Project Description

Percival (Percy) Willmott was born in Busselton on the 12th of January 1927. Percy’s grandfather Percival Willmott, was a Lighthouse Keeper at Cape Leeuwin from 1895 until 1909. He has left a legacy of wonderful photographs of the early Augusta, Margaret River and Busselton areas.

He built his home “Basildene” at Margaret River. Percy’s father William Henry Francis Willmott, known as Henry, was born at “Reinscourt” Busselton in May 1895. Henry lost a leg in France in World War One and for the rest of his life had a wooden leg. This didn’t stop him from living a very active life.

Percy’s mother Blanche, nee Sadlier, was born in Ireland. Percy’s parents met when they were both working for the Cookworthy family at “Sandilands” Busselton. Henry later purchased this property.

Henry was elected to Parliament as the Member for Sussex for the Nationalist Party which later became the Liberal Party. He served from 1938 until his untimely death in 1945. Percy and Jim were only young boys when their father was first elected to Parliament. The boys and their mother carried on dairying and running the farm. With Henry’s untimely death it was a very difficult time for the family.

Percy talks about growing up in Busselton, fishing, horse riding, and childhood incidents. He attended school first at Busselton and later at Bunbury High School.

Percy married Marjorie Wheatley and they went to live at Jindong where Percy had purchased a farm. Jim and Percy divided the “Sandilands” farm and Jim and his wife Isobel (nee Dunnet) lived there. Percy and Jim bred and raced horses with some success.

Percy and Marjorie had four children. After the children left home Percy and Marjorie moved into Busselton to live. Marjorie passed away about three years ago. Today Percy’s sight is deteriorating as he has Macular Degeneration. Percy has lived all of his life in the Busselton area. He has seen many changes take place in that time.