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First 2013 baby sets Deniliquin Hospital record

Everyone thought the first baby of the new year would arrive sooner in the month, but little Jimmy O'Connor was a little stubborn.

TYLA HARRINGTON January 18, 2013 4:23am

Gail McLean with new mum Sam Wharton and children James and Grace.


Not only did Sam Wharton and her partner Chris O’Connor have the first Deniliquin baby of the New Year, they also broke the ‘latest to arrive in January’ record.

James ‘Jimmy’ Francis O’Connor, Sam and Chris’s second child, was born on January 11 and is a brother for Grace (14 months).

Little Jimmy arrived almost a week after he was expected, his due date being January 7.

His late arrival means he sets the record for being the ‘latest’ first baby of the New Year. Before Jimmy the record was January 8.

And what was a new beginning for the local family is also a new beginning for Gail McLean.

Mrs McLean has been welcoming Deniliquin Hospital’s first baby with gifts for the past 25 years, but has had been unable to make the presentations herself in recent years after experiencing ‘‘rough times’’.

The tradition started after she had the first baby of the New Year at Deniliquin Hospital in 1988.

Mrs McLean has since lost two of her children, and says she plans to ‘‘start fresh’’ on her new farm near Finley.

But she will continue to visit Deniliquin, she promised, as she showered gifts on Sam and Jimmy.

‘‘He is the first baby to receive as much as he has in 25 years,’’ Mrs McLean said.

Jimmy received a hamper from Deniliquin Pharmacy as well as flowers and plenty of things Sam says will ‘‘definitely come in handy’’.

And Sam wasn’t left out, receiving a bottle of wine.

Jimmy was born at the Deniliquin Hospital weighing 3950g (8lb 11oz) and is the newest grandson to Peter and Debbie O’Connor and Rod and Karen Wharton, all of Deniliquin.

He is also a great grandchild to Bernie and Frances Saviage of Nowra in NSW and Brian and Norma O’Connor, Jenny and Lindsay Wharton, and John and Mary James, all of Deniliquin.

He is a nephew to Ryan and Sophie Wharton, and Jason O’Connor.

‘‘I didn’t think I’d have the first baby of the New Year,’’ Sam said. ‘‘He wasn’t expected on the first or second (of January).’’

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