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Gladys Elizabeth COLLINS (1918-1991)

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Betty King at Condell Park with her ever faithful, Penny

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Betty on her wedding day to Jack

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Gladys Collins aged 11 (1929)

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Gladys Collins aged about 13

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Gladys Collins aged 17 (1935)

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Ted Owen and Betty Owen (nee Collins) inside St Benedict's Ultimo

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Edward Arthur Owen

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Jack King

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Jack on his wedding day to Betty

Gladys Elizabeth COLLINS1 (known as 'Betty'), daughter of Henry d'Arcy COLLINS (1887-1957) and Florist Amelia GEGG (1886-1953), was born on 9 December 1918 at "Pineleigh", Common St in Goulburn, NSW.1,2 Her relationship to John is Mother.

From 9 December 1918 Betty was a follower of the Church of England faith .1 In 1924 (estimated) she was described as tall and slim and wore glasses . When she was about 6 years old (1924), she was sitting on a paddock fence at "The Briars". She overbalanced and fell into the paddock where the family's prize bull was kept. The bull attacked her and her eye was damaged causing her to need glasses for the rest of her life. Her father had to shoot and kill the bull to get it away from her. Her father apparently was fairly harsh with her over this event and for many years blamed the family's misfortunes on the loss of the bull which had been a major investment. She carried the guilt for this all her life and never fully forgave herself as she still talked about it with regret even late in life.1

Between 1924 and 1931 Betty was educated at Moss Vale Primary School . She only reached Primary School level. While she won scholarships to go to high school, her parents still could not afford it and so she never went. Educational Awards she received were :

- 1927 : 1st Prize - 4th Class Girls

- Christmas 1930 : 1930 Brownlow Memorial Presentation - Sixth class. She was awarded the book "Fascination" by Olive Wadsley;

- Dec 1931 : Dux of Moss Vale Public School. The book "Uncle Tom's Cabin" by Harriet Beecher Stowe was presented to her by Mayoress South. The school's Headmaster was E. Halpin;

- Dec 1931 : The Mark Morton Prize - Girl - First. Moss Vale NSW Public School. Awarded for qualities of Citizenship, Behaviour, Leadership. She was awarded the book "The Poetical Works of Adam Lindsay Gordon".3,4,5,6

In 1928 (estimated) Betty resided at "The Briars" in Bong Bong, NSW. Being a 10 year old child she was living with her parents.1 In 1928 (estimated) her interests included the Gould League of Bird Lovers. She joined the League when she was a child. The Bird Lover's Pledge was "I hereby promise to protect all Birds except those that are noxious and to refrain from the unnecessary collection of wild birds' eggs".7 In 1930/31 Betty resided in Moss Vale, NSW.8

In 1932/33 (approx.) Betty resided at the Hotel Ranelagh in Robertson, NSW. It is not known for certain that she lived in the hotel but it is most likely. Certainly if she was working in the town she would also have been living there.9 In 1932/33 (approx.) she was a domestic at the Hotel Ranelagh in Robertson.10 Before 1940 she was a domestic at Sydney Hospital in Sydney, NSW. She was employed as a cleaner and canteen waitress at the hospital.1,11,12

Before 1940 Betty resided at staff accommodation at Sydney Hospital in Sydney. Her daughter Denise says she often talked about how she wanted to do nursing but this ambition was put aside when she married Ted.13,14 She was baptised on 17 April 1940 at St Patrick's, Church Hill in Sydney. She was baptised prior to her marriage to Ted after converting to Catholicism. Her name is recorded as Gladys Elizabeth Therese Collins. The Therese is novel and may be a Confirmation name as it is probable that she was confirmed about this time as well.15

In 1940 Betty was a follower of the Catholic faith . She converted to Catholicism when she married Ted.15

she had 2 children. She had difficulty carrying children and suffered five miscarriages in the six and a half years between John and Denise. It is possible that she also lost a child before having John.16 She married Edward Arthur OWEN when he was 32 and she was 22 on 27 September 1941 at St Benedict's Catholic Church, The Broadway in Ultimo, NSW. St Mary's Cathedral, Sydney was Betty's parish church but she was told she could not be married there as she was a convert to the Catholic religion and so they were married at Ted's parish church.13,17

Between 1943 and 1968 Betty was a canvasser . In both Ted's businesses, the fruit and vegetable and the dry cleaning runs, Betty often went out canvassing, cold calling at homes to try to get customers.16 In 1950 (approx.) she was an outworker machinist at 25 Ormond St in Ashfield, NSW. She worked from home sewing raincoats and also did repairs for Immaculate Dry Cleaners at Broadway.1

In 1953 (approx.) Betty was diagnosed with the medical condition hepatitis. She very nearly died. She was hospitalised in Bankstown Hospital for about eight weeks and then had a long recuperation period after she returned home. She said it was some years before she fully recovered.16

After 1955 Betty was a waitress at Bankstown District Hospital in Bankstown, NSW. She worked in the catering section preparing and delivering food to the patients.1 After 1960 she was a clerk . She obtained a job as a filing clerk and then a general clerk with the Hospital Contributions Fund of Australia (HCF) at its Sydney Head Office. She retained that position when the HCF merged with the Medical Contributions Fund of Australia (MBF), again at the Sydney Head Office. When the two funds later split back into two separate entities, she went with MBF. About 1965 she was transferred to Bankstown Branch where she was a claims assessor for a few years before becoming Branch Manager.1

Between 10 August 1972 and 25 September 1978 Betty resided at 7 Ethel St in Condell Park, NSW. This was following Ted's death.1 In 1973 her interests included lawn bowls. She was elected the Women's Club Treasurer at Bankstown Bowling Club, a position she held for some years. Due to ill health, she resigned from this position on 19 January 1981.18,19

Betty married Jack KING when he was 80 and she was 59 on 26 September 1978 at St. Brendan's Catholic Church in Central Bankstown, NSW. Betty and her first husband Ted had been friends with Jack and Ruby at Bankstown Bowling Club and this is how they first met.1

from September 1978 to December 1990 they lived at 7 Ethel St in Condell Park. They both lived there until their deaths.1

Betty made a will on 3 October 1978 in Bankstown. The will left all proceeds to her two children with the exception of one specifically named bank account which was to go to her husband Jack King but he had predeceased her. There were provisions relating to either of the children being deceased but as this was not the case these provisions were not invoked. Denise was specifically left some shares and the motor vehicle. The Public Trustee Office was appointed executor of the estate. John had suggested this to her many years earlier. The final settlement cheques were posted by the Public Trustee office on 1 September 1992.20

her interests included singing. She was an excellent singer having a beautiful soprano voice with a very high range, being able to sing two octaves above Middle C (the true soprano range). She never pursued this into a singing career but was satisfied to entertain regularly at family get-togethers. Her curtain call number was always "The Holy City" also known as "Jerusalem".1 her interests included cooking and baking. She was an excellent cook and really enjoyed producing good food. She was well known for her custard tarts, one of which she always took to the social tennis nights she and the family used to go to in the 1950s and 60s. She was also well known for her lemon pudding which was the only lemon dish her son John could eat.21

From 10 December 1990 Betty resided at 7 Ethel St in Condell Park. This was after Jack's death.1

Over their married life they lived at three places. When they were first married, she and Edward Arthur OWEN lived at a small flat in Stanmore, NSW. Its location is unknown. By the time their son John was born on 6 June 1943, they were living at 37 Ormond St, Ashfield, NSW (which was later renumbered to 25). On 24 December 1952 they moved into their own house, at "Jonden" (Lot 4) 7 Ethel St Condell Park, NSW which they had built. They both lived there for the rest of their lives.22,23

Jack and Betty didn't have any children.16

Betty died (aged 72) on 14 September 1991 at Lidcombe Hospital in Lidcombe, NSW. The cause was Aspiration of Gastric contents (i.e. Food in her lungs) which led to heart failure. Other significant conditions contributing to her death but not relating to the disease or condition causing it were (a) Schizoaffective Psychosis and (b) Sigmoidoscopy (General Anaesthetic) on day prior to death. A death notice appeared in the Sydney Morning Herald on 16 September 1991.24,25,26,27 She was buried on 20 September 1991 in the Catholic Lawn, Section L3, Lot 870, in Woronora Cemetery in Sutherland, NSW.16,28

 

She was known for her sayings, the most popular of which was "a place for everything and everything in its place".29

 

From around the time of her marriage to Ted she started to use the name Betty. It is not known if she disliked the name Gladys but Ted's mother, Rachel didn't like her first name and used her second when a name was required. Possibly she copied that action with the added feature of using Betty a derivative of Elizabeth. However, her mother, father, brothers and sister still continued to call her Gladys.30

 

She went on a trip to the "Centre of Australia" in 1974 with her sister and two friends and wrote a diary summary of the tour.31

 

Visit http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~owenjones/biogind/collins/collins_gladys... for more about Betty.

 

Edward Arthur OWEN1 (known as 'Ted') was the son of John OWEN (1879-1970) and Rachel Elizabeth BURLEY (1883-1963). He and Gladys Elizabeth COLLINS had the following children:

 

John Edward OWEN

Denise Elizabeth OWEN

Citations

1{S0021}, Researcher : OWEN, John Edward (0001). Cit. Date: before 1 July 2009. Assessment: Secondary evidence.
2{S0052}, Eulogy : To KING (previously OWEN nee COLLINS), Gladys Elizabeth (known as Betty) (0009) (Read at Funeral of Betty King). Cit. Date: 15 September 2012. Assessment: Secondary evidence.
Text From Source: "She was born at home just like her elder brother Leslie and her sister Dot"
3{S0043}, Book Notation : "Fascination" by Olive WADSLEY : COLLINS, Gladys Elizabeth (0009). Inside front cover. Cit. Date: before 1 July 2009. Assessment: Primary evidence.
Text From Source: 6th Class in 1930
These dates are estimated based on knowing that she only went to sixth class and that she was in sixth class in 1930 and 1931. The estimate of 1924 looks to her starting school at age 5. As her birthday was in December and she was born in 1918, 5 years puts the calculation at Dec 1923, so started school 1924.
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Fascination by Olive WADSLEY - Front Cover Notation

4{S0041}, Book Notation : "The Poetical Works of Adam Lindsay Gordon" : COLLINS, Gladys Elizabeth (0009). Inside front cover. Cit. Date: before 1 July 2009. Assessment: Primary evidence.
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The Poetical Works of Adam Lindsay Gordon - Front Cover Notation

5{S0040}, Book Notation : "Uncle Tom's Cabin" : COLLINS, Gladys Elizabeth (0009). Inside front cover. Cit. Date: before 1 July 2009. Assessment: Primary evidence.
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Uncle Tom's Cabin - Front Cover Notation

6{S0430}, Book Notation : "Our Girls Story Book".
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Our Girls Story Book - Front Cover Notation

7{S0044}, Certificate - Gould League of Bird Lovers of NSW : COLLINS, Gladys Elizabeth (0009). Cit. Date: before 1 July 2009. Assessment: Primary evidence.
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Gladys' League membership certificate

8{S0796}, Book : "The Canterbury Pearl Text Bible". Cit. Date: 27 January 2014. Assessment: Secondary evidence.
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Source: Book : "The Canterbury Pearl Text Bible", *BIBLE : The Canterbury Pearl Text Bible - Collins (face_page)

9{S0052}, Eulogy : To KING (previously OWEN nee COLLINS), Gladys Elizabeth (known as Betty) (0009) (Read at Funeral of Betty King). Cit. Date: before 1 July 2009. Assessment: Secondary evidence.
10{S0052}, Eulogy : To KING (previously OWEN nee COLLINS), Gladys Elizabeth (known as Betty) (0009) (Read at Funeral of Betty King). Cit. Date: 15 September 2012. Assessment: Secondary evidence.
Text From Source: "Dot also recalls with laughter, Gladys going to work at the Hotel Ranelagh in Robertson at the age of about 14 and this little girl getting absolutely lost in this huge rambling building!"
11{S0162}, Certificate - Marriage : OWEN, Edward Arthur (0010) and COLLINS, Gladys Elizabeth (0009). Custom Id: NSW 21282 / 1941 (Orig Cert (C556414). Cit. Date: before 1 July 2009. Assessment: Secondary evidence.
Registration no : 21282 / 1941
12{S0052}, Eulogy : To KING (previously OWEN nee COLLINS), Gladys Elizabeth (known as Betty) (0009) (Read at Funeral of Betty King). Cit. Date: 15 September 2012. Assessment: Secondary evidence.
Text From Source: "get a position working as a domestic at the Sydney Hospital"
13{S0162}, Certificate - Marriage : OWEN, Edward Arthur (0010) and COLLINS, Gladys Elizabeth (0009). Custom Id: NSW 21282 / 1941 (Orig Cert (C556414). Cit. Date: before 1 July 2009. Assessment: Primary evidence.
Registration no : 21282 / 1941
14{S0318}, Verbal ( Personal Knowlege) : OWEN, Denise Elizabeth (0008). Cit. Date: before 1 July 2009. Assessment: Secondary evidence.
15{S0317}, Certificate - Baptism : COLLINS, Gladys Elizabeth (0009). Cit. Date: before 1 July 2009. Assessment: Primary evidence.
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Gladys' Baptism Certificate on her conversion to Catholicism. Therese is not part of her birth name. It's probably her Confirmation name

16{S0021}, Researcher : OWEN, John Edward (0001). Cit. Date: before 1 July 2009. Assessment: Primary evidence.
17{S0318}, Verbal ( Personal Knowlege) : OWEN, Denise Elizabeth (0008). Cit. Date: before 1 July 2009. Assessment: Secondary evidence.
Denise says her mother told her that they could not be married at the Cathedral
18{S0039}, Bulletin (Club) : KING (nee Collins), Betty (0009) (Bankstown District Bowling and Recreation Club Vol 1 No 4 May - June 1980). Cit. Date: before 1 July 2009. Assessment: Primary evidence.
19{S0490}, Letter : from KING, Betty (nee COLLINS) (0009) resigning as Treasurer from Bankstown Womens' Bowling Club. Cit. Date: 26 December 2011. Assessment: Primary evidence.
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A handwritten copy of Betty's letter of resignation from BWBC

20{S0068}, Will and estate settlement documents : KING (formerly OWEN nee COLLINS known as Betty), Gladys Elizabeth (0009) (The Public Trustee Office (Executor of the Estate) and her children). Cit. Date: before 1 July 2009. Assessment: Primary evidence.
21{S0021}, Researcher : OWEN, John Edward (0001). Cit. Date: 8 November 2013. Assessment: Primary evidence.
22{S0021}, Researcher : OWEN, John Edward (0001). Cit. Date: before 1 July 2009. Assessment: Secondary evidence.


{value} {date} {couple} lived <at {address}> {_place} at three places. {note}
frm Sep 1941 to Aug 1972
23{S0484}, Electoral Roll : Federal (Unknown); NSW Division : (Unknown); Sub-Division (Ashfield). Cit. Date: 28 November 2011. Assessment: Primary evidence.
24{S0067}, Medical Reports and Coroners Post Mortem Report : KING (nee COLLINS previously OWEN), Gladys Elizabeth (0009) (Dr Michael TSOUROUTIS and Coroner of NSW; Reports, Letters and Correspondence). Cit. Date: before 1 July 2009. Assessment: Primary evidence.
25{S0504}, Ryerson Index : Death : KING (previously OWEN nee COLLINS), Gladys Elizabeth (0009). Cit. Date: 22 March 2012. Assessment: Secondary evidence.
26{S0052}, Eulogy : To KING (previously OWEN nee COLLINS), Gladys Elizabeth (known as Betty) (0009) (Read at Funeral of Betty King). Cit. Date: before 1 July 2009. Assessment: Primary evidence.
27{S0055}, Poem : To Betty KING : KING (previously OWEN nee COLLINS), Gladys Elizabeth [0009] (15 Sept 1991 by Lynley BRENNAN : Read at Funeral of Betty King by Lynley). Cit. Date: before 1 July 2009. Assessment: Primary evidence.
28{S0385}, Cemetery : Woronora (http://www.woronoracemetery.org.au/location-guide). Cit. Date: 31 January 2010. Assessment: Secondary evidence.
Text From Source: "Surname: KING : Type: Burial : First Name: GLADYS : Other Names: ELIZABETH :
Date of Death: 14/09/1991 : Interred Date: 20/09/1991 : Roman Catholic Lawn, LAWN 3, 0870"
29{S0021}, Researcher : OWEN, John Edward (0001). Cit. Date: 5 December 2013. Assessment: Primary evidence.
30{S0021}, Researcher : OWEN, John Edward (0001). Cit. Date: 19 August 2009. Assessment: Secondary evidence.
31{S0049} Betty OWEN, Manuscript : "Our Trip to the Centre" by OWEN (nee COLLINS), Gladys Elizabeth (0009) (Not published - Written for own satisfaction). Cit. Date: before 1 July 2009. Assessment: Primary evidence.

Compiler of this family history is : John Owen

              

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Ellen & John

Updated : 23 Mar 2014