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    Local Author: Elizabeth O'Brien

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    Event description

    Join local author Elizabeth O'Brien as she discusses her children's book, Grandma Mary's Factory.

    “Grandma Mary’s Factory” is based on a true story about her mother’s dress making factory as seen through the eyes of her grandchildren. 

    Elizabeth's mother Mary Brown (nee Baynie) was a generous, talented, loyal, loving, wise, cheeky woman born to Lebanese parents in 1925 in Sydney. Mary lived a life of service to her family, her extended Lebanese community and any person who needed financial, emotional or practical support. She had a clothing factory in her Thornleigh backyard but also used her sewing machine as her office and meeting room for the Lebanese and local people who came to her for help.

    Elizabeth's grandchildren and cousins would have fun and get up to all kinds of mischief in this family run business. The best part was that family witnessed the amazing woman their grandmother was and how she, with the support of Frank (Grandpa) helped all the people that came into their lives via her clothing factory called “Greenoak”. 

    Readers will enjoy the process and craftsmanship of making a garment from start to finish and delight in the enchanting illustrations, beautifully created by Kelly Abbott.

    There will also be a mention of the book, As Cedars Grow the Diaspora from Bane to Thornleigh, written by close family and includes a historical recount of Mary Brown.

    Books will be available for purchase on the day. Payment via card transaction. 

    Free, bookings required.

    Tea & coffee on arrival.

    Enquiries: 8495 5028 or libraryprograms@northernbeaches.nsw.gov.au

    Elizabeth O'Brien: I am a retired primary school teacher who moved to Manly six years ago. My husband works in Pastoral Care at NBH and Mona Vale Palliative care unit. As a self publisher I was very keen to manage the full production of my Children's story. Therefore I was delighted to find a local printer to work with (BA Printers at Brookvale). This was a wonderful experience in itself. I love using local services and after six years of living here I now know the positive to that well known phrase "insular peninsula" because I also have James Bennett as my library agent - who is just at Brookvale!


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