Project Description

Adelaide Mary MOONEY (nee Hobson) was born in England in 1907. Her father, John Abel Hobson, was adventurous and first came to Australia as a young man on a sailing ship. Later he served in the Boer War in South Africa then returned to Australia in 1913 to go farming at Brookton.

Adelaide was an only child and, at the age of six, journeyed to Australia with her mother to rejoin her father. Adelaide commenced her schooling at Mount Helena in Western Australia. Farming was unsuccessful so they returned to England when Adelaide was seven years of age where she completed her primary schooling before attending a private boarding school in Yorkshire for her secondary education while her parents ran a hotel in Liverpool.

In 1923 the family once again came to Australia when Adelaide was 16 and a half. She worked for her father running a café in Perth, and then, after a very short stay on a group settlement in Margaret River, came to Busselton where her parents opened Hobson’s Furniture Store in 1929 in Prince Street, Busselton, later moving to Queen Street.

During WWII John Hobson was the Mayor of Busselton. Adelaide operated a hairdressing salon in Prince Street for a while before going to Perth to work. In 1935 she married Robert Gerald Mooney, known as Roy, and settled in Perth where their two boys, Peter and Robert (Bob), were born.

Her parents both became ill so she and Roy came to Busselton to live with her parents, look after them and run the business. After her parents’ death Adelaide and Roy continued to manage the store which gradually expanded and flourished.

When they retired, their son, Bob, and his wife, Mary, took over the Busselton store. Today Bob and Mary, their son, Robert and his wife, Philippa, and their daughter, Justine, are involved in the Busselton business. Peter runs the Harvey store with his son, Shaun, and his wife, Karen.

Adelaide’s eyesight failed in later years and she was a popular resident at William Carey Court in Busselton..