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Owen Family Picnics

During the late 1940s and the 1950s, about once a month, the Owen family used to gather for the family picnic. There were assorted venues for these outings, varying on what had been decided at the previous picnic. The main sites were North Cronulla, Wattamolla Beach, Audley Weir in Royal National Park, Austinmeer Beach and occasionally Coalcliff Beach.

The people who usually attended were Nanna (nee Rachel Burley) and Pop (John) Owen; Ted and Betty (nee Gladys Collins) Owen & children; Frank and Jean (nee Collis) Owen & children; Les and Sylvia (nee Owen) Newton & children and sometimes other members of the Collis family & children.

The photos on this page were found in Betty King's (also Owen, nee Collins) albums.

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The people in this photo are :

Left Shelter :
Joy Newton (with ice cream), John (Pop) Owen, Frank Owen, Obscured (suspect it might be Kay Newton), Rachel Owen's sister Margaret (Aunty Peg)

Between the Shelters :
Back Standing : Leslie Page (Jack and Ruby Page's son), Margarette Owen (bow in hair), John Owen
Front : Frances Owen, Tom Owen

Right Shelter :
Jean Owen, Betty Owen, Rachel (Nanna) Owen, Sylvia Newton, Ruby Page (Les Newton's sister), Jack Page (Ruby's husband)

Reclining in front :
Ted Owen, Les Newton, Dawn Page (Jack and Ruby Page's daughter, died age 6 from encephalytis)


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The people in this photo, which was taken c.1948 at North Cronulla, (probably on Boxing Day), are :

Les Newton, behind him his wife Sylvia Newton and then in the straw hat near the tree is Betty Owen. Next to Betty at the back is Kay Newton and Alan (a cousin of Syl Newton).

In the front is Jack Page and then Ruby Page (Les Newton's sister). The boy in the stripe shirt is Leslie Page and the girl in the bonnet is Dawn Page (she died from Meningitis about three months after this photo was taken). Behind them in the glasses is Nanna Owen and behind her is Tom Owen.

At the back, obscured by the hat is probably Margarette Owen and then in the felt hat is John (Pop Owen). Next is Jean Owen, the little girl in front of her in the bonnet is probably Frances Owen while in the shelter behind her is probably Ted Owen.

In the right-hand shelter is an unknown woman (Possibly Rachel Owen's sister Margaret) while next to her is Frank Owen.


One of the popular activities at these picnics was the men getting together and building human pyramids. Unfortunately photos depicting these clever constructions do not seem to have survived but here is one photo showing Ted holding up his brother Tom Owen.

This photo was taken at North Cronulla on the same day as the other photos on this page and so the people are the same. (The girl on the right running towards Les Newton could be Joy Newton).

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Updated : 4 Sep 2015