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Byron Shire
May 18, 2022

Vale Byron girl, Patricia Marcia Dailhou 

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Pat at the Mullum Show (circa 1952). Photo supplied

Patricia, better known as Pat or Patsy, was born in Byron Bay in 1933 and was the second eldest of nine, to Horace Cecil Vernon Freeman (better known as ‘Bluey’) and Dorothy Lulu Freeman (nee Daniels). 

Patsy was a real Byron Bay beach babe, who, along with sister Kath, were chaperones at the NSW SLS Championships in the late forties. 

Her dad, Bluey, coached and refereed in what was then known as the Byron Rugby League, and her mother played for the North Coast in Hockey. 

Daniels Street, off Paterson and Massinger Streets, was named after her grandfather; he had owned a parcel of land, just behind The Pass. 

Patsy did all of her schooling at St Finbarrs, graduating with an intermediate certificate, securing her first job as a clerical staff member at Norco, before moving on to being a telephonist at the Byron Exchange and working for PMG (now called Telstra).

But this was about to change, as she succumbed to the charms of a dashing young butcher from Mullumbimby, Paul Wallace Dailhou.

Pat and Paul married in Byron Bay in 1953.

In Mullum, she quietly became the matriarch of the Dailhou family, raising five children: Peter, John (Mook), Maree, Greg and Mark (me). 

Pat and Paul were a big part of the local community. 

They were both very community minded, being heavily involved in the Catholic church, footy club and the Lions club.

She was also the secretary for the Catholic Ball and read to the students at school, cleaned the church, was in the church choir, and wrapped thousands of lucky dips in our loungeroom for the annual Catholic Christmas Carnival, to which everyone in town would go.

Pat was also the local treasurer for St Vincent De Paul for ten years. It was an important role as she helped to determine which people or families deserved assistance. 

The footy club was a huge part of their lives, especially as dad had two stints as an A Grade manager. 

With all of the boys playing, the family rarely missed a game. We had many football parties, often helping to raise money for injured footballers. 

As a kid, I will never forgot one impromptu football party after pre-season training on the beach at Bruns, which resulted in a massive Two Up game in our backyard. 

We knew every footballer in town, with most new players coming to our place for a baked dinner or a barbie, and sometimes staying the night.  

Mum and dad were both heavily involved in the Lions Club, with both becoming life members. Lady Lioness Patrica Dailhou and Lion Paul did have a fantastic time while doing charity work and fundraising, including at the Chincogan Fiesta.

Two of her brothers were successful jockeys, with Bruce “Spruiker” Freeman arguably the greatest horseman to come out of the Byron Shire.  

Patsy’s youngest sister, Cynthia, and husband Alan Kirk, were the caretakers at the Clarke’s Beach Caravan Park for 25 years, witnessing firsthand, the evolution of Byron from small coastal town to international tourism hotspot.

Wategos sisters 

Patsy grew up and was friends with the very popular Wategos sisters, whose father owned a banana plantation at Wategos Beach, named after the family.

Patsy passed away in August last year, at 87, having lived in the family home in Morrison Ave for 52 years. 

She spent her last couple of months in Coolamon Nursing Home, fittingly, as her many years of fundraising efforts were rewarded.

Patsy was a much loved member of the Byron Shire, and a local hero.

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