Interviews

McDonald VOR

Interviewee: Violet Olive Rosetta McDonald [nee Parmenter]
Date of Birth: 16/2/1906
Interviewer : Jan Wallace
Date of Interview: 27/7/95 and 29/9/95
Verbatim Transcript: Marylin Jones and Lyn Adams
BOHG No: 1996-004
Total Length: 1 hr 50 min

Violet Olive Rosetta PARMENTER, known as Rose, was born at Mornington Mills, where her maternal grandmother lived, on the 16th February 1906. She was the fifth of six children.

Her father was born in Australind or Picton, his parents coming from England, and living in Bunbury. They came on a sailing ship and on the journey their twin girls were washed overboard.

Rose’s parents bought property at Mullalyup, which had to be cleared. They grew fruit and vegetables, and ran pigs. He made wine out of the grapes and the mulberries. He also cut sleepers from the timber, and made fruit cases. Rose’s mother was a maternity nurse, and delivered about a hundred babies in the Balingup, Mullalyup, Kirup area.

Rose attended the Mullalyup School. They had a three roomed house and a piano.

Her brother William went to the First World War and was killed in France after four years of service, aged 22 years. Her mother helped lay the foundation stone at the Mullalyup War Memorial, which has recently been rescued by the RSL.

Rose took her brother’s place on the farm. Her mother made Rose’s clothes. For the War effort they used to collect camelia flowers and sell them for the Red Cross.

With the death of her brother, Rose’s father sold the farm, and they built another house in Mullalyup, where they ran the Post Office. Her father became overseer at the forestry at Lowden, then worked at the Group Settlement at Busselton.

Rose left home to work in the wheatbelt as a lady’s companion at Goomalling. There she attended dances. She had already met her future husband at home whilst playing the piano for the silent movies.

She married James Vincent McDONALD. He and his family lived in Balingup. He worked on Lewis and Sturk’s Kirup timber mill, later becoming manager. Rose ran the boarding house.
There was local sport and they made their own entertainment in the area. The mill closed during the Depression and later reopened on a site towards Grimwade. The Second World War also affected the community.

They had two children, Joan Olive, who married Colin Holtzman, and Brian James. Brian is a cabinet maker. Rose has 9 grandchildren, 1 great grandchild, and three great-nieces. Rose’s husband died in about 1979/80.

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