Linda

My mother Mary Linda (Robertson) Gillard (24 November 1915 - 10 August 1988) was never called Mary. As a girl she was called Linda, and then later Mollie. I've never been sure of the spelling, and have tended towards 'Mollie', but as I was scanning photos for this page, I found two that identified her on the back as 'Molly' - in her own mature handwriting. So that may settle the spelling question. Or not.

Linda was born 24 November 1915, in Geelong. Here she is in the first year of her life with her father, James Need Robertson (born 1877), and mother, Christina Bennett (born 1880); and her brother Norman and sister Adie, who doesn't seem to like her doll much.

Jolly little Linda

I guess this is about the time of the end of the (First) War.

Linda at primary school: front, second from right

Linda with curls: it was the style at the time.

This photo shows Linda in the same outfit as the previous one - tho it seems to be reversed - but it must have been in the same session. The snap is under-exposed, and the print is now damaged: but it's still of great interest from a family point of view, as I know of no other photo showing the siblings at that age. They are: Adie Christina Robertson (later Reudavey) (1907-1999) and (James) Norman Robertson (1909-1983).

A couple of snaps of Linda aged eight (that's the age stated on the back of the photos, in her own handwriting).

Here's the other one.

With brother Norman (Norm). Born 1909, he was six years older.

Suburban style

Mollie as a young teenager - a term which didn't exist at that time. The photo is signed 'Yours, Mollie' - throwing the spelling of her name again into doubt - not to mention when she began to be called that instead of Linda.

Bathing belles

Or you could go to the beach dressed like this.

Between teenager and young married woman - such a brief passage. One hesitates to comment on the symbolism of what's in the background.

I love this outfit: tailored slacks and cute blazer - tho the photo itself is poor.

Linda with girlfriends: I can't help with the one on the left, but the other is Mary Boundy, who used to live over the road from the Eighth Avenue house.

What a cute couple! Dave looks like he thinks he's onto a good thing here. This is the same clothing and background as the one with the girlfriends.

Did they have automatic photo booths in the 1920s? Same top for all four. Cute hat!

This will just look like a crap photo to you, but it's full of interest to me. This was taken in the front garden of 98 Eighth Avenue Maylands, and if that's my cousin Phillis, it is 1937. Our family lived in that house from 1933, I believe, until my mother died in 1988. This is the only photo that shows how close it was to the local pub, the magnificent Peninsula Hotel, the tower of which you can see in the background. That hibiscus bush grew into something like a tree, and it was one of my favourites to climb. Finally, this is the only photograph that clearly shows the boundary fence to the south-east. Our family later bought the vacant block next door and removed the fence.

Jumping ahead in time: this is definitely Phillis, dolled up for some occasion. Was it your twenty-first, Phillis? And did Auntie Mollie make the frock? Ghastly dress she's wearing - but it was the 1950s.

I'm guessing this was taken on Molly's honeymoon with Dave - which would make this 1938, as they were married 8 March. There's a similar photo of him taken in the same spot—possibly near Caves House Yallingup.

I'm guessing this might be somewhere like Araluen, in what we call the 'Hills'. But maybe they're on their honeymoon at Yallingup.

Out of focus, but worth including for the setting. Same shoes as in the honeymoon photo - so maybe taken at that time, possibly in Caves House.

I'm pretty sure this was my first birthday.

My father's mother married again after his father died, and I believe this is my Aunt Ethel, one of the twin children of that second marriage. If so, that must be one of her two daughters, May or Alma. I think it's May (now Dr Edwards) but she has never confirmed it.

I'm guessing this was taken just before the (Second) War ended, as I look to be about two. Both my mother and I were born during World Wars.

In this one, I'm wearing a smocking shirt buttoned onto the shorts. When was that ever fashionable? (The mark on my cheek is damage to the print.) Mum didn't make her own hats, but she always made her own clothes (as well as mine) and I think even those buttons might have been hand-made. I'm alarmed to see what appears to be a cross on her necklace. Our family wasn't very religious, thank God.

Mollie always accessorised. Was this before or after I was born?

Mollie and her mother, whom we all loved to bits. An intelligent woman, she used to joke that she wasn't tough enough for this country. But she was born here, and she was: she was 88 when she died in 1968.

Mollie smoked two packs a day. Let's have one without the ciggy.

Not a good look, Mollie canoodling with some bloke. But she's dressed exactly as in the snap with her mother, so she's prolly not far away.

For all I know it's Dave taking the photo.

With (my 'Auntie') Jean Rustin. Note the work on the frock, prolly done by Mollie, but possibly by her mother, Christina Bennett, who was also a good seamstress, but not by profession.

This one might have been taken by Len Rustin, as that's his wife Jean in the photo with me and Mum and Dad. If I'm about seven, it's about 1950, and I just have a feeling that we're looking south over Albany.

Mum and Dad had one trip on a ship, when they went on a cruise to Sydney on the MV Manoora. Perhaps this photo was taken then.

Here's the other one of the pair. Dave is in this one, so he must have taken the other. He could focus more effectively than the silly woman with the sailing ship on her beret.

One of three studio portraits - possibly as much to show the dress as the wearer.

More glamour.

Pity they touched up studio photos in those days.

A couple of nice photos of brother and sister, Norm and Linda. That looks like an expensive fur coat.

They look as though they really like each other. Norm is wearing his RSL (Returned Services League) badge. He saw action during the War in New Guinea.

Now Dave replaces Norm in the frame, at the same event.

Interesting how differently a woman looks at her husband, as opposed to her brother.

As you would expect, there are a few photos taken on evenings out, and this is one.

Here's another. Mum needs some work on her teeth, and she hasn't learnt about plucking her eyebrows yet.

I'm very glad I have this photo, as it shows my Mum with the group of people with whom she prolly had most fun: LAMA - the Ladies Auxiliary of the Musicians Association. The only people whose names I can now remember are those of Joan Hadley, the blonde at the front, and her husband Wally, holding the banjo which is obscuring my father's face.

Here are the LAMA ladies again, with their lucky husbands. And a few bottles of beer. The Hadleys (with Joan looking like a femme fatale) and the Gillards are at the centre of the composition. I think that's Nutty Cook standing on the right of the photo. I shd know the name of the tallest guy at the back: is it Merv Rowston?

card1

Mollie as dressmaker

card2

This and the next three photos were taken by me on my Brownie Box camera, which we still have, in about 1955. That's the only pet I ever had, (mostly) a fox terrier.

Dave as piano-repairer in front of his workshop

Mollie and her mother up at the farm. That's the house (which no longer exists) in 'Golden Valley' at Jibberding, near Wubin in the Shire of Dalwallinu. That square tank in the background was the sole source of drinking water. It tasted much better than what we got in Perth.

Mollie and one of the farm cats in front of Uncle Frank's truck

Dave and Mollie in middle age, perhaps at someone's wedding. Mum wore that coat and hat to mine, in 1966, but with different shoes and bag.

Mollie, Christina and Phillis at some formal occasion

Good friends, good times. I'm pretty sure that's Joan Hadley.

Another good friend. And always the cigarette.

The garden got rather overgrown. The Peninsula Hotel is in the distance and Dave's workshop closer. He was dead by this time, so it's between 1982 and 1988.

Xmas at some OAP centre

Mollie with some other OAPs

The last photo of Mollie

Bye Mum. Love you.


Garry Gillard | New: 22 May, 2009 | Now: 9 July, 2017