Farewell to a pillar of the community

MORE than 500 people packed Gerringong Catholic Church last week to farewell one of the town's most remarkable women, Kathleen (Kath) Mary Cronin, who passed away just three days short of her 93rd birthday.

Mrs Cronin was born Kathleen Mary Bergin, September 14, 1919 to parents Mary (Molly) Elizabeth and William Owen Bergin, who were the proprietors of the Gerringong Hotel.

Mrs Cronin was born in the hotel and lived all her 93 years in that very same building.

She was an only child but enjoyed the company of many cousins and friends.

She was the 'big sister' to her six Quinn cousins whose farm in Rose Valley she visited regularly.

Mrs Cronin didn't have to travel far to find romance. She met husband-to-beJack Cronin in Rutledge's Milk Bar and General Store, which was located opposite the Gerringong pub.

Jack's parents had moved to Gerringong from Bowral and he used to go to Gerringong to visit his parents.

They courted during World War II and were married on January 15, 1945, at Gerringong Catholic Church.

The wedding reception was held at the hotel.

The couple was blessed with five children: John, Mary, Michael, Terry and Kathy, and they all enjoyed a great time as kids and grew up in a loving and secure family.

And, even though Mrs Cronin had five children of her own, she was a great support to all her neighbours - caring for many of their children as if they were her own.

Having grown up through the Depression and World War II, she, like many of that era, was a very hard worker - she became a motel manager who cooked and cleaned; a hotel bar worker; a very efficient office manager; and an equally capable book-keeper.

Known for her love of her church and Gerringong Lions Rugby League Club, Mrs Cronin seldom missed a Mass or football game, and was a popular figure at both.

She is survived by her five children and their partners and 11 grand-children.

She will be fondly remembered by all who knew her.

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