Zena May Winifred Gralton - Peters Genealogy Page

Peters Genealogy Page

Cribb Island 1927 to 1929
Cribb Island c1927-1929
Zena 2nd left centre
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Cribb Island House

Gralton / Gray House at Cribb Island

Zena May Winifred GRALTON

Zena and Wally Ballroom Dancing

Zena and Wally Ballroom Dancing

Wally - Zena and Hazel

Wally Zena and Hazel


Zena May Winifred Gralton

The following is written by Hazel McMillan daughter of Zena.


Zena 2 years

Zena 2 Years old

Zena was the only daughter of Marie & Bill Gralton born 1st March 1915 at their home in Bridge Street Breakfast Creek. She had an older brother Bill who was two. The children later moving to 225 Water Street Fortitude Valley.

Nariel Street was Bridge Street

Old Map of Bridge Street, Breakfast Creek.

Bill, Zena, Owen and Ronald

Back Row: Zena and Bill
Front Row: Owen and Ronald
C August 1926

Breakfast Creek Hotel

Breakfast Creek Hotel

Breakfast Creek Hotel

Zena Hospital

Zena in Hospital

As a child about 4 years of age Zena was hit in the head with a hammer while playing with a friend, which damaged her ear. Zena had a number of operations to repair this damage having 20 operations by the time she was 20. Zena use to go to Dr Cross an ear nose and throat specialist up on Wickham Terrace and as a child would play with Dr Cross's son who went on to take over his father's practice and become Zena's doctor later on in her life. Zena having her last operation in 1962 when Dr Cross Jnr finally was able to repair damage caused all those years ago.

Zena and Owen with Marie

Zena attended Breakfast Creek School and a school up on St Paul's Terrace. Zena was 11 Year old when her father suddenly died in August 1926 from Pneumonia, Toxaemia and Cardiac Failure. The children Bill, Zena, Ron and Owen were being looked after by their Aunt Winifred Gralton as Marie their mother had been separated from her husband for a few years and was living at Water St Fortitude Valley. On learning of her husband's death Marie returned and evicted her sister in law from the house.



Shortly after their father death Marie took the children to her half brother Charlie Brady at Injune. Charlie had a property at Guinewin, 20 k from Injune and 69 k from Roma. They travelled by train to Roma and by covered wagon to the property. Charlie was managing a pub out there. Zena believed that they were sent away so the Gralton family could not find them. Not sure how long they stayed but on their return to Brisbane the lived with Marie and Jack Richards at Water Street.

Wallimbulla Hotel
Federal Hotel Wallumbilla Via Roma

Zena's mother 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. Marie had Bill, Ron and Owens name changed by deed poll from Gralton to Richards but would not pay the money to have Zena's changed said it would change when she married.

In 1927 there were not many houses between Northgate Station and Carter Street, lots of vacant grassed allotments. There were two vacant allotments next to their house and nothing but paddocks behind the house. It was a high set house. Across the back of the house was the large breakfast room with the dining room table about 3 meters long. This table was always set with starched white damask linen tablecloths. Zena's daughter has these tablecloths now. Silver napkin ring with linen napkins. The children were not allowed tea or coffee until they were 14 in case they stained the tablecloths. Zena was treated as Marie's maid having to clean and cook for her mother. The polishing and cleaning even extended to having to polish the garden brass taps every week. Marie liked to entertain often. Zena's husband often told the story about one occasion they were going out and Zena said they had to wash up after Marie's dinner party before they could go, so Wally started dropping dishes in the kitchen. Marie came in and asked what the problem was. Wally mentioned that they had planned to go out. "Sorry I didn't know. "Wally's reply was "Do I usually get dressed up in a suit to do your washing up?" they were soon let go so no more dishes would get broken. Zena said that she had all her teeth removed on the dining room table as a teenager and got her false teeth.

The family had a beach house/hut at Cribb Island which they use to go regularly. As teenagers Marie would warn the children not to associate with the "Gray's" They later found out that Mrs. Gray was their aunt, a Gralton before she married.

Zena was engaged to Auguste Buda but Marie would not let her marry. Marie was paid by the government for Zena to do the housework. Zena played a lot of tennis when young and enjoyed the beach-going to Cribb Island which was like the Gold Coast in those days. A lot of people had a house or hut there. They use to go to the beach besides where the Hornibrook Highway bridge was build where the Sandgate Eventide aged person's home is. This photo must have had some memories as it was on the chest of draws in the bedroom all her life. Auguste died in 1979 and left a sum of money to Hazel in his will. His family were French and had some connection to inland in the Pacific.

Zena worked at Bondi Beach for a while in a cake shop. May be she stayed with Pop's sister Floss who lived at Manly. Zena would always visit Floss every time they went to Sydney to Wally's family.

Zena met Wally during the mid 1930's. Zena and Wally use to dance in Brisbane and competed in Ballroom dancing winning many completions in the novice and open sections. They taught at Sandy Robinson's studio in Brisbane also.

Bakehouse Van

Bakehouse Van at Carter Street Northgate.

In 1937 Bill, Zena and Wally Bradburne started "Richards & Bradburne Pastry Cooks" They open a Café in Station Road Nundah. Wally was living at the bottom pub at Nundah at this time and Wally& Bill did the cooking for the café.

They then branched into wholesaling of cakes into shops and businesses in the city of Brisbane. The café moved from Station Road to Sandgate Road Nundah only a short distance away.


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. When Wally enlisted into the Air Force in July 1941 they sold the Café, but continued with the wholesale side of the business for a number of years employing Ron Richards (no relation) a qualified baker. In the end they just shut the doors of the bake house and stopped operating. The SP operations had taken over.

Zena married 25th July 1942 to Wally Bradburne. Because it was during the war the Wedding dress and brides maids dresses were made from the material they made the parachutes out of. Zena's brother Ron and wife Vivian were in the wedding party. Bill was in the Army and Owen in the Navy. Zena's marriage certificate states her name as Zena May Winifred Gralton know as Richards.

The wedding bouquet flowers were out of the gardens at Carter Street and Zena's mother Marie made them .

After they married Zena lived at Tufnell Road Banyo. They then moved to Goomeri where they had a dairy farm. After Wally got ill they moved back to Brisbane.

They then built a house at Virginia, living in the garage while building the house. They never move into this house selling it and using the money to build a house in Toombul Road Northgate.

While building they lived in the flat under the house in Carter Street. Zena's daughter Hazel was born 14th April 1951. Zena had tried for 9 year to have a family and had filled out adoption papers when she fill pregnant. Bill and Jean moved from Carter Street to Scarborough when Jean was pregnant with the twins in 1950.

Zena looked after her brother Bill's sons Billy and Peter for weeks at a time. Peter told Billy when it was his turn to stay that he would have to eat porridge for breakfast, so Billy turned up with a box of corn flakes under his arm.

Pop passed away suddenly in March 1954 aged 58. Wally was notified while working at Evans Deakin shipyards 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 was completed and she move in with Wally, Zena and Hazel at Toombul Road. Marie's son Ron with his family moved into Carter Street. Marie live for some time with Zena and then packed up and went to Scarborough to live with Bill and Jean.

Zena was a keen gardener having roses, gerberas, Grandma's pink dahlias and planted annuals each year. After Wally retired in the 1970's they grew orchids and won prizes at shows for these blooms. The back yard behind the garage was split into two sections with a shed between. One side was the vegetable garden and the other was the chook yard with the shed as the chook house. The vegetables and chooks alternated from side to side.

Zena also enjoyed sewing. She did a dressmaking course at Kangaroo Point at TAFE during the 1950's. She was a good cook. Aunty Eva use to say "The Brady women are all good cooks Brady being her maiden name. When they built the house they installed and "Aga" slow combustion stove with a double oven. This was Zena's pride. She use to do preserving and jam makings as well as general cooking which she enjoyed. This apparent talent has been handed down to Hazel's children as they are all good cooks and enjoy cooking.

Zena's mother passed away in March 1962. Zena had only just come out of hospital the day before, having another operation on her ear. Zena had a chair at the grave side to sit on during the funeral.

Zena daughter Hazel married in May 1973 at 12 o'clock and Zena had another wedding banquet at home that night so her brother Bill and his sons who were working at the races could come and be part of her celebration. A lot of the wedding guests came back to the house. After Hazel married and moved out to Wandoan on the property Zena visited regularly. Getting much enjoyment from her grandchildren, who would go and stay in Brisbane with her often.

Zena's Aunty Eva passed away in 1970 and her husband Jack Carson on his return from Western Australia after visiting Eva's grand daughter lived for a number of years with Zena until her health deteriorated. Jack then moved into a boarding house and died in 1982.

After Wally retirement from Bookmaking in the late 1970's they travelled to England twice, Europe, New Zealand Western Australia on the Indian Pacific and up to Cairns. This picture in taken in Paris 1979. Wally would have liked to do more travelling in Europe and England but Zena's health deteriorated and they only travelled out to Wandoan to Hazel and the Grandchildren.

Zena and Wally celebrated their 40th Wedding anniversary in July 1982 with a surprise party of family and friends. In 1983 they joined Golden Years at Nundah play cards, dancing, craft, indoor bowls and regular bus trips.

Wally and Zena

Wally and Zena

Zena passed away 8th November 1986 after renal failure and a number of heart attacks on the last day of her life. She had been ill for a number of months. Zena's family was her life.

Her husband Wally passed away June 2004."

End of story written by Hazel McMillan.

Zena Hazel and Richards Family

Zena and Hzel with Richards Family at Brisbne Airport

Pop Richards and Who???

Pop Richards and maybe his sister Maude?


W H Richards Army

Corporal William Henry Richards