Born: Established: 22 Oct 1920 Prospect ;
Comments: Not in AUSTLIT
Contact: Mrs Brenda May
Moved from Williamstown to Prospect (both SA).
The eldest of three daughters of Albert and Lilian Burdon, Brenda May grew up in Prospect. She attended Nailsworth School, and in 1930, while there, she witnessed a gun battle between police and four escaped convicts in the school yard. A few years later she wrote about this and had it published in a women's magazine, so beginning her interest in writing. She went on to Adelaide Technical High School, where she passed her Intermediate Certificate, but it was the time of the Depression and she had to leave school and get a job. She found secretarial work, which she enjoyed.
In 1942 she met her husband Harry May on the M V Moonta on the "Gulf Trip". He was in the RAAF, and was soon drafted to Darwin. Fifteen months later, in 1943, he got leave and they were married. They were soon separated again though, and he spent the rest of the war in Townsville while she worked for the Department of Reconstruction in Adelaide. In 1962 the TV Radio Guide published her verse 'A Plea to our Sponsor'. It was over 20 years before her next publication, the story of their shipwreck on the Marlborough Sounds, New Zealand, while on a Russian cruise ship.
Brenda was a foundation member of the Williamstown Women Writers (now Barossa Word Weavers) and has since had a number of stories and poems published. She has taken a university-sponsored Creative Writing course, and has had work read on radio and TV. Brenda and Harry May had two sons. Brenda has been widowed since 1995.