Project Description

Hilda LORD (nee Cowley, previously Cross) was born on 23 May 1921 at West Guildford. She was the only child of Walter Cowley, born on 27 January 1893 in Buckinghamshire, England and Dorothy (nee Javens), born on 9 June, 1897 in England.

At 18 years Walter sailed for Australia on the SS Ormos in 1911. He went to Katanning and worked on a farm for Mr Larsen for 7 years then moved up north to Turkey Creek Station. Dorothy sailed to Australia, also on the SS Ormos, in 1910. Hilda’s parents married in April 1918 at Wahkinup. Her father bought a block, fenced it and ran sheep. He helped establish the Muradup Co-op, sold the farm in 1928 and took over the Boyup Brook Co-op which became the Muradup/Boyup Brook Co-op. It continued until 1945.

Hilda went to Boyup Brook School then Kobeelya Girls School in Katanning. She worked at the Co-op when she left school and enjoyed sewing, knitting and crocheting. Hilda talks about buying and selling for the Co-op, cutting and wrapping cheese, and the variety of produce available including petrol, firearms and bullets. She talks about the heavy work, pricing, travelling salesmen, as well as tobacco, butter, sugar, meat, clothing, linen and petrol rationing during WWII. Hilda recalls catering for balls, Thursdays before Easter selling hot cross buns, and providing lunches for the Volunteer Defence Corps during the war.

In March 1943 Hilda married Stan Cross who was killed in an accident in Geraldton in December of the same year. Hilda married Geoff Lord, a dairy farmer, in 1946 and learned to milk cows. She loved farm life and won prizes in the Busselton Show for butter making, cooking and sewing. She and Geoff had four children, three girls, Margaret, Dorothy and Mary, and one son, Walter. Walter married in April 1973 and took over the farm so Hilda and Geoff retired in Busselton.

They became very involved in the Historical Society, Church affairs, the CWA and the Agricultural Society.