Our Origins - the Family Histories of Craig Fullerton and Celine Amoyal
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William Jones **
Elizabeth Forsyth Cadzow **
Thomas Stanley Herbert
Kate Whelan **
James Hardie Jones
Annie Herbert

Phyllis Mary Jones


Family Links

1. John Edmund Sullivan

Phyllis Mary Jones

  • Born: 20 Jun 1916, Croydon Avenue, Croydon Park, New South Wales, Australia
  • Marriage (1): John Edmund Sullivan on 7 May 1940 in St Josephs Catholic Church, Burwood Heights, Enfield, New South Wales, Australia
  • Died: 18 Jan 2011, Leeton, New South Wales, Australia at age 94
  • Buried: 22 Jan 2011, Narrandera Cemetery, Narrandera, New South Wales, Australia

bullet  General Notes:

Phyllis was born and raised in Sydney, spending all her childhood at 49 Seymour Street in Croydon Park. She attended Croydon Park Public School just across the road from home, until she was old enough to walk to St Joseph's (a Catholic School) in Enfield. She recalled that if it rained she would catch a tram at a cost of one Penny.

Phyllis recalled that as a child the family were always going out on outings. Her parents were not "stay at home" types she said. She recalls that they attended every big event that took place in Sydney - the arrival of the British Fleet, Bert Hinkler's arrival from England, Kingsford Smith's arrival after crossing the Atlantic, and Amy Johnson's flight too. At that time Sydney airport was just a big paddock with one shed on it. They were also there at the opening of the Harbour Bridge.

Holiday times were spent in rented houses by the beach, often with other families that they were friendly with, especially the Small family. Cronulla beach was a favourite but she remembered a couple of Christmases spent at Whale Beach, near Palm Beach. In those days, Palm Beach was "where the upper class had their holiday homes", Whale Beach had "just one big home on the headland, a small store on the hill, and a couple of fishermen's shacks on the beach". The family camped in tents on the beach. The men would go off to work in the morning and return at night while the wives and children enjoyed the beach. Sometimes holidays were taken at Emmaville where Phyllis' mother's family were. Weekends were often spent exploring Sydney and environs by car.

In about 1934, at the tender age of 18, Phyllis left Sydney by train and travelled to Ardlethan in the Riverina area of NSW to take up a job teaching at The Willows School. She had no teaching qualifications but she was armed with two References - one from the Superintendent of the Presbyterian Institutional Church in Croydon Park, Rev. G.M. Scott, who wrote"

September 14th, 1934
"To Whom it May Concern
This is to certify that the bearer Miss Phyllis Mary Jones is personally well known to me and has been for many years. She is a girl of good mental ability and has done well at school.
Miss Jones is honest, industrious, and of good moral character, and one in whom every confidence may be placed.
I have pleasure in recommending her to anyone requiring her services.
[signed] G. M. Scott

The other Reference was from the Parish Priest at St Josephs in Enfield, Fr. Considine (who later officiated at her marriage to John). Fr. Considine wrote:

"To Whom it May Concern
From a close acquaintance with Miss Phyllis Jones extending over a period of many years I am pleased to be able to testify to the general excellence of her character and disposition. I am quite sure that as a member of the Teaching Profession she will give admirable service and will faithfully discharge the duties of her calling.
[signed] J. Considine Parish Priest
September 15th 1934.

The Willows district was originally a part of the Bolero Station. The School was conducted in The Willows Hall, which had been built in 1910 by local voluntary labour. The hall was the social point of the district and School was held there from about 1920 to 1950. In about 1930 the Education Department decided to close the School due to the fact there were only 7 pupils and I believe it then became a "subsidised school" supported by the local community.

Phyllis was met at the Ardlethan Railway Station by local resident Mr. Collis and she lived with the Collis family and later the Litchfield family, both of whom had children in the School. Phyllis recalled that her favourite things were driving a sulky to the school, dances (which were also held in The Willows Hall), tennis (the courts had been constructed in 1933), and outings to the football on the weekend. The children enjoyed football, marbles and skipping. The following recollections of Phyllis and the school days were recounted many years later by one of her former pupils, one of the Richens children:
I started school at The Willows when Phyllis came as a young single girl from Sydney. It must have been a daunting task for her as there were five in the class who were Eric and Norris Allen, Gordon Collis, Isabel Litchfield & myself. All the boys were fairly tall and towered over Phyllis. When Mt crystal closed, the Durnan boys Jack & Pat plus Florence Sullivan were added to the same class, plus Mary Durnan.

Other pupils in the lower classes were Allan & Lindsay Litchfield, Frank & Sue Richens, , Molly Durnan, Graham Shannon, Margaret Richens. There were three children who came up from Moombooldool Road. After I left I believe there were a couple of Taylors, Neville Collis was also a pupil.

Phyllis boarded at Collis' place and it wasnt long before she had a visit from John Sullivan. It was a delight for Neville Collis to keep the school informed of what was going on.

A couple of incidents I remember at school. First I remember a cat that lived under the hall dragged a three or four foot dead goanna into the hall. One day Phyllis was coming down off the stage and decided to jump from the top step on to the floor. The floor gave way and her foot or leg went straight through.Phyllis finished up flat on the floor beside me on the end of the stool. I was petrified as I reckoned she would have broken her leg. Through the tears she gave me a mouthful for not helping her up. Although frightened I soon sprang to her aid.

After school each day there was always a race to yoke up the horses and see who could get out the gate first. There were the Litchfields, I think Collis's, ours and Durnan's, Florence Sullivan was on horseback.

I remember one day when Jack Durnan with Mary & Molly in the sulky, Pat Durnan & Florance on horseback all were having a race from the school to the Kamarah Road. Imagine Jack in the lead full gallop and Phyllis flat from the Hall to the gate but too late. I can still hear her screams and also the lecture next morning.

The Hall was used for a Ball now and again and after the Ball the calico bag of coffee grounds was thrown out in the yard. It was a great football until it burst then everyone was covered with coffee. It was a great smell when we went back into school after lunch reeking of coffee.

I had occasions to go to sleep on the desk as I used to get pretty tired as we drove seven miles to school.

I would like to close with some comments. I was visiting my brother Frank in Canberra and we happened to be talking about school days. We both agreed that the schooling that Phyllis gave us was the only schooling we had. Frank & I had about one and a half years at Bald Hill and the only thing I remember was on the first day getting the cane for poking my tongue out at the teacher.

I remember Phyllis giving us lessons that were important such as English & Maths & deportment. I do remember lessons on deportment & behaviour at the table. The right way to hold a knife and fork and which piece to pick up first at dinner. I think I used to hold a spoon like a shovel.

I am grateful for her teaching and am telling the truth when I call her "My favourite School Teacher".
After a courtship that must have been about 5 years Phyllis married John in May 1940 at St Joseph's Catholic Church in Enfield, where she had been a student just a few years earlier. Fr. Considine, who had given her such a glowing reference, officiated and her brother Doug and sister Kath were the witnesses.

It was back to the Riverina for Phyllis and John after the wedding. John had recently applied for a Soldiers Settler Block after the owner had left the farm and they set about building a home, a business, and a life on the farm near Grong Grong. Please refer to John's entry for some details and reminisces of their life on the farm. Over the next 19 years Phyllis and John raised 7 children while they conducted a very successful farming enterprise, eventually retiring to Narrandera. Phyllis had been an active member of the Bulloak C.W.A and was also active with the Meals on Wheels programme in Narrandera and as a volunteer at St Vinnies in Narrandera.

Phyllis passed away peacefully in Leeton on the 18th January 2011 at the age of 94. Her funeral at St Mel's Catholic Church in Narrandera was attended by all of her children, and a large number of her grand-children and Great-Grandchildren from all over Australia, as well as a large number of people from the wider Riverina community of which she was such a respected member.


bullet  Noted events in her life were:

She resided at the time of her marriage on 7 May 1940 in Croydon Park, New South Wales, Australia.

She worked as a Teacher at the time of her marriage on 7 May 1940.


Phyllis married John Edmund Sullivan, son of Edmund John O'Sullivan and Mary Josephine Durnan, on 7 May 1940 in St Josephs Catholic Church, Burwood Heights, Enfield, New South Wales, Australia. (John Edmund Sullivan was born on 26 Jan 1915 in Twynam St, Narrandera, New South Wales, Australia, died on 27 Mar 1990 in Narrandera,,New South Wales,Australia and was buried on 29 Mar 1990 in Narrandera Cemetery, Narrandera, New South Wales, Australia.)

bullet  Marriage Notes:

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

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