Unsung HeroesRevealing the Remarkable in Seemingly Ordinary People
Born in 1930 at Marramukin, Verna Ugle was the 8th of 11 children of John and Lottie Parfitt. Verna spent her early life moving from town to town with her family in the Narrogin area where her Dad Jack, did seasonal work for the local farmers. Travelling to Jitarning, Highbury, Harrismith, Yilliminning and Four Mile, the family eventually settled on the Cuballing road.
As a young woman, Verna worked at the Butter Factory and all around the Narrogin district doing seasonal and domestic work on farms. She was also a wool classer.
In 1953 Verna met and married Scotty Ugle and they had two lovely daughters. At that time, Scotty worked for Harry Trefort who gave him a block of land where he and Verna raised their children and later, five grand children as well as some nieces, nephews and eventually, great grandchildren.
Grandson Ross speaks of his grandmother with great affection. "Nanna was loving and kind to all of us and had an inner light that shone. With her quiet strength and resilience, she raised us to appreciate what we had. She was also tough, ruled with an iron fist and was our rock. She introduced us to the old ways and she was sharp; with her great foresight she was aware of the coming changes. Nanna had a cheeky side too and everyone who knew her loved her for that. We learned from her the importance of family, respect, and to look after one another. Our grandfather was good to us too. I grew up knowing my culture, spending time with the old people who put the land in my heart and showed me my place in it."
After Scotty passed away in 1995, Verna was still caring for two of her great grandchildren until they grew up and left home.
When Verna was admitted to Narrogin Nursing Home she quickly became a favourite with staff and visitors alike. Her mind was still sharp and until she died in 2010, her cheeky nature was very much to the fore; she had the staff running errands for her and kept them entertained with her cheerfulness.
Verna Ugle loved life; she used to say "Smile while you are here."
Revealing the remarkable in seemly ordinary people
Portrait painted by Graham Smith 2020.
Text compiled by Jan Smith from notes provided with the nomination in 2020.