Reading the responses to this week’s Sepia Saturday prompt – swimming costumes – I was reminded that I had some terrific 1940s photos of Greg’s parents, aunts, uncles, and grandparents at the White Hills Swimming Pool, next to the Bendigo Botanic Gardens, a few miles north of the city centre.

Bendigo Gardens 1940s Marjorie Joyce Roy NotSure Jack Arthur

Marjorie Young, Violet Buckley, Roy Sullivan, Joyce Sullivan, Jack Buckley, Arthur Sullivan

Greg’s maternal grandparents Arthur Sullivan (1891 – 1975) and Stella Sullivan nee Dawson (1894 – 1975) had six children:

  • Stella Violet (Violet) Sullivan 1914–2005
    • She married John Buckley in 1938. He served in the Australian Army (AIF) from 1942 and was discharged 14 March 1946. On the 1946 electoral roll John and Stella Violet Buckley were living at Napier Street Bendigo.
  • Lillian Mavis Sullivan 1915–2009
    • She married Alan Wilson 1934. In the 1940s were farming at Tongala with a family of children. They are not in the pictures at Bendigo.
  • Arthur Stanley Sullivan 1919–2014
    • He married Joyce Robbins 1941. He served in the AIF from 1943 and was discharged 4 December 1945
  • Marjorie Winifred Sullivan 1920–2007
    • She married Peter Young 1944. He served in the AIF from 1943 and was discharged 25 February 1946
  • Royle Lawrence Sullivan 1926–2009
    • He enlisted in the RAAF in 1944 and was discharged in August 1946 He married Grace in 1956. She is not in the photos at Bendigo.
  • Gwendolyn Phyllis Sullivan 1933–1935
    • She died of meningitis aged 17 months.
Bendigo Gardens 1940s Peter Violet Roy Joyce Jack Arthur

Peter Young, Violet Buckley, Roy Sullivan, Joyce Sullivan, Jack Buckley, Arthur Sullivan

Bendigo Gardens 1940s Marjorie and Roy

Roy and Marjorie

Bendigo Gardens 1940s Violet


Bendigo Gardens 1940s Roy Violet Marjorie Mum Pop Arthur

Roy, Violet, Marjorie, Mum, Pop, Arthur

Bendigo Gardens 1940s Roy Jack Buckley Arthur Marjorie Violet parents Joyce

Roy, Jack Buckley, Arthur,Marjorie, Violet, Stella, Arthur senior, Joyce

I thought at first I might be able to date the photos from when the men were discharged after the War. But I think that some of them might have been on leave at the time, not yet demobbed. Peter and Marjorie had their first child in late 1946 and there is no sign of a baby in the pictures. He arrived back in Australia in late December 1945. Arthur and Joyce had their first child in early 1947.

In 1946 Violet and John Buckley’s house was on Napier Street (the Midland Highway), so I suppose the group might have met there before going on to the pool. Unfortunately the Electoral Roll gives no number for their house, and Napier Street runs for several miles.

At this time, Violet’s parents, Arthur and Stella Sullivan, were living in Castlemaine. On the 1946 Electoral Roll Arthur and Joyce Sullivan were living in 251 Auburn Road, Hawthorn, Melbourne. Marjorie was registered as living at 1 Yarra Street, Toorak, with the occupation of weaver. Roy, only twenty, was too young to be enrolled to

It seems likely that these photographs were taken when Violet’s parents and brothers joined Violet and Jack in Bendigo for a holiday in early 1946.

All of Arthur and Stella’s sons and their and son-in-law got back unhurt from the war. This was something to celebrate.

Marjorie and Peter Bendigo 1946

Marjorie and Peter Young. I think this was taken at a similar time but at Marjorie’s parents’ house in Castlemaine.

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