A woman in Korea finally succeeded in gaining her driver's license after a mammoth 960 attempts. The Yonhap news agency reported that 69-year-old Cha Sa-soon passed the driving part of the test last month after 10 tries but had failed the written test 'every work day' since 2005.
Yonhap quoted her as saying she wanted to buy a small second hand car to visit her son and daughter and for her business selling vegetables.
The memories of some of the more amusing antics of M V Tronson's mother live on in family lore.
"My mother, Joan, came to Australia in 1933 as a teenager and was lucky that she was taken in by childless relatives of her English foster family, and she never went to an Institution of which there have been sad stories told recently," explained M V Tronson.
When war came to Australia, Joan joined the Land Army along with her two best girl friends, two sisters whom she had met through her Church associations and her interest in playing hockey and women's cricket. By the end of the war, they were picking apples in Batlow, and all three girls subsequently married farming men, that they met there. Mark Tronson's father was from Mackay Queensland, on a working holiday visiting friends in that area.
Joan was extremely well read. She had done very well at primary school in England, but the social conditions of the time, and the money allocated to her foster family, meant that she could not continue her education. As well as her passion for her religion and sport, she was particularly interested in history and politics, and about these matters she was basically self-taught. In fact, she educated herself sufficiently well to attain a job as a governess to two little boys on a farming station near Singleton before the war.
As a result of being chosen to give the speech on behalf of the Batlow Land Amy Girls at the end of the war, she was offered a traineeship and scholarship to study at Hawkesbury Agricultural College at Richmond, on the outskirts of Sydney. Although this Educational Institution did not officially take in women students until the mid 1960s, there was a special course organised for Land Army Girls.
However, social situations intervened, and also like many women of that time who had not had the opportunity for education, she really had very little self-confidence and belief in her ability to study in a formal situation. Moreover she would have been lonely without her friends, so she stayed in Batlow and in the end after some other adventures, chose married life in Queensland in 1947.
It is perhaps a sign of Providence that much later, in 1987, her daughter-in-law became a lecturer at Hawkesbury for 17 years, during which time it became part of the University of Western Sydney.
The life together of Joan and her new husband, Seymour, on a dairy farm at the top of the Eungella Range near Mackay, northern Queensland, was typical of the pioneering country folk of that era. Seymour was a quiet reflective man and very practical with both his hands and his thinking. Joan was bubbly and talkative and impractical and would stitch together bits and pieces from her wide reading to come up with some of the most alarming ideas.
Nevertheless, her extensive diaries indicate that she was persistent, and was determined to learn to help her husband and work on the farm to the best of her ability, and also to try to fit in with the rural community in which she found herself for 14 years. (We know this, because her proclivity to write matched equally her proclivity to talk).
"Yes," says Mark Tronson, "there are many hundreds of family stories about my parents and their various ventures; but the one about my mother learning to drive came to mind with this Korean news story."
In the very early fifties in Mackay, Joan had secured her driver's licence, yet somehow Joan had got it into her mind, that it was a very dangerous thing to pass a bus. Therefore, Joan would go put-putting along, and if she found herself behind a bus, she would pull up behind the bus at every bus stop.
On this particular day, Joan was patiently driving into town before lunch time and found herself behind a bus. The bus stopped, she stopped. Fifteen minutes later she was still stopped. The bus driver had gone into his home for lunch.
Although she did not continue with her driving, and did not drive again after they moved to the city, in other ways her persistence and strength of her own convictions had a great influence on the family.
Eventually, having previously sold the farm for medical reasons, Joan and Seymour moved to Canberra on the advice of a relative because it gave them opportunities that they had never dreamed of to educate their three children (the oldest of whom was about to start High School).
At the time, this was partly due to her persistence in following what she thought was best for the family, which related to her love of reading and education and her sadness at not achieving her own potential. Later, the wisdom of this move was seen by all concerned.
Despite being criticised by family and friends many times for some of the decisions she was 'blamed' for making, her perseverance has paid off.
She lived to see all three of her children attain Ph.Ds (doctorates), as well as her son-in-law and one daughter-in-law. Although she did not live long enough to see the achievements of all nine of her grandchildren, she would have been confident that all of them either have, or will soon have, some sort of tertiary qualification.
Now, that is a sign of persistence, that someone has had an influence over the next two generations.