small flat in a boarding house in High Street before she got a council flat in Helensburgh road [near where Aunty Doreen lived]. She lived there till she broke her hip and had to go into the Home of Compassion down at Company Bay. She looked after John and myself when Mum and Dad were away on business trips etc and she was always lovely with us."
In November 1959, Margaret was invited by the Governor-General to visit Government House in Wellington to watch her son Desmond receive his British Empire Medal. Margaret was extremely proud of her son and his award, and when she arrived in Wellington by boat, she was picked up from the wharf by Desmond and Daughan, and daughters Dale and Lesley.
Margaret (Grandma Sharp as she was affectionately known to her family) died on 28 September 1980 aged 93 years. She was the last of her generation to pass away. At the time she was a resident of the Methodist Home in Company Bay, Dunedin. She is buried at Andersons Bay Cemetery, Block 251, Plot 49 with her husband John Bently Sharp.
The headstone inscription reads:
In Loving memory of John Bently Sharp, died 26th June 1964, aged 78 years, and his beloved wife Margaret, died 28 September 1980, aged 93 years.
Margaret's direct descendants number over 100.
Dale Hartle at Sharp Family Plot, December 2019.