Immigrants to Australian Citizens!

Week #4: Favourite Photo – 52Ancestors52Weeks Challenge

Life in post war Australia in the suburbs of Melbourne was idyllic! Our family had made a new start by sailing across the world in 1949 to build a new life in Moonee Ponds.

If I could go back in time and see it again from my perspective as a four year old, I would remember the excitement of arrival at our new house, starting school as a little English girl with pigtails, growing up in the fifties surrounded by my siblings, and how I felt safe and protected in a new land.

If I could go back in time and see it again from my parent’s perspective, I would see the bravery of their decision to immigrate; I would understand the hard work involved in starting again; and I would realise the sacrifices that were made to ensure the safety of their family of six.

Win and Cec were not afraid of hard work and they prospered. Win was from a family with a strong background in practical trades. Her father, siblings, uncles and cousins were skilled in such trades as carpentry, plumbing and building. Win was familiar with office administration as she had taken on the role of bookkeeper for her father, Charles Henry Cutting, back home in Surbiton, Surrey, England. After she married Cecil Allery, she very capably took on the running of their Cycle Dealership and was listed as Cycle Dealer at 107 Hook Road, Surbiton, in the 1939 register. Their’s was always a joint venture in business so I wondered why Cecil’s name was not listed. (Q. Was he already enlisted in the RAF for war duties by this date?

As I looked again at this image, I realised that my paternal grandmother Harriet P and my older sister June P were also listed in this register. Harriet Priscilla, birth date 1876, and widowed, was listed as Unpaid domestic duties, by 1939 she was already in her sixties. June Patricia, birth date 1934, and single, with ditto for domestic duties was only 5. That information saw me scurrying over to my family tree to look again at the birth years for my grandmother. I had her birth date as 3 years earlier – 1873. (Q. What was Harriet’s true birth date?)

Cecil was involved with bicycles and car dealerships in Surbiton before and after the war and it was interesting to note that he was the proprietor of a Car Repair Service in Tolworth, at 112 Hook Road in 1946. This notice in the London Gazette popped up as a reference for Cecil whilst searching his history in Ancestry.

Cecil was the pioneer and continued his entrepreneurship in running a new Cycle dealership in Australia once he had established himself in the bustling community of Moonee Ponds. He was a mechanic by trade and had served his country in both world wars as a Sergeant in the Royal Airforce. Bicycles, motorbikes and cars were his stock in trade – he knew how to build them, fix them and drive them. A favourite story of mine is the one about my parents elopement; Cecil swept Winnie off her feet in 1924 by collecting her from her workplace on her half day, on his motorbike and sidecar, and whisking her off to Kingston to be married in the Registry office.

Win and Cecil were naturalised as Australian Citizens on 17 April 1973 – 24 years after their immigration. They celebrated many anniversaries in their time here in Australia, and their 60th was a huge achievement. The photo at the top of this post is my favourite one of them in their later years, celebrating this special event quietly at their home in Bayswater, Victoria in 1984.

I remember their later years fondly, and cherish my time with them as they approached the end of their lives. Cecil died in 1985, and Winnie died in 1987.

Cecil died at home. Myocardial infarction – 5 minutes, Coronaru occlusion -5 minutes, Coronary arteriosclerosis – 10 years, Chronic bronchits – 15 years Cremated 6 november Springvale Crematorium Memorial in the Houses of no distant place. on 1 Nov 1985 at age of 85 years in 1/5 Harris Grove, Bayswater, Victoria, Australia.

FindMyPast – private tree


5 January 1987 • Ferntree Gully, Victoria, Australia

Winifred died at the Angliss hospital. Respiratory failure/Arrest – days, Disseminated carcinoma – months. Cremated 8 January, Springvale Crematorium Memorial in the Houses of no distant place.

Ancestry – private tree

They are together again in the Garden of No Distant Place at the Springvale Crematorium in Victoria, Australia.

Their memorials are inscribed in the Book of Remembrance in the Winter House of the Garden. This house was chosen to remember their wedding date of 23 July 1924, winter time for Australia.

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