Project Description

Gaven William McGregor was born in Kookynie on 12 September, 1910. His father, Alexander Wallace, was born in Quindalup (his grandfather came from Scotland in 1831), and his mother, Clara Matilda (nee Perry), was born in Victoria and came to Western Australia with her family during the Gold Rush.

Gaven talks about the family history, including land purchased in the Sussex District, Comet Vale in Quindalup, and Busselton town lots. Gaven was the first of four children; Roy, born in 1915, Sydney, born in 1919 and Muriel, born in 1922.

They moved around because his father was transferred to Post Offices in South Perth, East Kirup, Bridgetown, Condon near Pardoo in the De Grey River basin (during which time Clara and the children went to visit her family at her birthplace in St Arnaud), Broomehill, then Quindalup and Newtown which is now Vasse.

Gaven talks of his experiences with the local aborigines when they were stationed at Condon. They returned to live in Quindalup and his father took over the dairy farm when his grandmother died. Gaven worked at Guthrie’s Mill in 1939, then left the Mill and joined the Waterside Workers’ Union working boats and manning the wharf during WWII. Over time he sold much of the land where Amblin Caravan Park, Geographe Bayview Resort and other properties between Bussell Highway and the sea are today.

He married Eileen Cecilia O’Reilly from Glenrowan, Victoria on 12 March 1938. They had two daughters; Mary Bridget, born 1941, and Eileen Joan, born 1944. In his younger days, Gaven was a keen fisherman, and rowed his tin canoe from his property to catch whiting in Geographe Bay.

Gaven also played football and cricket for Newtown then Yallingup. He appreciated local fauna and flora and formed the Broadwater Nature Reserve for which he became Honorary Warden in 1960.