Project Description

Emma Marie BLACKHURST (nee Clifford) was born in Bunbury in 1917, the only daughter of William and Wilhemina Clifford. She had two brothers, Albert, born in 1913 and Kenneth, born in 1921. Her father managed hotels in Bunbury.

Emma was a member of the Girl Guides in Bunbury and played basketball and hockey. She went to Sacred Heart Convent School and left at 14 to work for Bon Marche and later for Corot’s in Collie (where she met her future husband at a Ball). At 21 she moved to Perth to work for Boans.

On 15 August, 1942, at St Patrick’s in Bunbury, she married William Arthur Blackhurst (known as Arthur) – born 8 August, 1913 at Stoke-on-Trent in England – who was in the Reserve Army in Northam. When WWI started he joined the forces. Emma spent the war years looking after her widowed father in Bunbury while her husband went off to war in Borneo.

After WWII, in 1946, she and Arthur bought a mixed business corner store in Inglewood. Their only child, Kenneth Alan, was born on 14 March, 1948. When he was five they moved to Bridgetown and operated a newsagency there for 14 years.

A desire to live by the sea again brought them to Dunsborough in 1966 where they bought a beach store. Emma was a good swimmer and joined the Surf Club after her marriage. She played hockey, tennis and badminton. Arthur was Secretary of the Progress Association and suggested forming a Dunsborough Country Club. He was keen on golf and ensured a nine-hole course was designed and built.

Arthur died in 1987 and Emma continued to work for numerous organisations including the Dunsborough Country Club and the Country Women’s Association. She received the Busselton Shire Citizen of the Year Award for services to the Dunsborough Community.