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Sewell Burgis
Ellen Mary Jones
Ann (Annie) Wood
Horatio Arthur Burgis
Ethel May Wood

Arthur Ronald Burgis


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Ena Alma Norton

  • Margaret May Burgis+
  • Alan Leslie Burgis+

Arthur Ronald Burgis

  • Born: 7 Nov 1913, Queen St Ballarat
  • Marriage: Ena Alma Norton on 19 Oct 1938 in Chant St Methodist Church, Launceston, Tas
  • Died: 23 Jul 1987, Austin Hospital, Heidelberg, Vic at age 73

bullet  General Notes:

Arthur Ronald Burgis was born in East Ballaarat in 1913 Reg No. 28003.

Born 7 November 1913 in Queen St., Ballarat
Married 19 October 1938 Ena Alma Norton at the Chant St Methodist Church Launceston Tasmania
Died 23 July 1987 in the Austin Hospital, Heidelberg.

Arthur Ronald was the second child born to Horatio Arthur Burgis and Ethel May Burgis (nee Wood later called Woods).

Ron, as he was known, spent his early years with the family at 6 Queen St Ballarat and probably went to the Humphrey Street Primary School. They moved to McArthur St. then to Lydiard St. at the rear of a grocers shop near Ballarat Station. 1921 firstly to another grocery shop at 171 Nelson Place, Williamstown for a short. The living quarters were quite spacious with three large rooms upstairs and kitchen and living room etc down stairs. The front, upstairs room looked out over the water to Melbourne City. The family ran the grocers shop on the ground floor but gave credit to many of the residents and those from the ships and they were forced to close within a year. He would have attended Williamstown State School when he was 8 for about 8 months. The family then shifted to Preston where they had a mixed business and meals at 81 High St. Ethel and the children ran the shop while Arthur worked for Myer using his motor bike and side car collecting lay-by money from private homes and working in cash orders. In later years, his health was not good as he was out on the motor bike in all weathers. Ron attended South Preston State School.

The family shifted to 20 Roseberry Ave Preston in 1925 and they were there until 1938 when they moved to 13 Kinkora Ave East Preston. Ron Burgis and wife Ena bought a block of land on Plenty Road and built a beautiful brick house at the rear in 704 Plenty Road Preston and one could walk through the gate between both properties. The people next door, Mr Connon, owned a company called Dentsply making false teeth. There was a small factory in the back yard and Connons would run leads over the fence to supplement their electrical supply which was limited in those days. Some of the Burgis family also worked in the factory part-time as shown by one of the old staff photographs. When his mother died, Ron purchased the house at 13 Kinkora Avenue and sold the one on Plenty Road. At the new home, he had an extensive vegetable garden, loganberry bushes around the fences and chook pens.

Arthur senior had a big back yard at Kinkora Avenue with a large fernery, vegetable garden and chock pens. There were loganberries around the fences and some of these cuttings still survive in the grand children's gardens.

Ron's family ran grocery stores and mixed businesses and this is where Ron developed his skills as a small business man. He obtained employment in the sales area for a knitwear supplier and he would bring home many of the samples for Ena and his sisters to sow into patch work blankets some of which have survived 30-40 years. During this time, Ron had a number of businesses and investments on the go with a large 2 story house in Essendon I recall. There was an old Gestetner duplicating machine in the garage used for some of these business ventures as well as for the Church. There was a company called AB Arthur. Later had his own knitwear factory, Alto Knitwear which produced jumpers and cardigans which have lasted some 30 years. He also helped his children with business ventures.

Ron was involved with the Church mainly the South Preston Methodist in Yann St. He was a lay preacher and a on the Church Trust and was a religious man. He had a happy disposition and would often be laughing or smiling. When his son Alan was younger Ron played as the over-age cricketer in the junior Sunday school team and bowled a good googlie (Leg Break) and must have played a bit of cricket when he was younger. Ron and Margaret, his daughter, are in the photograph of the premiership team in 1956 with Margaret being the team scorer. I think she was keen on one of the team members at the time.

There were also many family picnics and outings. The family would go in their trusty 4 cylinder Austin which Ron bought new in the late 1940's and often go to see the relations like Uncle George Taylor, a half brother to is mother Ethyl Wood, and assist them as they were not well off. There were trips to Ballarat to see the Woods. Ron was keen on rabbiting and would take his trusty double barrel shotgun which had a very unstable hammer system. I recall one day Ron uncocking the gun to get through a fence except he held the wrong hammer or pulled the wrong trigger. The gun went off just behind Allan his son who was carefully attempting to climb a barbed wire fence. Alan got such a fright he cleared the fence in one bound. Another time Ron was crouching with gun at the ready and seemed to be waiting an unusually long time. There were two rabbits hopping around in range and Ron waited for them to come into the one line and shot them with a single shot. Saves on cartridges he was heard to say - typical of Ron. He would also go to Tasmania to visit his relations there as well as do some selling of his knitwear's.

At his brother in law's, Frank, funeral, a friend was telling a story about how he and Frank would travel on the tram to work together. On some occasions, a black Austin would pass the stop and pick them up and offer them a ride into the city. When they were in the car, the driver would then rattle a donation box labelled donations for the South Preston Methodist Church and hold it out in their direction. Someone said sounds like Ronnie Burgis to me. The friends face lit up "Yes, That's the bloke", he said.

In later life Ron took up Lawn Bowls and was quite good at it becoming Club President at Rosanna and followed the Victorian exodus to the Gold Coast in the winter to play all year round.

Ron and Ena had a great married life together and Ena supported Ron particularly with his devotion to the Church. She was an excellent cook making great sponges for the family parties. She also had a happy disposition and would be a highlight at the family gatherings.


Arthur married Ena Alma Norton on 19 Oct 1938 in Chant St Methodist Church, Launceston, Tas. (Ena Alma Norton died in Nov 2006.)

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