Ronald John Marcus Richards
Ron was Dad’s second youngest brother Ronald John Marcus Gralton was born 31 December 1918.
Ron married Vivian Rose Wheeler.
Ronald undertook an apprenticeship as a boilermaker and at one time was employed by Evans Deacon.
After the death of Pop Richards on 11 March 1954 Marie moved to Scarborough and after Marie’s death on 19 March 1962 the Carter Street house was left to Ron and his family. Over the Easter long weekend of 1974 Des had returned from South Australia and a considerable amount of drinking occurred in the Carter Street house and during a slight altercation Ron fell to the floor and as was the custom they placed a blanket on him and left him till the morning to recover. The next morning it was discovered that Ron was dead and a subsequent police enquiry cleared Des of any wrong doing and ruled the death as accidental. The date of death was Easter Sunday 14 April 1974.
The following is written by Hazel McMillan.
“THIRD CHILD OF MARIE FORD AND WILLIAM HENRY GRALTON
Ron was the third child of Marie and Bill GRALTON. His sister Zena always said that Ron looked like his father. He was born 31 December 1918. The family were living at Bridge Street Breakfast Creek The children attended Breakfast Creek school and a school up on St Paul’s terrace. This photo of Zena and Ron was taken going to school.
Ron was 8 years old when his father suddenly died in August 1926 from a Pneumonia, Toxaemia and Cardiac Failure. Their father was a fruiterer and had a fruit run. The children were being looked after by their Aunt Winifred Gralton as Marie their mother had been separated from her husband Bill for a few years and was living in Water Street Fortitude Valley. On hearing of her husband’s death Marie returned to their Bridge Street home, evicted her sister in-law from the home.
Shortly after their father’s death Marie took the children to a relative at Injune. Zena said that they went on the train to Roma and from Roma by covered wagon to a property near Injune. We have since found out that Marie’s half brother Charlie Brady live at “Hillside” Guinewin 20km from Injune and about 69km to Roma where Charlie was managing a pub. Zena believed that she and her brothers were sent away so that the GRALTON family could not find the children. Not sure how long they were at Injune. When they returned to Brisbane they lived at Water Street Fortitude Valley with Marie and Jack Richards.
Ron’s mother Marie married John Alwyn RICHARDS (known as Pop) 23 July 1927. With mounting unpaid bills the family moved during the night from Water Street to Carter Street Northgate. Bill was 14, Zena 12, Ron 9 and Owen 7 when they moved to Carter Street. Bill on 21 January 1927 aged 14 started an apprenticeship as French Polisher at Nundah with Ed Rosenstengel.
Marie had Bill, Ron and Owen’s name changed from Gralton to Richards but Zena’s name was not changed as Marie said it would change when Zena married.
The family grew up at Carter Street Northgate until they were married.
The family had a beach house/hut at Cribb Island which the family use to go to regularly. As teenagers Marie would warn the children not to associate with the “Grey’s” who live at Cribb Island. Billy Grey was a worm digger there. The children later found out that Mrs Grey was a “Gralton”—their Aunt before she married Billy.
THIRD CHILD OF MARIE FORD AND WILLIAM HENRY GRALTON
In 1937 Bill, Zena and Wally Bradburne started “Richards & Bradburne Pastry Cooks” They open a Café in Station Road Nundah and they built the bake house in Carter Street next to Marie’s house. The café was sold when Wally joined the Air Force in July 1941. The bake house operated for a number of years after that. Pop delivered the cakes while Ron (Peewee) Richards (No relation) did the baking. When they shut the doors and stop operating. Pat still remembers as a small child, going through the side gate from the house into the bakehouse and running in asking for kisses. Pop would start kissing her, but she would protest say No! No! kisses, kisses meaning biscuit kisses. Also remembering the smell from the bakehouse - the large ovens - vats of cake mixture and jars of mixed fruit etc.
Ron married in Brisbane to Vivian Wheeler who was born 4th June 1919 in Rockhampton. They married ………….. Ron ‘s mother Marie had great talent with flowers and arranging them, She did Vivian’s wedding bouquets and the flowers were from Marie’s Carter Street garden. Ron and Viv met in Brisbane but Vivian’s family had come from Longreach.
When it was announced that Australia was at war Owen enlisted into the Australian Navy on 2 September 1939, so Marie had a family portrait taken with Owen in his Navy uniform.
Ron was working for Bill Moffatt building air raid shelters and then he worked in Northern Queensland still building the air raid shelters. Des remembers when they lived as Ascot before shifting to Shorncliffe, he would help take Pat by the hand and go to the air raid shelter in Oriel Park three times a week as they practiced in case of an invasion.
Vivian and her children Des and Pat were sent to live with Vivian’s mother in Longreach as the Government asked people to move away from Brisbane if they had relatives out west in case of an invasion.
Ron’s sister Zena married 25th July 1942. Because it was during the war the wedding dress and brides maids’ dresses were made from the material they made the parachutes out of. Ron and Vivian were in the wedding party. Bill was in the Army and Owen in the Navy at this time. Marie also did the bouquets for Zena’s wedding .
After the war Ron and his family were renting a house 53Towers Street Ascot. Des and Pat were attending St Agatha's primary convent. Ron worked as a boiler maker.
Pop RICHARDS operated an S.P. betting operation firstly from the bakehouse. They then shifted the business into their home at Carter Street. They had bars put on the windows in the house as there was always the danger of being raided by the licensing squad.
Bill and Jean moved to Scarborough when Jean was pregnant with the twins in 1950. Zena and Wally were living in the flat under the house. Pop passed away suddenly in March 1954. Wally was notified while working at Evans Deakin that his father in law had died and to come home. He walked up the back steps and said who had died? He believed it was Marie not Pop because he was so well and Marie had been in and out of hospital with the hight blood pressure and hypertension.
Marie continued to live at Carter Street until Zena’s house in Toombul Road was built and she moved in with Wally, Zena and Hazel.
Ron, Vivian and their Children Des, Pat, twins Michael and Rhonda moved from Towers Street Ascot into Carter Street Northgate in 1954 Pat continues her schooling at St Rita’s and Des went to St. Columbas at Albion.
Ron worked at Evans Deakin and at the Golden Circle Cannery where his son Des worked with him in maintenance. Ron also worked at Shirley’s Fertiliser at Pinkenba.
Des and his girlfriend Judy had a child they called Kim. Ron asked Judy to come and live in the flat with the baby as Ron could not bear to think that his grandchild could be put up for adoption. After awhile Judy gradually came home less and less until she left leaving Kim with Ron and Viv. They bought Kim up their own child. Ron & Viv adopted Kim shortly before he died.
Ron passed away 14th April 1974 Easter time at his home after an accident when he fell and hit him head. Des who was visiting from South Australia and Ron had been drinking in the kitchen. Ron fell down and they thought he was drunk and left him there but covered him with a blanket and put a pillow under his head. The following morning Ron was dead. Des went to court over the incident but was found to be accidental death. Ron was only 55 at the time.
Vivian continued to live there for many years until she sold the home and moved to another part of Northgate , then Chermside and finally up the north coast into a retirement home at Tewantin to be near her daughters
End of story by Hazel McMillan.
Bakehouse Van at Carter Street Northgate.
A bakehouse was built on the allotment next to the house in Carter Street where all the cooking was done. It had cement floor with large ovens.
Zena and Hzel with Richards Family at Brisbne Airport