The Parish Church of St George the Martyr, Waterlooville


Pat was born in Newcastle-upon-Tyne on 30th September 1935. She was named Moonyeen after a character in a film called “Smilin’ Through’’. Of course, to almost everyone, she was known as Pat, her middle name.  She moved down to Southsea when she was four. From when she was 13, her mother ran a guesthouse in St Andrews Road. She enjoyed reading when young and played with dolls. She also had two dogs – Patch and Monty – and a cat called Gyp.  

Pat went to school at Walker’s College in Southsea where her favourite subject was maths, and she studied the last two years at Portsmouth Municipal College, enabling her to get a job working as a Lab Assistant for FPT, allowing her son David to boast many years later  to the Ernst Young audit team he was working with at Westland Helicopters, “That’s Fireproof Tanks Ltd – my mum used to work there in the 1950s.” She later worked for the Post Office Telephone network (now BT) as a Market Researcher before joining Asda in Waterlooville as one of its first Checkout operators.  Pat enjoyed working there until her retirement 11 years ago, especially passing on her knowledge to others as a trainer when new stores opened around the country.  

When young, Pat enjoyed dancing and went to the Rathgar School of Dancing in Portsmouth.  Here, aged 16 she met John. Appropriately, their first date was dancing and this continued to be their favourite pastime. They got engaged on New Year’s Day 1955 just after midnight at a dance at the Wellington and married in St Mary’s Church in Portsmouth on 31st March 1956. They honeymooned in London watching shows, which mum adored right up until recently. She particularly loved Les Miserables. In the early years of their marriage, Pat and John travelled extensively throughout Europe, driving as far south as Rome and as far north as Sweden. Pat’s love of travel remained and she enjoyed nothing more than planning her next trip. It was only five years ago that she went out to Australia via Singapore, returning via Thailand, for a month all by herself. A quick look at her latest passport showed trips to Croatia in 2006, Canada in 2007 and Canada again and the USA in 2009, where she finally managed to get to Niagara Falls, a place to which she’d always wanted to go.

Pat and John started out in a bedsit inside her mother’s guest house before moving first to Portchester and then to Horndean. At that point David and Stephen were born and the family moved to Waterlooville shortly afterwards, where they stayed.  There were many happy times on holiday mostly on the Isle of Wight but also in Blackpool, Cornwall and even camping in Hackney! When she was asked for her favourite memories from when David and Stephen were small, she simply said ‘Every-thing’! She loved her four grandchildren and always enjoyed seeing them.

At St George’s, Pat contributed hugely to the life of the church over a period of more than 50 years, and was an active member of the Mothers’ Union and St George’s Ladies Group. She will be greatly missed. The memorial service was held at St George’s on Wednesday 22nd January.

Winter Edition 2014

Pat Millard, 1935-2013