Labour not lunar for mum of six

BETTY Briscoe was “too busy” to join the rest of the world watching Neil Armstrong step onto the moon in 1969.

She was in labour with her sixth child.

But she appreciated the significance of the moment and her newborn was fittingly named Neil.

“I had wanted to call him Neville, but my husband thought Neil was more appropriate considered the events of that week,” Mrs Briscoe recalled.

So Andrew Neil Briscoe - he has always been known as Neil - arrived hours after that momentous lunar moment.

While the busy mother- she had five children under nine - had kept pace with the space shuttles' initial progress from the family television, by the time she arrived at Warialda Hospital she could not have cared less.

“Neil was a nine pound baby, so I must admit I didn't give much thought to man walking on the moon,” she said.

Like the world's progress in space travel the youngest member of the Briscoe clan had been slow to take his place in the world.

“I was in labour all day and all night and all the next day then Neil was finally born at 8.45pm on July 22,” Mrs Briscoe said.

“He was the biggest of all my babies.”

The likeable grandmother, who turns 80 next January, recalled her last arduous labour as the world relived the 40th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing this week.

Good humouredly she acknowledges the arrival of her youngest son might not have caused the public fanfare of Armstrong's lunar trip but it certainly changed her world.

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