Stories of our families are like blossoms. Some are beautiful stories full of life. Others are not so beautiful, like spent blossoms. Some are just buds as we try to find more information about them. Other stories may be like the loose stones under the tree-not related to the family at all.
Friday, 16 February 2018
Lionel Edgar Laws family story part 4 1934- 1944
to my family:-
My brother Jack
was married on 20 February 1935 to Catherine Alice Borger a trained nurse from
Toowoomba Hospital. They settled down in
Toowoomba. Jack continued to work for my
brother Lionel and my Father.
from England in 1934 but he did not to go back to his trade of plumbing but worked
for my brother Lionel and my Father on the road jobs. Fred was married in 1935 to Madge Jarrot of Toowoomba. He took a job as an
Insurance Inspector for Commercial Union Assurance and shifted to Warwick and
covered a fairly large territory.
In January 1935
my parents, Aunty Lil and Aunty Jess took a holiday at Main Beach
Southport. My Father was beginning to
think about retiring. This holiday
convinced them that the South Coast was a good place to retire. Both of my sisters Lil and Jess were keen on going into business. By the end of this year
they purchased a cafe and mixed business and a property freehold at Surfer’s
Paradise where the Chevron Hotel now stands.
It was decided that my Father, Mother sisters Lil Jess and Thelma who
had left St Hilda’s school by now, at Christmas would shift to Surfers Paradise.
There was accommodation on the premises. On 19th December 1935 my sisters took
over and operated this business. My sister Thelma helped them. My Father took his vacation during this
period and they settled in.
First shop for L & J Laws
Jess & Thel in the shop.
Taking over a
business a week before Christmas at Surfers Paradise and operating it without
any previous shopkeeping experience was the task my sisters set
themselves. At this time I had my annual
leave. I went down and helped them for one week. I took stock on the takeover and did my best
to start them off.
Eve December 24th I set out for Warwick in the afternoon to spend Christmas
with Mum, Helen, David and Beryl Gilmore who was staying with Mum while I was
away. This was only three weeks before
Alan was born.
managed to survive. They had help from
Uncle Fred & Aunty Madge. Bill
Hamilton who was friendly with Thelma also helped considerably. This is how they started at Surfers
Paradise. At the end of my Father’s
vacation he returned to his work in the country and returned home at the
weekend. About September 1936 my Father
decided to retire from work. My brother
Lionel carried on the contracting and insisted that my father remain a partner
even though he did not work.
About this time
my brother Jack joined Main Roads Department as maintenance Officer at Cambooya
being responsible for a length of Main Road on the Cambooya Goondiwindi road
near Cambooya. This involved the use of
his truck. He lived at Cambooya and held
this job until he enlisted for the AIF in 1940.
In 1938 Barnes
& Co Pty Ltd Allora, the firm I previously worked for, wound up their
business. Another Allora Business bought them out. Uncle Colin Laws was working for them at the
time and had the offer of working for the new firm. He decided to open a small grocery and
hardware business in the main street of Allora.
He decided to take a partner in the person of Bert Flanagan. After a few months it was evident that it
wouldn’t carry two partners. Uncle Colin
bought him out. This was a new venture
for Uncle Colin but he made a success of it. Colin had two girls in his family
Margaret born 17 October 1931 and Mary born 6th or 7th October 1933.
Hamilton and my sister Thelma were married on 24 September 1938 at St John’s
Cathedral Brisbane. Bill was an overseer with Main Roads Department. Later he became overseer of works at Dalby
where they resided for some time.
My sisters at
Surfers decided to close the cafe and concentrate on the store. This was less
than six months after their taking over.
They worked hard in the business and cared for my Mother and
Father. At this time my mother’s health
At the end of
1938 Fred decided to resign his job and move to Surfers Paradise. He started with them Christmas 1938.
Soon after my
Father retired to Surfer’s Paradise he purchased some 40 blocks of land at
prices from 50 pounds to 100 pounds per block. He could foresee a future. The intention was to hold this land for a few
years and realise on it. The plan was
right but the War delayed development.
He could see by now that he would have to hold it too long and offered
it to his family. He drew lots for the
land and let his family have it at about 10% or 15% of its value.
school in 1935 at the Warwick East State School.
Warwick East State School ca 1928 *1
This was the closest school to Albion
St. When we shifted to Wood St she
transferred to the Central State School.
David went to this school starting in 1938 and Alan started in 1940.
took on Uncle Lionel’s Farm on shares in 1938 or 1939. He later shifted his family to Toowoomba to
allow his boys to go to Grammar School.
He eventually left the farm and returned to Toowoomba but the farm is
still owned by Lionel.
Lionel & Bess at the farm.
enlisted in the AIF for overseas service in 1940 and his family went to live at
Jondaryan on a farm with his wife’s people.
He left Brisbane on Christmas 1940 after serving 3 months in Darwin. He
left Sydney on Dec 26th on the Queen Mary for the Middle East. Soon after
arrival his unit went into operation in the Western Desert. They advanced as
far as Benghazi and owing to heavy pressure they had to withdraw. Near Derna on
4th April 1944, his company HQ Company of the 2/15th Battalion was out of touch
of with the rest of the Battalion and were
taken prisoner. Jack and three of his mates escaped and tried to return to the Battalion. For
six weeks they lived in the desert and hid from the Italians. The Wogs protected them as long as they had
money to pay them three fold what the Italians would
pay and they were picked up on 4th June and sent to Italy where they spent two
years before being sent to Germany for a further two years.( His Army records are at