(The master version of this biography is maintained at http://www.dorneyfamilyhistory.net/famtree_web/History_dorney.pdf)
Dorothy was born in Melbourne, the first of four children, and a gifted pianist. Her mother Marie had great plans of her becoming a concert pianist.
As a child she attended St. Columba’s College in Essendon.
In October 1918 she achieved Grade IV with Honours in Musical Examinations.
Dorothy received a piano scholarship to enter the the Albert Street Conservatorium of Music in Melbourne in 1920. She received Honours in her first year, but only a pass in her second and third years. During her second year she performed in a concert to the Governor and Countess of Stradbroke.
In the late 1920s Dorothy was sent to Paris to study piano at the École Normale de Musique de Paris, a school established by the famous French pianist Alfred Cortot. Unfortunately for Dorothy, her mother accompanied her, and she did not have good memories of Paris for this reason but eventually Marie returned to Australia (via Naples) and Dorothy had some freedom, visiting Germany and England, making friends she corresponded with for some years.
She left Europe from the port of Toulon, and passed through Fremantle on the SS Orvieto on 21 Jan 1930 on her way back to Melbourne.
Dorothy married Bernard McCaffrey in 1933.
Before and after her marriage, Dorothy worked as a piano teacher.
Dorothy and Bernard had one child together, Maureen, who was born in 1937. However, Bernard left Dorothy shortly after this and Dorothy had to raise Maureen on her own, which is not an easy task today, let alone in the 1930s.
Dorothy initially worked nights in a theatre, and then when Maureen went to boarding school she worked for Rockmans on their switchboard and later got a job working in the furniture shop of her uncle, Marie’s brother, Esmond Kiernan. When Marie moved to Townsville, Dorothy moved to Magnetic Island and stayed there for several years, only returning after Marie’s death.
Dorothy died shortly after her 95th birthday from complications related to a fall several months earlier.
Until the time of the fall Dorothy had maintained her intelligence and sense of humour through her whole life.
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Dorothy is 36 degrees from Aaron Copland, 33 degrees from AJ Jacobs, 28 degrees from Barbara Shoff and 25 degrees from Queen Elizabeth II Windsor on our single family tree. Login to find your connection.