Born: 20 Oct 1915, 60 Fifth Street, Boxburg Nth, South Africa
Marriage: Mavis Ethel BURGIS 12 Sept 1942 at in South Preston Methodist
Church Yann St
Died: 22 Aug 2003, Reservoir Vic at age 87
names for Frank were Frank Bernard GOULDING and Pa WILLIAMS.
Born 20.10.15 as Frank Bernard Goulding.
Name changed by Deed Pole on 7 May 1934 from Goulding to Williams while living at 663 High StPreston.
Pronounced Dead on 22 August 2003 at age 87 years at home 21 Wilkinson St
Frank Bernard Goulding was born on 20.10.15 in Boxburg, South Africa, and
only child to Frank Bernard Goulding (same name as son- died about the time
of the birth or before) and Mary (May) Margaret Louisa Williams. Sadly his
parents died before he really knew them with his mother passing away when he
was about three. His mother had remarried Phil Richards, and Phil, and
Frank's maternal grandparents bought him to Australia. Frank was brought up 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 and a second uncle Fred
who was killed in the 1st WW. A further Uncle died at 4 years old - refer
Australia, School and Work
Frank came to Australia when he was around three years of age. Frank
started school in a small private school in Newport before the family shifted to Humprey St Ballarat
where his grandparents had a pastry cook business. Frank then attended the Queens Street State School and then BallaratHigh
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 BusinessCollege 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
He then joined MelbourneUniversity 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 specialised industry.
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 SouthPrestonMethodistChurch in Yann St. The friendship developed and after a ten year
courtship the marriage took place on the 12th September 1942 at the SouthPrestonMethodistChurch. 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. 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.
In the early years many of Frank's interests were centered around the SouthPrestonMethodistChurch 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. The family well remember the family parties
celebrating all the cousin's birthdays and Christmas - where Frank was Father
The chldren 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 Bright.
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), 56 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 MethodistChurch in South
Preston. Meeting there,
married there Frank was the Sunday School superintendent 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
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.
Noted events in his life were:
Name Change: Name legally
changed from Goulding to Williams, 7 May 1934.
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.
The minister was Rev
W.J. Ormandy in the presence of Jean McKechnie and Kenneth Williams - Frank's