Gladys May Burgis
- Joyce Lorraine Smith+
- Keneth Arnold Smith+
Ernest Godwin Theodore Smith
- Born: 15 Jun 1910
- Marriage: Gladys May Burgis
- Died: 7 Feb 1972, Preston, Melbourne, Vic at age 61
Cause of his death was Cancer of the pancreus.
Godwin had a sister Mavis Smith who never married and lived in the old family home in East Preston.
Godwin lived at 2 Leicester St on the corner of St Georges Rd Preston for 40 years with his family. The house was built in the 1930's and the back yard was typical of the Burgis family with chooks, rubarb, a vegie garden and loganberries along the fences. We had many family parties at this house an the boys would play cricket in the middle of St Georges Rd before both sides were sealed and the road became too busy. Godwin also had a billiard set which was a series of wire pockets joined by elastic rubber bands. There were two hudge bands between each pocket and these acted as cushions for the balls. The table was oval and this resulted in a somewhat funny shaped billiard table with some unusual angles. The table which was their normal dining table was covered with a grey blanket before the pockets and cushions were fitted. After dinner, the billiard set would come out and the boys would enjoy a game.
Godwin had a wonderful tennor voice and would sing in the choir while playing the old wind organ at South Preston Methodist Church in Yann St. Godwin would sing away while playing the organ, changing stops and using his feet on the lower register peddles to the pipes. Every now and then the electricty would fail and someone would have to use the mannual bellows - I remember it well.
At the Sunday School Anniversary he would errect a huge temporary grandstand in the church over the old Choir area and the whole Sunday School would sing songs during a church service which was held for 2 Sundays in May 11am, 3 pm and 7 pm. The songs which he had selected were copied onto slides in later years.
To put it mildly, Godwin was a stubborn man and would often want things done exactly as he wished. He would pack his car so methodically that no one could help. If you did it would be certain to be unpacked and done his way. This often created friction even with his own family.
I remember he loved toast and dripping topped with tomato sauce for breakfast. Speaking of toast, we went camping with the Smiths to the Rosebud foreshore I guess about 1950. The Smiths always went to Roesbud Foreshore for their annual Christmas holiday using a trailer Godwin built to carry the tent and camping gear including a coolguardie safe(evaporative water cooled fridge). My dad Frank had spent ages watching his toast on one of those old pyramid style toasters on the keroscene stove. He loved his toast lightist brown and chrisp. Godwin came along and grabbed the toast and smashed it in his hands until it was wafer thin. That's how toast should look he said leaving Dad so dismayed that he repeated this story for decades to come.
Godwin did an apprenticeship as an electrical fitter with a firm in South Melbourne and would ride his bike to work if it was not raining. In later years, Godwin was an electrical fitter in the Tramway Workshops in Preston for a number of years until he contracted cancer and had to leave.
Godwin was also intersest in radios and made several sets including an upright valve amplified set which was about a meter high and was quite decorative on the front. He also installed the amplifier at the church for the preacher to use and also incorporated a turn table to play records.
Ernest married Gladys May Burgis, daughter of Horatio Arthur Burgis and Ethel May Wood. (Gladys May Burgis was born on 20 Sep 1909 and died in Jan 1990 in Austin Hospital, Heidelberg, Vic.)