Frank Bernard WILLIAMS
- Born: 20 Oct 1915, 60 Fifth Street, Boksburg Nth, South Africa
- Marriage: Mavis Ethel BURGIS 12 Sept 1942 at 2.30 pm in South Preston Methodist Church Yann St
- Died: 22 Aug 2003, Reservoir Vic at age 87
- Buried: Cremated, Preston Cemetery, VIC
Other names for Frank were Frank Bernard GOULDING and Pa WILLIAMS.
Born 20.10.1915 as Frank Bernard Goulding at 11;45 am.
Name changed by Deed Pole on 7 May 1934 from Goulding to Williams while living at 663 High St Preston.
Pronounced Dead on 22 August 2003 at age 87 years at home 21 Wilkinson St Reservoir
Frank Bernard Goulding was born on 20.10.15 in Boxburg, South Africa,
and only child to Frank Bernard Goulding (who, according to the family,
died about the time of the birth ) and Mary (May) Margaret Louisa
Sadly his parents died before he really knew them with his mother
passing away when he was three years old. His mother had re-married,
Phil Richards, and Phil, and Frank's maternal grandparents bought him
to Australia. Frank was then raised by his maternal grand parents
Gwilym and Mary Williams and was called Frank Williams. He had one
uncle he knew Harold who Frank thought was as an older brother. A
second uncle Fred who was killed in the 1st WW before Frank was born.
Australia, School and Work
Frank came to Australia when he was around three years of age.
Initially his grandparents had a shop at 331 High St Northcote. Frank
started school in a small private school in Newport before the family
shifted to Humffray St Ballarat where his grandparents had a pastry
cook business. Frank then attended the Queens Street State School and
then Ballarat High School and obtained his Merit Certificate in 1929
topping the class in Latin. For a short time he attended Williamstown
High on return to Melbourne. At the age of 15, Frank and the family
came to Melbourne first to Williamstown and then to Preston. Coming to
Melbourne, Frank attended Bradshaw's Business College where he
undertook basic office studies including typing and bookkeeping.
It was his leaning towards Art that led him to the Melbourne Art Institute from where he graduated as a commercial artist.
He started working for a number of neon sign firms General Neon, Ray
Neon, Smith's New Neon and Lumiero where his responsibility was to
sketch the signs and surrounds as they would look and then layout the
design which would eventually be manufactured into neon signs for
advertising. He had many stories of painting signs around Melbourne and
of clambering around a number of signs. There was one where the Y would
move as you held on to it to swing around several floors up. The
depression years saw the folding up of these businesses and this led
him into glass blowing.
He joined Precision Glass Industries, owned by J. Bentley, in 1935 and
worked with them through the war years. He worked for nothing until he
made products which could be sold and later his wage was 2 pound (
$4.00) per week. He learned glass blowing from Thomas (Tommy) Dwan who
became a drunk. Below is Frank at Precision Glass in about 1940 making
a vacuum gauge for an aluminium mirror coating machine.
In 1948 Frank joined the CSIRO at Fisherman's bend where he worked as a
scientific glass blower. He worked with Merton Roberts and George Jones
making vacuum systems, specialist valves eg those for the Atomic
Absorption Spectrophotometer during the developmental stages,
distillation equipment etc.
He then joined Melbourne University in 1962 first in the Physics
Department before transferring to the Chemistry Department supervising
4 other glassblowers. The above photographs show Frank making a vacuum
pump and at an open day making a swan. He worked there until retiring
in 1980 at the age of 65 after a distinguished career in this
Marriage and Homes
It was while in the city when Frank saw this attractive woman Mavis and
he said to his friend, Arthur Wardell, I have to met her. Well he did
through the youth group of the South Preston Methodist Church in Yann
St. The friendship developed and after a ten year courtship the
marriage took place on the 12th September 1942 at the South Preston
Methodist Church. The flower girl was Joyce Smith, Mavis' niece, and
the bridesmaid was Jean McKechnie (a friend from Sargood Gardiner) and
the best man was Frank's Cousin Ken.
After a honeymoon in Warburton Frank and Mavis lived in the first
instance with her parents at 13 Kinkora Ave in East Preston. They
already had their home at 21 Wilkinson Street Reservoir but could not
move there until after the war as the people renting could not be
evicted. A son was born in 1944 while they were still at Kinkora Ave .
It was in 1946 that Frank and Mavis moved into number 21. Things were
different in those days no made roads and few houses in the street.
Another son was born in 1948
In the early years many of Frank's interests were centred around the
South Preston Methodist Church both for religious reasons and for
female friendship we believe. There were lots of church activities in
these early years boys club, tennis, the concert party and even the
choir appealed to Frank! There was also his Super Extra Special Austin
Ace (his Austin 7 Car).
Following his marriage of course family came to be the central life
interest. Family for Frank was a very important part in his new life
with Mavis because he had no family and she had a very close
relationship with her brother and sister. Lindsay and Greg well
remember the family parties celebrating all the cousin's birthdays and
Christmas - where Frank was Father Christmas.
The children recall the early family holidays in boarding houses
particularly to Mt Gambier, Mildura and the Grampians in the school
holidays. There was also a trip to Tasmania; a then modern DC3 plane
over Bass Strait and boat (S.S. Taroona) back. In the 1950's they began
camping as a family. One of their major exploits was a trip to
Queensland up the coast and returning down the middle of the country.
Then there were tenting Christmas holidays to other places including
many years at Mrs Beecroft's Caravan Park at Apollo Bay and then at
Frank enjoyed the camping and he and the boys learnt to fish together..
Frank also enjoyed animals. In earlier years as a boy he had cat named
Chub and a pet hen named Jean. Later when he was married there were a
number of dogs such as Willy Whiskers, Willamena and Sam.
Another interest for Frank and Mavis was dancing which started when
Frank said to Mavis what will we do when the children can look after
themselves. So it was off to Jimmy Arthur's dance studio in High Street
and so began a love affair with dancing. Frank and Mavis and friends
enjoyed the local town hall dances receiving medals for passing through
various stages. Lots of fun and making a number of new friendships.
Frank also enjoyed reading any book he could get his hands on as well
as the paper and western novels. One day a teacher with a Masters
Degree in English was telling Frank about a spurious book he had found
and how good it was. Is that the one where … Frank had clearly
read it years ago and was able to recall the story. The English
teacher's eyes nearly popped out their sockets. 'What you've really
have read it' he was hear to sputter. Frank was a real handyman good on
the lathe, the drill press, the welder, numerous hand tools and of
course shaping and using glass. He spent many hours in his shed and in
the early years made a steam engine driven boat including the engine,
railway signals, billy carts, a surf board, and many other useful
items. He was always very practical and constructed a camper trailer
christened as "Willy Nilly" that he and Mavis used for a number of
holidays When it came to politics his orientation was to distrust them
all although he leaned towards the left with social justice being a
high priority for him.
Another great interest was art. His early involvement through the art
school engendered an interest which Frank maintained for the rest of
his life. Frank told stories through his art work. He expressed some of
his feeling about the world and society he lived in.
There are two paintings of The Life of Mavis Ethel Williams nee Burgis
15-6-1915 to 26-6-1992. The painting represents the different phases of
her life and her portraits are hand painted on water colour paper and
then glued onto the backing board. Paintings are when she was 18,
27(12-9-42) on her wedding day to Frank Bernard Williams, 49 (19-2-65),
eldest son's wedding, 56 just after second son's wedding and in
her 70's. The background shades through a spectrum of colours to match
the spectrum or progress of a person's life. The eye is included as
when she was passing away, Frank remembers the look of the eye while he
held her in his arms. Multicoloured star clouds represent the progress
of life with bright colours to go with her general happy and fulfilling
life. The major stars indicate she was always the star in Frank's life.
The red circle has a black hole into which we all will eventually
For many years both Frank and Mavis were involved in the work of the
Methodist Church in South Preston. They met there, were married there,
Frank was the Sunday School superintendent there and a member of the
church trust. The parts of the bible story which influenced Frank were
those stories which supported the underdog for instance it would be
easier for a camel to pass through the eye of the needle than a rich
man enter the kingdom of heaven or let he who is with out sin can caste
the first stone, or look at the log in your own eye before worrying
about the splinter in someone elses. Do unto others as you would have
them do to you and Love your neighbour were other aspects which Frank
took to heart. There is a social justice in these texts which Frank
thought was important.
In later years Frank was always ready to re-tell any one of his many
stories and his grandchildren always enjoyed hearing of his many and
varied experiences. He was known to them as Pa.
The words the family used to describe Frank, Steadfast, Deeply devoted
to his wife and family, Loving and gentle, Solid, trustworthy, Honest
to a T, One of nature's gentleman
Frank was a man whose work and life ethic was shaped through hard years
in the world. Two world wars, the depression. He developed a strong
sense of social justice and fairness. His art work expressed the
hypocrisy and pain of the world. The unfairness and inequality people
had to go through. He picked the issues which mattered.
Mavis Ethel BURGIS, daughter of Horatio Arthur BURGIS and Ethel May
WOOD, 12 Sept 1942 at 2.30 pm in South Preston Methodist Church Yann
St. (Mavis Ethel BURGIS was born on 15 Jun 1915 in East Ballarat, Vic,
christened on 7 Nov 1915 in Methodist E Ballarat, died on 26 Jun 1992
in Reservoir, Vic and was buried Cremated in Preston Cemetery, Vic.).
The cause of her death was Cancer and Heart Attack.