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John Edward Owen

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 Birthday Images of John 

The whole family (plus Lynley and Scott) at John's 50th Birthday at Lynley's Lambton home,
June 1993
This was John's first ever birthday party

John cutting the cake on his 50th birthday at Lynley's Lambton home,
June 1993

Cutting the cake at John's 60th at Dave and Margaret Gillatt's Seaford Rise, South Australia home,
June 2003

Cutting the cake at John's 62nd at Donna's Kalangur home, June 2005

With Donna, Samantha and Ellen at John's 62nd at Donna's Kalangur home, June 2005

Cutting the cake at John's 65th at his Buff Point home, June 2008

Blowing out the candles at John's 70th at Doyalson RSL, 20 June 2013

Cutting the cake at John's 70th at Doyalson RSL, 20 June 2013

 Athletics (High Jump)  John represented his school (De La Salle College, Ashfield) in Athletics in the High Jump. Following are reports made on his performance in the school's annual year book, called The Blue & White for the years 1957 - 1959.

In some of the excerpts, John has been referred to as John Owens rather than John Owen, a not uncommon experience for anyone with the Owen name. John's grandfather, John "Jack" Owen, after whom John was named, had a favourite theory about where the two names came from. He claimed that the people with the name Owen were descended from the Earl of Owen while the people with the name Owens were descended from the Earl's troops; i.e. they were "Owen's troops". The validity of the claim is unknown. It appears there were at least two Earls of Owen but at this stage research hasn't established any connection to them. It's probably just a good family story.


In the backyard at Condell Park

John practicing at home with the homemade poles and bar put together by his father

More home practice

Front cover of 1957
"Blue & White"

The 1957 athletic Team

1957 Year book reports the school high jump result

Front cover of 1958
"Blue & White"

The 1958 athletic Team

1958 Year book reports the school high jump result

1958 Year book reports the Metropolitan Catholic Colleges (MCC) high jump result

Front cover of 1959
"Blue & White"

The 1959 athletic Team

1959 Year book reports the De La Salle Combined Meeting high jump result

1959 Year book reports the Metropolitan Catholic Colleges (MCC) high jump result

 Images of John 

John at 3 months in the front garden at Ashfield, September 1943

In the bath on the Ashfield front verandah, c. September 1943

First Communion
(Afterwards in Ashfield Park)
Souvenir of First Communion
Souvenir of Confirmation

John on his scooter in Ashfield Park, c.1948

 Tennis  John represented De La Salle College, Ashfield in Tennis during 1958 and 1959 and the results were reported in the Blue & White for those years. As "luck" would have it, in both years when the Tennis Team photo was taken, John was absent from school and so there is no known photo of him with a racquet in his hand. The only photo with any relationship to tennis is the one below which shows him in the backyard of Condell Park wearing his racquet on his back, ready to ride off to play in the local Canterbury-Bankstown competition.


John in his whites in the backyard at Condell Park ready to go play tennis in the local Canterbury-Bankstown competition
Following are images from the Blue & White where John is mentioned.


Front cover of 1958
"Blue & White"

1958 Year book reports the school doubles result

1958 Year book reports the Metropolitan Catholic Colleges (MCC) tennis result

Front cover of 1959
"Blue & White"

1959 Year book reports the school singles result

1959 Year book reports the Metropolitan Catholic Colleges (MCC) doubles result

After leaving school, John played in the local competition in B1 Grade and then progressed into A Reserve. He occasionally subbed into A Grade when players were unavailable. He chose not to be a permanent A Grade player because by this time, he had decided to play for fun not competition. He didn't like the "win-at-any-cost" nature of many of the A-Grade players.

 Images of John 

John in front of his father's fruit and vegetable truck in the Ashfield backyard, c.1949

John at the steakhouse in Brisbane

John and Ellen just after getting engaged, c.1967

All the first cousins at John's 70th at Doyalson RSL, 20 June 2013

 Basketball  John was first introduced to basketball in January 1960 when the Central Bankstown Catholic Youth Organisation (CYO) went to learn something about the game with Artarmon CYO. In those days, basketball was a name applied to two different types of sport; the one still known as Basketball and the one now known as Netball and as Basketball (Women's Rules) was better known than Basketball (Men's Rules), they went there thinking they were possibly going to learn about a women's game which didn't fill them with a lot of cheer. They soon learnt they were wrong and settled in to enjoy the game. (It was a bit sexist back then, wasn't it?)

John was an average player and ended up playing in the CYO competition for about five years. He was approached by a team sponsored by Harco Engineering and played with them for one season in the Cronulla area, playing their home matches at Miranda Stadium. As marriage approached he gave the game away. He had however, during those years, gone and got his basic referee's ticket.

It wasn't until some years later that he took up with the sport again when, in Taree, his son Michael started to play and he became involved as a parent. One thing led to another and he began to referee again, this time to assist with the running of the sport. He went and reacquired his basic qualification (now referred to as Level 1C accreditation) and then obtained his Level 1B. He never went for his Level 1A as, being in his early to mid 40s, the powers that be considered him "too old". However, they still got him to referee matches as if he had the Level 1A. He travelled all over the state refereeing State League Mens and Womens games as well as tournaments such as the Australian Universities Tournament. He spent a couple of years as the Referees' Co-Ordinator for the Mid-North Coast (roughly Bulahdelah to Coffs Harbour and west to Gloucester) which required him to supervise and train referees within that district. He retired from the game at the end of 1989.


The Basketball Level 1C Referee Certificate
(The 1B Certificate wasn't found)

Refereeing for the school,
St Claire's Catholic High School 1984

Junior playing and refereeing Coaching Clinic, Port Macquarie
mid to late 1980s

As well as refereeing, John played with a team called Hoffie's Heroes for a number of seasons. In his final playing year, the 1985 Summer season, he acquired two seperate injuries. First he was knocked across the left arm and the bone was fractured. When he recovered from that, in the first match back, he had the bone in the bridge of his nose fractured. He decided it was time to quit playing.

The trophy for winning the 1985 B-grade Winter competition with Hoffies's Heroes

The plaque on the trophy for the 1985 B-grade Winter competition with Hoffies's Heroes
John also did some coaching. When he first got involved with the sport again (c.1984), he coached the team his son Michael was in. At the end of that competitiion, most of the boys, including Michael, decided they didn't want to play anymore and so the team was disbanded.

He was approached by a group of women who were playing in the C-grade competition to give them some assistance and so began a few years with them. They decided to call themselves John's Angels. They were successful in winning the 1985 Winter C-grade competition and were runners-up in the 1988 B-grade competition. From John's memory, they were also runners-up in the 1989 A-grade competition. John had a Medallion for that but it's now missing.


The trophy for winning the 1985 C-grade Winter women's competition with John's Angels

The plaque on the trophy for winning the 1985 C-grade Winter women's competition with John's Angels

The trophy for being runner up in the 1988 B-grade Summer women's competition with John's Angels

The plaque on the trophy for being runner up in the 1988 B-grade Summer women's competition with John's Angels

 Images of John 

John and his first suit. Condell Park backyard, January 1960

John's mother holding him in Ashfield backyard, c.1943/1944

John with Ellen and future best man, Geoff Hall at a pub on the NSW Illawarra Coast, possibly Austinmeer or Coalcliff, c.1967

John snoozing at 15 Commerce St, Taree, c.1985/1986

 Justice of the Peace (New South Wales)  As part of his committment to community service, John was appointed a Justice of the Peace for New South Wales on 22 August 1990. To keep himself up-to-date he joined the NSW Justices Association and on 19 March 2011 was issued with a certificate acknowledging 20 years membership


Justice of the Peace Appointment Certificate
22 August 1990

20 Years membership of the Justices Association
19 March 2011

 Images of John 

John with Ellen, Matthew, Becca and Samantha at Narara, c.2005/2006

John on his father's bike with his father Ted Owen in the Ashfield backyard, c.1948/1949

John with Ellen on their wedding day, 11 May 1968

John with Ellen, Donna, Sonia and grandkids at Buff Point, 6 January 2006

 Family History  John became interested in family history not long after his mother died. He found he was having questions for which he felt sure she knew the answers but of course she was no longer available to tell him. From this line of thinking, it was a short step to starting to delve into the history of the family. As more information was obtained, he started to think about how it could be stored and passed onto future generations and thus, this website was established. Thankyou to Rootsweb for supplying the free space to store the site. It's hoped you continue to do so into the future.

Initially the site was generated by the use of the product GED-GEN written by Mike Voison. Through the capabilities of that programme, it was extended to linking to biographies of individuals generated by the family history package Family Historian which John used to store his data. As time moved on, John realised that he had a lot of information that wasn't readily displayed through either of these packages and so he set out to teach himself how to write web pages. Over a couple of years he honed his skills to the point where he was able to produce the type of pages he wanted to. In the meantime he had joined the Wyong Family History Group and with the help of that group became aware of more resources for research and began to acquire even more information which is now spread throughout the pages of this site.

He also saw the need for education amongst the members (computers were still a very new thing for some of the members and to some were a little bit scary). With the co-operation of the group he set out to run workshops to try and boost members knowlege and skills and hopes he was successful.

At that stage the group didn't have a website, so on 5 Oct 2007 he started to write the prototype for a first site and submitted it to the committee and from this the site was developed and looked after by him for about seven years until 2014 when he became too ill to continue with it. He also established a system where individual members were tutored one-on-one to be able to write pages and then develop their own sites. Two outstanding examples of this project are Chris Horgan's and Jillian Ryder's sites. A number of people had acquired the Family Historian package and so he established the Family Historian Interest Group (FHIG) which he also had to stop because of his illness. Additionally, he had been the editor of the group's magazine, "The Tree of Life" for a few years (2008 - 2011?).


Letter of appreciation from Wyong Family History Group for his time as the editor of the group's magazine the "Tree of Life"
1 December 2011

Certificate of Appreciation from Wyong Family History Group for his work as the Webmaster of the group's website
2 April 2014

 Images of John 

John relaxing with bear at Donna's place at Bald Hills, c.1993

With Ellen and Michael on Michael's first day at the beach. He couldn't understand the sand.
Ellen was pregnant with Donna, c.1970/1971

John with Rena at Lurnea, c.1972

John on the computer in the back flat at Commerce Lane, Taree, c.1994

 70th Birthday Present from Denise 
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The present from his sister Denise
"70 memories for 70 years"

Page 1

Page 2

 Images of John 

Cousins at the reunion held at Gerry and Wiesia Owen's home at Carey Bay, 3 January 2010

John being best man for his mate Geoff Hall, c.1969

John in the back flat of 2 Commerce Lane, Taree, c.1996

Backyard cricket with cousin Kay at Ashfield, c.1951

Updated : 29 Jul 2015