He talks of his mother’s family, the Heppingstones. Captain and Georgiana Molloy were his paternal great grandparents.
William Bunbury, his paternal grandfather, was a trader up and down the west coast. Vernon’s father settled on a Marybrook property of approximately 1,000 acres, bought from Richard Gale, in 1895. The family’s original home was Beachlands, three and a half miles south of Busselton. He describes life in the house as he was growing up on the property where they farmed cattle and had draft horses. Vernon remembers a neighbour, Sir James Mitchell, giving him a pony when he was five years of age. He names some of the early families who came on to the Soldiers’ Settlement Scheme land purchased from his father, aborigines in the area and the native fauna and flora.
Vernon was 22 at time of his father’s death when his mother took over the running of the farm. He met his wife, Iris, at Tom Carter’s wedding. They were married in Perth on 28 November 1939. They lived on the farm after he married and had six children, Dorothy, Edward, Richard, Wendy, Pat and Jenny. Their sons still work on the farm. Vernon talks of memorabilia of the Molloys, his uncle Mervyn Bunbury of Carnarvon, and St Michael of the Angels Church which was originally on their property and later moved to Dunsborough.
His father was buried on the family property but his body was later moved to Dunsborough. Vernon’s father helped to establish the Marybrook School in 1924 and when this school closed the children went to Vasse School. Vernon later went to Guildford Grammar School until the age of 11 then to Muresk until 16 years of age. His sisters went away to Presbyterian Ladies College.
He played cricket, football, badminton and tennis and was a very good athlete at Guildford. Vernon was a Busselton Shire Councillor for 18 years. He was on the Slow Learners Committee and the Pensioners’ Group and played an active role in the community.