Amy Joan Dooley
- Margaret Anne Williams
- Catherine Joan Williams+
- Geoffrey Eaton Williams+
- Anne Elizabeth Mary Williams+
Gwilym Kenneth Williams
- Born: 22 Jan 1918, Luton, Bedfordshire, Eng
- Marriage: Amy Joan Dooley on 22 Apr 1944 in St Peters C of E, Eastern Hill, Melb
- Died: 21 Apr 2004, Donvale, Melbourne, Vic at age 86
He was a design mechanical engineer.
Dad (FBW) always called him Cousin Ken or Kenneth. He was quite fond of him and Kenneth was his Best Man at his wedding ahd vice versa.
In 1951, he was living at 22 Davies St, Moonie Ponds, Vic.
In 1967, he was living at 6 Learmonth St., Rosanna, Vic.
Address read at Requiem Mass
Wednesday 21 April 2004
Readers: Tim Hemsworth and Anthony Lawton
Anthony and I will tell you this afternoon about Gwilym Kenneth Williams - Pa. Before I begin I would like to mention Pa's son - Geoffrey who is in Nigeria and his eldest granddaughter Sue - who is in Japan with her family. Unfortunately neither was able to make it today and our thoughts are with them too. It was Sue who hand-folded every one of the 1000 paper cranes that hung in his room for the past few months and are now lying on his casket.
Pa was born on 22 January 1918 in Luton, England to Amy and Harold Williams. He was their 3rd child - having an older brother Geoffrey and an older sister Joyce. In 1920 the family travelled out to Australia arriving on 9 Nov 1920 on the SS Berima where Pa's younger sister Joan was born. Pa attended Williamstown State School, which he left during the Depression at the age of 14 to work in the family business - a bakery in Footscray.
It was this that formed the foundation for what would later make Pa famous in the family. He became the official "Christmas Pudding Maker", but it didn't stop there. He provided us with chocolate cakes, shortbreads, apple pies, berry pies, mince pies, the Christmas turkey - and the stuffing and of course there was his famous roast beef and Yorkshire pudding. He made a weekly trip to all sides of the family to provide us with his goodies. One day I was at his house helping him do his baking. Trying to be helpful, I asked: "how much flour should I put in?" His reply was short and precise…….. "ENOUGH!!" His cooking was legendary, but in my mind nothing will ever surpass his apple pie. I have filled out many surveys and when the question comes "What is your favourite food?" I always answer 'Pa's apple pie'.
After the Depression he trained as a Fitter and Turner, working with his father. He also applied to join the Navy during WWII, but was denied on medical grounds. In 1944 Pa attended night school for several years to gain a diploma as a Mechanical Engineer and worked at APM for most of the 1950s. In 1958 he joined the State Public Service's Public Works Department. Gaining promotion on merit he eventually become the Assistant Director General of the Department. In 1977 he was awarded a Queen's Silver Jubilee Medal in recognition of his contribution to the state public service. He retired in 1981.
Living in Footscray as a boy, he grew up supporting "The Doggies." He loved them, however by the time I came along he had lost faith in their abilities. He would often concede defeat before the match was played - however it never deterred him from rubbing it in when the Doggies beat Essendon! His love of sport, however, did not end with footy. He was an avid cricket watcher, and a strong supporter of the English. In fact, as I discovered at a young age, he was a strong supporter of any team that was NOT Australian. He considered every Aussie team whingers after the Bodyline series during the 1930s!
He also played golf - when I was a kid it was every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. Nothing could interfere with that! Pa played at Rosanna Golf Club and was instrumental in its move to its present location in Lower Plenty. He became well known at the Club and did the handicapping each week. When Pa was forced to stop playing golf, he was visited by Les O'Neil twice a week. Les provided fantastic friendship and support which Pa greatly appreciated. As I grew up, I was permitted to caddy for him. This was my indoctrination into 'Golf Etiquette'. He taught me every strict rule in the book! Imagine my shock when, last year during a friendly competition, I was informed that my club is not allowed to touch the sand when I'm in the bunker. Dumbfounded I looked up and replied: "But Pa never said that."
In 1934 Pa's family began attending St. Peter's and he was actively involved ever since. Pa met and married Joan here and his children were baptised here too. Both Catherine and Anne were married here, and many of his grandchildren and great grandchildren were baptised here. Pa often served at High Mass on Sundays as MC. When Geoffrey was 4, he took his turn as Pa's Boatboy, and was given a Prayer Book which he still treasures today. St. Peter's always held a very special place in Pa's heart, and he was grateful that, when he could no longer drive, Sarah would bring him in on Sunday mornings.
Pa used to come and watch me play cricket and footy at school. Later on he would watch me play hockey. I am grateful for all that he did for me. And I will miss his apple pie.
Gwilym Kenneth Williams - Pa - married Amy Joan Dooley (Joan) on 22 April 1944. They had Margaret in 1946 who unfortunately died 6 weeks later. They then had 3 more children - Catherine, Geoffrey and Anne. He was a caring and loving father for whom family was extremely important. In 1968 he lost his wife and friend to cancer. They are now together. Catherine, Geoffrey and Anne fondly recall family trips to Sorrento and regular Sunday drives through the hills. The trips themselves were generally boring, the only interest was Pa's promise of an ice-cream during the journey home.
Tim mentioned Pa's love of golf - it was so strong that nothing was allowed to interrupt him! One day, Catherine tried to reach him on the course with news that Anne was in Fiji and had been taken to hospital with appendicitis. They needed parental permission before they could operate. Pa was informed of the situation as he walked up the 9th hole. He rang Fiji, gave permission - and then finished his round of golf! When he arrived home he decided he wanted to be with Anne in Fiji, however he had no passport, flight or accommodation - and it was 6:00 on a Saturday evening! Getting in the car, he drove to Flinders St. Station where he used a photo booth to get his passport photo, and then headed to the airport. On arrival at the airport he was informed that the photo from the booth was not sufficient to get him an Australian passport. They finally agreed to accept the photo on his British passport, however he needed to pay for the transfer. He wrote a cheque and produced his driver's licence, but it had been ripped and the signature was missing!! The Consulate official was quite bemused and told him he couldn't be a con man - no one could be that bad!! He was duly given his passport and flew out at 6 o'clock the next morning.
I have many fond memories of Pa watching me play cricket and football. He enjoyed being a spectator, but couldn't help himself from making some sly remarks. I remember one time when I had scored a century, he asked me if we were playing the Blind Institute. We also made sly remarks about our football teams. I used sit on the couch at the unit after coming back from another Collingwood loss and Pa would walk in with his so called 'medicine' - which was half a glass off straight brandy mind you! He always said, "you should come and barrack for the Doggies 'cause we are used to losing and you won't get so disappointed all the time.
Pa loved everyone in his family very dearly and took his responsibilities as husband, father, grandfather and great grandfather very seriously. He enjoyed doing things for his family and never expected anything in return. Pa never missed anyone's birthday. He always turned up with a present, card and the famous Yarra Cake! He took his 'duty' to bring the Yarra Cake very seriously! He was very proud of his children and grandchildren, and simply adored his great grandchildren Jesse, Ricky, Emma, Paris and Kye. Another sign of Pa's love for his family was when he sent the newspaper everyday to Japan for Sue.
There are many memories we carry from Pa's house in Rosanna. The first is his cat Betsy - who lived to be 22 years old. Betsy was Pa's companion and friend, and is sorely missed. There was also THAT acorn tree. We would climb it every Sunday afternoon when we went up for his roast dinner! Pa's backyard was bigger than most - which meant he had a rather large back lawn to mow! He was also VERY specific with how it was to be mowed. I had to go up against the fence in a straight line - and it had to be a STRAIGHT line. When I reached a tree, I had to do perfect circles - without running over any lemons! Every time I mowed, the mower had to be set at the correct height - which only Pa knew!!! He used to say that mowing was very scientific!
Merissa and I have very fond memories of the holidays we used to spend at Pa's. He would always take us to McDonald's - especially when mum had said we couldn't go!! We would also go on many day trips to Healesville Sanctuary, Scienceworks and Wobbiesworld. We also loved having milkshakes there.
I will be forever grateful to Pa for letting me live with him for 2 years. It was a rough time in my life, which he made more bearable. During this time, Pa helped teach me to drive, helped me with homework and generally guided me towards adulthood. Although at times we may have argued, I know that he always had my best interests at heart. He did some amazing things for me which I will never forget.
During the last 12 months of his life he valued the strong support of all who were around him. Towards the end his family visited regularly and I know Anne, Janine and Lorraine were privileged to have been there when he died. Thank you to the many family and friends who have supported us, especially during the last year when he was quite frail.
Gwilym married Amy Joan Dooley, daughter of William Henry Dooley and Amy Edith Shillinglaw, on 22 Apr 1944 in St Peters C of E, Eastern Hill, Melb. (Amy Joan Dooley was born on 6 May 1921 in Fitzroy, Melbourne, Vic and died on 6 Apr 1968 in Fitzroy, Melbourne, Vic.)