Our Origins - the Family Histories of Craig Fullerton and Celine Amoyal
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Thomas Denis O'Sullivan **
Susannah Mary Sole **
Patrick Durnan **
Catherine Guiney **
Edmund John O'Sullivan
Mary Josephine Durnan

John Edmund Sullivan


Family Links

1. Phyllis Mary Jones

John Edmund Sullivan

  • Born: 26 Jan 1915, Twynam St, Narrandera, New South Wales, Australia
  • Marriage (1): Phyllis Mary Jones on 7 May 1940 in St Josephs Catholic Church, Burwood Heights, Enfield, New South Wales, Australia
  • Died: 27 Mar 1990, Narrandera,,New South Wales,Australia at age 75
  • Buried: 29 Mar 1990, Narrandera Cemetery, Narrandera, New South Wales, Australia

bullet  General Notes:

Some Family recollections were gathered for a publication of a book on the town of Grong Grong (see Source reference below):

"John share farmed Florence Durnan's farm from the time he was a young boy. In early 1940, he applied for a Soldier's Settler's Block, after the owner had left the farm, and had local builder Jim Pearson build a house. As the family grew so did the house and the original builders made additions in 1950. John was a hard worker and would be up early and light the stove, milk the cows and then, after the family had breakfasted, always tried to be there to take the older kids to the bus. Then he and the littlies would go round the sheep. This would give Phyl time to bath and feed the babies. John & Phyl bought property as it became available Russell's, Corcoran's in 1956. Max purchased 'Bobbilgigbee' from the McGrath family in 1967 and Max and Owen purchased 'Richards' in 1978.

'When Mum first came to live at Hazeldene, the farm Dad was share farming, she saw her first goannas. They were enormous and she was not prepared to tell anyone about them, as she thought they would not believe her and think she was slightly crazy. Faye remembers Dad lying on his stomach on the verandah at Hazeldene shooting the goannas under the house, as they were notorious for cleaning up the precious eggs. We remembered the men who would come out through the week to help. They worked along side Dad and lived in a room off the garage called 'The Men's Hut'. Some names that come to mind are Harry Grace, Jeff Ryan and Charlie Pedler. Besides working the farm, they also befriended us kids and were very patient with the unending questions.

One miserable day the dogs started barking letting us know there was a stranger on the farm. He was having a wash over at the machinery shed. He was a fine looking fellow, tall and with a grey beard. Mum invited him in to have a cuppa, and after chatting with him realised he was in the throes of the DTs. He told of the soldiers over in the hills training for war, and got quite agitated. Dad drove him into Grong Grong, and he kept Dad occupied by ducking and diving from unseen enemies all the way into town. He was given a ticket and put on the Sydney train.

Gail remembers riding horses to the Landervale School. She laughed at the memory of all the kids, untying the horses and sending them off knowing they would all find their way home. The teacher then worried that the horses would be lost, let the kids out to 'find them'. A trick they could only pull once on a teacher. She remembers riding horses with Faye to the Landervale tennis courts while Mum and Dad would follow in the sulky with the rest of us kids. By the time Max was ready to go to school the local school had closed, and the Sullivan kids were bussed to St Joseph's in Narrandera. We caught the bus on the highway and Roy Blackett was the driver for many years.

lt was remembered going to footy, probably at Matong after a huge rain. Just out of Grong Grong the water would be across the road, and the Gillespies would be there with their tractor and, for a price, would pull your car through the water! The story has it that if the water got too low too quickly they would pump more water onto the road! Faye reckoned they probably made enough to put the kids through college!

Dad bought a horse and sulky from Corcoran's clearance sale. Just a few days later, the horse dropped dead. Dad confronted the Corcoran boys about this but they just shrugged and said, 'Jeez, it's never done that before'.

Max remembered the time Gail killed a snake and then coiled it up just outside the kitchen door. When he, Dad and Ken Limbrick came in for lunch they all spotted it , and rushed off for a weapon and belted that snake. Mum and Gail were watching from the kitchen window and laughing at their antics.

Faye remembered visiting the Martin family who lived just north of our mailbox. There were two brothers and sisters with thick lrish brogues. Faye said they had the most beautiful china and would delight in showing her the pieces and telling her about them. The house is long gone but the well is still visible from the highway. Pat can vividly remember the 1956 floods standing on the front verandah and watching the water slowly rising to the verandah level and gradually making its way to the front door. lt was great fun for kids. ln contrast dust storms were a more common occurrence and it was always eerie watching the brown curtain of dust blocking out the sky. One time the family was in a panic because Max was missing but eventually he was found, sleeping on the back verandah totally enveloped in dust and oblivious to the drama around him. There was so much dust it was difficult to see him at all. The dust storm would be so thick that it was darker than night and the dust would seep into every part of the house. Bushfires always figure in flashbacks and what always intrigued the family was the fact that they always seemed to happen at or near Christmas. Harvest time was a good time for active kids. Crops were great hiding places and Rhonda and Pat got themselves lost in the hundred-acre paddock near the house. At least everyone said they were lost, Pat and Rhonda declared 'We knew exactly where we were'. As Dad was held up from harvesting for a long time, searching before they showed themselves he was not happy and then the kids knew it was timet o get really lost!!! Owen falling down the outside dunny is a memory that gets played at just about every family reunion - much to Owen's disgust.

We remembered Dad telling of a horse that had 'gone down'. Day after day Dad would cart water and feed to him, until finally, his patience had ended and he took his gun to put the poor horse down. When he got near the horse, it seemed to spot the gun, and clambered to its feet, galloped at a good pace across the paddock and lived to a ripe old age. We believe we just had a smart horse that lived the life of luxury - at least for a while! Pat remembers helping Dad feed the sheep. Good early leaming experience for us, but he remembers Dad hitting the dust on more than one occasion when some speed was called for, and caught Dad unawares! Going swimming in the dams; catching yabbies; shooting rabbits; spending time in 'The Timber'; making cubbies; digging out burrows. As older kids, tractor driving, falling asleep and waking up - just before a fence demolition. Milking the cow in the early moming. Dad singing while cooking breakfast. The shearing times with Bill O'Connor and Joe Hogan. Pat and Kevin Jewell collecting red back spiders, and proudly taking them in to show Nancy ( Limbrick) thinking she would be so impressed - not! We would have the best bonfires spending days piling up the timber and any other rubbish we could find that would burn. Usually we had a drama. One year Max just about blew himself up with a bunger. Another time, Pat was racing to be the first one there and fell over an old stump on the way, gashing his leg badly - though it was much later in the night when Mum finally found out. Max also nearly blew himself up lighting the kerosene fire in the bathroom, used to heat the water. Gail decided to have a drink of kero, when she was a toddler, and Mum and Faye had a rushed trip to town with her.

Dad used to ride a horse whenever he could. He would take a hoe, and he and his horse would amble around the paddocks getting rid of the cursed Bathurst bun. My memory is that it was a lovely way to spend a day, but I am sure if Dad were here he would have an entirely different one! Dad would tie his horse loosely at the front fence when he would go in for a cuppa. One day Rhonda, who was never very adventurous couldn't resist just sitting on the horse. The horse took fright and reared up, jumped the fence, went through a bush and proceeded to buck on the lawn. Rhonda held on for dear life, screaming, and Dad rushed out very concerned - for his horse that is - Rhonda never got on another horse. l remember Dad wrapping his arms around the verandah post and lifting his body out sideways so he was almost horizontal. Merran remembers her Dad removing part of the roof to rescue a kitten, then sitting on the verandah feeding it with a doll's feeding bottle. Fluffy became a loved pet.

Sunday was church and then footy. After football Dad would call into the pub, 'Just for a quick one', and Mum was left outside in the car with us whinging kids. Dad would bring her a beer and we kids a packet of chips, but I still remember whining,' How much longer will he be?' Poor mum" Source: Grong Grong The Spirit of A Small Town, Grong Grong History Committee, 2003. pp 249-251

John was a Life Member of the Grong Grong Matong Football Club.


John married Phyllis Mary Jones, daughter of James Hardie Jones and Annie Herbert, on 7 May 1940 in St Josephs Catholic Church, Burwood Heights, Enfield, New South Wales, Australia. (Phyllis Mary Jones was born on 20 Jun 1916 in Croydon Avenue, Croydon Park, New South Wales, Australia, died on 18 Jan 2011 in Leeton, New South Wales, Australia and was buried on 22 Jan 2011 in Narrandera Cemetery, Narrandera, New South Wales, Australia.)

bullet  Marriage Notes:

Witnesses were Phyllis' brother & sister, Douglas and Kathleen.

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