Mavis Ethel BURGIS
- Born: 15 Jun 1915, East Ballarat, Vic
- Christened: 7 Nov 1915, Methodist E Ballarat
- Marriage: Frank Bernard WILLIAMS 12 Sept 1942 at 2.30 pm in South Preston Methodist Church Yann St
- Died: 26 Jun 1992, Reservoir, Vic at age 77
- Buried: Cremated, Preston Cemetery, Vic
Cause of her death was Cancer and Heart Attack.
Another name for Mavis was Doll or Dolly BURGIS.
Born East Ballarat Vic Australia Reg No 9238
Christened methodist Church East Ballarat
Died at home 21 Wilkinson St Reservoir
Ashes buried in the Burgis Grave Preston Cemetery Area K Grave No 07531 on 14 Aug 1992
Mavis parents were living at 6 Queen St Ballarat opposite the old
curiosity shop when she was born. Mavis had an older sister Gladys May
Burgis 6 years her senior and a brother Arthur Ronald (Ron) Burgis 2
years her senior. Gladys started the nick name Doll as her younger
sister looked like a Doll (Dolly) as a baby. To Gladys and Ron's
children she was known as Aunty Doll. The family shifted to McArthur St
Mavis Ethel Burgis started school at 4½ years of age at Humffray
Street School Ballarat. She was living at the rear of a grocery shop in
Lydiard Street near Ballarat Station and as a child caught diphtheria
and spent 6 weeks in Ballarat Hospital. The family shifted to Melbourne
to another grocery shop at 171 Nelson Place, Williamstown in 1921. I
(Lindsay) had occasion to visit the shop and the rear where the family
lived was being renovated. The living quarters still had the old doors,
skirting boards, fireplace, stair case rails etc and it was quite
spacious with three large rooms upstairs and kitchen and living room
etc down stairs. The first floor front room looked out over the water
to Melbourne City. Mavis went to school for 6 months at Williamstown
State School. The family then shifted to Preston where they had a mixed
sweet shop and meals at 81 High St. Mavis started school at South
Preston State School in third grade and went to seventh grade(Form F)
before attending Preston Girl's High School in its inaugural year 1928
obtaining her Merit Certificate that year at age 13 years old. At High
School Mavis was fond of basketball, rounders and tennis.
The family shifted to 20 Roseberry Ave Preston when Mavis was 10 in
1925 and they were there until she was 23 years old when they moved to
13 Kinkora Ave East Preston. Her brother Ron and wife Ena lived at the
rear in 704 Plenty Road Preston and one could walk through the gate
between both properties.
Mavis left school at 14 to look after her mother for 2 years before
becoming a milliner at Sargood Gardner's Warehouse in Flinders Lane for
11 years from 1931 to 1942 until she was married. In one of her
photographs Mavis is wearing a matching hat, scarf and bag she made.
When younger, Doll was first attended the South Preston Methodist
Sunday School before becoming involved as a member of the choir, tennis
club, gymnasium, concert party and basket ball club. Her backhand at
tennis was very unusual with the racket hand (right hand) being twisted
anti-clockwise from the forehand to the backhand so that she hit the
ball with the same face of the racket for both forehand and backhand
shots. She met Frank at the church when she was 17 years old and they
had a happy courtship for many years.
The whole family had an involvement with the South Preston Methodist
Church in Yann St. Mavis sung in the choir and went to church
regularly. Mavis' involvement with the church ceased when she
discovered that the missions in Australia were taking aboriginal
children from their parents by force - the stolen generation. Until
then, there even had been talk of us adopting an aboriginal child.
Mavis describes her time after her marriage to Frank as " an extremely
happy marriage and a son was born in 1944 followed by another in
November 1948. These two births compensated for the sadder sorrows of
Franks Ma and Pa and Mavis parents all passing away within 10 years
from 1942 to 1952." Mavis enjoyed a happy family life with the welfare
of Frank and the boys being a first priority.
Doll was involved with Reservoir High School where she was secretary
then president of the Mothers Club, member of the School Council, joint
manager of the school canteen when the Manager was sacked for accepting
supplier pay-offs, and with the help of Dad's design she sowed the
school banner and the house banners. Mavis also had the school sports
ground named after her, the M.E. Williams tennis courts as I recall.
She suffered from a hereditary hearing disorder where the bones in the
ear become restricted. For many years she wore a hearing aid but when a
son was diagnosed with the same problem, Mavis went and had
stapedectomies in both ears and they were successful. She writes, "This
gave me great joy."
When the school fate was being organised, a son went out to the school
to help erect the tressels and tables for the stalls. Mavis was giving
her normal instructions and the son was following when a group of women
from the Mother's Club came up and started to tell him to alter the
layout. Mavis immediately turned off her hearing aid and continued
issuing instructions. I beg your pardon she would say every now and
then as the women tried to get things altered. After a short time they
gave up and walked away and Mavis winked. After her boys had finished
year 12, Mavis relinquished her interests in the school.
Added pleasure was given to her life when the eldest son was married
and the daughter-in-law became an addition to the family. Mum had
always wanted a daughter and when a granddaughter came along as her
first grandchild she finally had a daughter in law and a baby girl to
help love and dress up in many hand made clothes. Then the other son
married bring a new daughter to the Williams fold and she soon had 5
grandchildren. She wrote, "these grand children and daughters in law
bought endless joy".
Mavis listed her interests as tennis, gymnasium, concert party, choir,
Sunday school, Christian endeavour society, basket ball, sewing and
dancing. One of her great loves was yoga where she went weekly to
classes run by Pauline Hart and she kept a book describing the
exercises and a folder of Pauline's roneoed notes. The grand children
were taken to yoga when they were staying at Ma's place over the school
holidays as Pauline was recalling at Frank's place some 10 years after
Mavis had passed on.
After Frank retired in 1980, Mavis and Frank played tennis and went
dancing together. Mavis broke her hip and had a hip replacement
operation after some time spent trying for a natural cure. They did not
get to spend the time travelling together after Frank retired as they
had expected. However, Frank went to tennis and Mavis and he would go
dancing. In 1988 she had a fall and the other hip was fractured and a
plate and pins were used to repair it. In 1989 she had a blocked artery
and underwent an emergency operation. Mavis was diagnosed with breast
cancer and she only had the lump removed. Some years later she had
cancer in the back and Frank lovingly nursed her through some rough
times before she finally passed away in his arms. He painted a tribute
to her and there are two identical paintings of her life given to the
Mavis was loving wife to Frank and a lifetime mate. Their relationship
was very loving and caring with very few angry words being exchanged.
Mavis was also a very loving Mother to both sons but did expect her
sons to perform better in most aspects than they were able or willing
to achieve. She loved her grand children very deeply making clothes for
them and looking after them.
Frank Bernard WILLIAMS, son of Frank Bernard GOULDING and Mary (May)
Margaret Louisa WILLIAMS, 12 Sept 1942 at 2.30 pm in South Preston
Methodist Church Yann St. (Frank Bernard WILLIAMS was born on 20 Oct
1915 in 60 Fifth Street, Boksburg Nth, South Africa, died on 22 Aug
2003 in Reservoir Vic and was buried in Cremated, Preston Cemetery,