THE LEES IN GLOUCESTERSHIRE
The first mention of the Lee family in Gloucestershire, is in the Parish Register of St. Mary's Church Thornbury, where the marriage of William Lee and Hannah Whitfield took place on 21st March 1803.
William is our earliest known ancestor. It is thought that he was born circa 1780 in Northwick, Gloucestershire, the names of his parents are unknown as no record of his birth or baptism have been found. However it is thought he may have been the son of Robert Lee and Mary nee Hignell, who were married at St. Mary's Thornbury (right) on 17th April 1767. The reason for this assumption being, that William and Hannah named their first son Robert, the custom of the day was to name the first son after the grandfather. Also according to the Parish registers, one of the witnesses to Robert and Mary's marriage was a George Whitfield. (Could William and Hannah have been cousins?)
Hannah Whitfield was born in Elberton, Gloucestershire in 1780, the third child of John Whitfield and Martha nee Riddiford. She was baptised at St Mary's Church, Thornbury on 16th July 1780.
The parish register at St Mary's records the baptisms of two children born to William and Hannah Lee. Sometime between May 1805 and June 1807 William and Hannah moved to Elberton, about 3 miles south west of Thornbury, where the parish register of St John's records the baptisms of the rest of their known children.
Not a lot is known about the lives of William and Hannah. However it would seem William spent all his life as a farm labourer, as according to the parish records at the time of the baptisms of the children, William's occupation is recorded as agricultural labourer. In the 1841 Census his occupation is also listed as agricultural labourer. He is also recorded in the 1851 Census as an agricultural labourer, which indicates that he was still working at the age of 71!
William Lee is listed in the 1840 Parish tithe book as renting a cottage and garden owned by a Mr. John Green. It is quite possible that he worked for John Green as it was the custom of the day for the for employees to rent cottages from their employer.
WILLIAM LEE 1833 - 1889
William Lee was born in Elberton, Gloucestershire, England in 1833. His father was William Lee, the 7th born child of William Lee and Hannah nee Whitfield. His mother's name is unknown and it is quite possible she may have died in childbirth, he may also have been illegitimate, as his father was only about fifteen when he was born. These were probably the reasons why the young William was brought up by his grand-parents, given to them to raise, as his father would not have been able to cope. This would also save the burden on the Parish Church.
William apparently had some education, as he could both read and write. When a comparison of the signature on the 1851 Census returns for Elberton and William's signature on his marriage certificate is made it appears that William was one of the enumerators for the 1851 Census in that parish.
Nothing further is known of William's early life until his marriage to Elizabeth Bevan at St Philip's and Jacob's Church in Bristol, Somersetshire on 31st January 1853. At the time of their marriage, William and Elizabeth were living in the Tower Hill area of Bristol. Elizabeth Bevan was born in Thornbury, Gloucestershire in 1831, she was baptised at the Thornbury Parish Church on 24th November 1831. Her parents were James Bevan and Elizabeth nee Pearce.
A family story goes that William and Elizabeth ran away to be married because Elizabeth was pregnant, but as their first known child was born in Collingwood, Victoria, Australia in July 1854, this is most unlikely. A more plausible explanation is that Elizabeth's father, James was a man of substance and did not wish his daughter to marry a farm labourer.
Shortly after their marriage they made the necessary arrangements to emigrate to Victoria, Australia as assisted immigrants. It is not known how William and Elizabeth travelled from Bristol to Liverpool, but it was more than likely 3rd class by train in open carriages, as this was a cheaper way of travelling than by the horse drawn coach. They left Liverpool on the 25th March 1853 aboard the "GENGHIS KHAN" arriving in Melbourne on 1st July 1853. On all the documents pertaining to their emigration William's occupation is recorded as agricultural labourer.
William and Elizabeth probably learned of assisted passages to the Port Phillip district from posters displayed in the villages around the various parishes of Gloucestershire and advertisements in local newspapers The local parish Vicar also used to preach of the advantages of emigration, as the more of the poor and unemployed people of the parish that left, the less burden there was on the parish funds.
The reason for their emigration is not known, but there were a number of reasons why people emigrated to Australia, the unemployed were encouraged by the parish Vicar, as the Church could no longer afford to support them from parish funds. To some it offered an escape from poverty to a new start, where they could work and eventually own land of their own and of course by the 1850's there was the lure of gold.
The emigration commissioners of the 1850's, stated that the applicants be of sober habit, industrious and of good moral character, and have certificates to this effect, signed by two respectable persons (but not by publicans or dealers in wines and spirits.) They were also required to state their dates and places of birth, literacy, trade if they had one, present employment and any debts they may have. Also they were to supply a Physicians report stating they were free from infectious or contagious disease, had either had or were vaccinated against smallpox. Adult males where also required to be physically capable of the labour of their trade.
Once the emigration Commission received and excepted the application, with its various forms and affidavits, the next thing was to wait for an embarkation order. Applicants were advised not to give up their employment until they received this order, as it may be some time before passage space became available. When this order was received, it was accompanied by a list of things they were required to supply for the journey, clothes for both hot and cold climates, towels sheets, etc.
All provisions and cooking utensils were given to them once they were aboard the ship, as well as new mattresses, blankets, canvas bags in which to keep their linen. They were also given knives, forks, spoons, tin plates and mugs, all of which the emigrants kept on their arrival in Port Phillip, if they had been well behaved during the voyage.
Once the ship was at sea the passengers were under the control of the Master and the Surgeon, both of who controlled their daily routine. Passengers had to rise at 7.00 a.m. roll their beds and tidy their berth, then breakfast by 9.00 a.m. After which the single men swept the decks and cleaned the toilets. Lunch was at 1.00 p.m and tea at 6.00 p.m. All passengers were to be in bed by 10.00 p.m.
Twice a week, weather permitting all bedding was taken on deck for airing. Also two days a week were set aside for washing their clothes.
Some other rules were:- no firearms or swords were permitted on board, no riotous behaviour or drinking and strictly no smoking between decks, as fire aboard a wooden ship at sea could be disastrous. Sailors were not to fraternise with the emigrants and visa versa. All children were expected to attend school, with books lent by the school master. Some adults attended these classes and by the end of the voyage could read and write quite well. These regulations were enforced for the health and well being of the passengers and in most cases proved effective, as most emigrant ships arrived without incident or many lives lost.
On arrival at the colony the vessels would wait outside the heads for the pilot to take the ship through the heads. Once through the notorious "RIP" the ship would anchor off Pt. Henry and await clearance by quarantine officials. When given the all clear, the ship would proceed up the bay and on up the Yarra River, to a point opposite where the Casino is today.
Then when the immigration committee had inspected the vessel and established that the immigrants had not been mistreated during the voyage, they were then allowed ashore, where they proceeded to the immigration depot, which was situated in Collins street , almost on the corner of Spencer Street. It was at this depot that most of the immigrants found employment, some in the city's new industries some as agricultural labourers in the still to be settled areas. All were to become hard working Pioneers of the new state of Victoria.
Fortunately a diary kept by one of the passengers aboard the "GENGHIS KHAN" on the same voyage as William and Elizabeth Lee has survived and a reasonable insight into their passage is available to us. From extracts of this diary , we can gain some knowledge of the type of hardship they had to endure to get to the new colony of Victoria to make a new life for themselves.
THE LEES IN VICTORIA
William and Elizabeth first resided at Wellington street, Collingwood, where they worked for Mr. J. Hind with a contract for 3 months at £60-0-0 ($120) p.a. This being the way that the immigrants repaid the price of their fare. Mr Hind would have been one of the sponsors who put up money to the Government to help with the assisted passage of immigrants.
Collingwood had become a popular place for immigrants while they sought other employment in Melbourne or its surrounding suburbs and yet to be settled areas. Collingwood's first settlers, among them Mr. Hind, had moved there from Melbourne, as the higher ground with its better drainage was cleaner and healthier than the City. Fish were plentiful in the Yarra river in those days and provided many a good meal for the settlers. Fresh water from the river was 5/- (50 cents) a barrel and was used for drinking as well as all the other domestic purposes.
It was at Wellington Street, Collingwood, that their first child, James was born on Thursday 27th July 1854. Shortly after this they moved to South Yarra, where over a period of the next six years they were to have three more children. Charles William, was born in 1856, but tragically he only lived until the age of three, dying at South Yarra on 28th October 1859. Rhoda Jane was born in 1859. Elizabeth Ann was born in 1861, but she also died at a young age in November 1863 at Williamstown.
Some time in 1862 the family moved to Williamstown, where William was employed as a painter in the Williamstown Railway Workshops. It is believed that he painted imitation wood grain onto the pressed steel panels on the inside of railway coaches. The railway workshops where William would have worked, were the original workshops of the Victorian Railways Department. They were built in 1856, at the end of Nelson Parade, adjoining the wharves and docks. They were the first workshops of their kind in Australia. Many of the early locomotives and rolling stock of the Victorian Railways were built there. These workshops served their purpose until 1888, when they were demolished, to make way for the erection of grain stores and other improvements to Williamstown's port adjuncts. By this time the Victorian Railways had built the new workshops at Newport, where William and other members of the family were to be employed over the next generations.
William and Elizabeth were to have two more children after they moved to Williamstown. Louisa Ann, born 1864 and William Canvill, born 1870.
William died of Hemiplegia (a form of paralysis) at his home in Thompson Street, Williamstown at 3.20 p.m. on Tuesday 22nd January 1889, aged 54, he is buried in the Williamstown Cemetery. Elizabeth died at 19 Electra Street, Williamstown on 25th November 1905, and is buried with her husband.
JAMES LEE 1854-1895
James Lee was born in Wellington Street Collingwood, Victoria, on Thursday the 17th July 1854. During his early childhood the family moved to South Yarra, and later to Williamstown. James probably started his education at South Yarra, but most of it would have probably been at the Williamstown State School, where later generations of the Lee family were to be educated.
It has not been established what employment, if any, James managed to get when he left school, or indeed at what age he left school. However it is known from records in the Victorian Railways archives, that he was employed at the Victorian Railways Workshops at Williamstown, as a painter in the Locomotive branch. He started his employment there on 4th September 1873 at the age of 19, his departmental number being 3990. James was to continue working for the Victorian Railways as a painter for over twenty years until his death. He died at Williamstown on Wednesday the 1st May 1895, of an obstruction to the bile duct. At the time of his death his wages were £ 2-10-00 ($5) a week.
Williamstown Railway Workshops
James married Leonora Lonsdale, at the Williamstown Manse on 9th October 1878. Leonora was born in Williamstown, on 21st September 1859, her parents were Henry Lonsdale and Martha nee Pater.
The wedding would probably have been a social highlight as Henry Lonsdale was a reasonably wealthy and well-known person in Williamstown and Newport, where he, together with his son ran a very successful undertaking and cabinet making business.
James and Leonora were to have five children. Charles Henry, born 1880. Eva, born 1883. James William, born 1885. Arthur Lonsdale, born 12th March 1888. Thomas Frank, born 19th December 1890. All were born at Williamstown.
James died at his home in Thompson Street, Williamstown on Wednesday 1st May 1895, and was buried at Williamstown Cemetery, on 4th May 1895.
Leonora was to marry again in 1904, to Samuel Oak. She died on 6th June 1918 whilst on holiday in Sydney, she was visiting her daughter Eva Barron. Her body was returned to Williamstown and is buried in the Williamstown Cemetery with James.
THOMAS FRANK LEE 1890-1945
Thomas Frank Lee (left)
was born the 5th and last child of James and Leonora Lee on Friday 19th December 1890, at Williamstown, Victoria. He probably attended the Williamstown State School, unfortunately this can not be confirmed, as all the school's early records were lost when the basement storeroom was flooded in the 1950's. It is not known if he had a Secondary School education, although this is highly probable as he was to join the Victoria Police, as had his older brother.
After leaving school Thomas was employed for a short time by his uncle, Thomas Lonsdale as a coffin maker in his undertaking business, however family rumour has it that his employment was terminated after an argument, when his uncle accused him of being lazy and working to slow. He then worked at the Victorian Railways Newport workshops, for a short time as a labourer. Later he worked with his brother Arthur, as a wharf labourer on the Williamstown docks.
On 18th July 1917, Thomas joined the Victoria Police, possibly at the instigation of his brother Arthur, who had joined almost three years earlier. Thomas was allotted register number 6182. He served at various stations throughout the state, including Leongatha, Beech Forest, Tongala, Ballarat, Mildura and Camberwell.
Thomas married Mary Edith Henderson
at Williamstown Church of England Manse, on 15th July 1915. Mary Edith was born in Williamstown on 18th November 1893. Her parents were William Henry Henderson, and Annie nee
Blackwell. Thomas and Mary had two children. Frank Lonsdale Blackwell, born 1st October 1916, at Williamstown and Arthur, born 3rd March 1919, at North Fitzroy.
Family tradition has it that Thomas was a very violent man, prone to fits of extreme temper, at one time it is said, that he beat Mary, and as a result she left him and went to Queensland, working on a property as a cook. Because of this Thomas placed the two boys into the Ballarat orphanage for a short time. It is also said that as a result of Thomas having one of these fits of temper, he discharged his service revolver in the main street of the town of Ballarat, for which he was disciplined and transferred back to Melbourne where his superiors could keep an eye on him.
On 22nd November 1924 Thomas passed the qualifying examination and was promoted to the rank of First Constable. Thomas had an extremly good memory for faces. Which on one occasion led to the arrest of an interstate criminal that Thomas had recognized as he was walking down the street.
In 1933, Thomas was commended for his skill, zeal and perseverance, in the arrest and conviction of a person for receiving stolen property. This was while he was working at the Motor Registration Branch. Thomas had apparently noticed that there had been an attempt to alter the engine and chassis numbers on an Essex touring car that had come in to be re-registered. When he checked further, it turned out that the car had been stolen from Neal's Motors in Melbourne in 1927.
Another more humorous story goes that, some person was stealing fire wood from the Police Station, and Thomas, determined to find out who it was, placed a small amount of dynamite inside a hollow piece of fire wood and placed it back into the stack. He found out who the thief was, at the expense of the poor mans stove. It is not known if Thomas charged the man with theft, or whether he considered that the loss of the man's stove was punishment enough.
On 2nd November 1934, Thomas passed the qualifying examination and was promoted to Senior Constable. In 1940 he was transferred to Camberwell as watch-house keeper. He was to remain at this station until his death on 27th October 1945. Thomas died as the result of a massive stroke, whilst on duty. He was walking up Camberwell Road when he just dropped dead. He is burried in the Box Hill Cemetery.
Some years after Thomas' death, Mary Edith married Stanley Reid (date unknown). When she died at Kew on 1st April 1974,shehad outlived two husbands and her eldest son. Mary is buried with Thomas at Box Hill Cemetery.
FRANK LONSDALE BLACKWELL 1916 - 1970
Frank Lonsdale Blackwell Lee (left)
, was born at Williamstown, on Sunday 1st October 1916. He received his education at various places, as the family moved around a lot, because of his father's occupation as a Police Officer. He probably started Primary School at Leongatha, then Beech Forest, Tongala and Ballarat. It is not known if Frank had a secondary education. After leaving school Frank was first employed by E.M.F. Ltd of Carlton, making arc welders. He later took a position with a motor car firm, called “Austin Distributors”, where he was trained as a motor mechanic.
All his life Frank never lost his interest in motor vehicles, and seemed to be at his happiest when working on, or driving them. Frank next took up a position at Myer's, first as a mechanic, then as a driver on one of their delivery trucks. It was while at Myer's that Frank met Elsie Florence Orita Hodgetts
, who was working in the Myer's canteen as a waitress. Elsie Hodgetts was born at North Melbourne on 20th January 1920. Her parents were Albert Melfort Hodgetts. and Florence Nellie nee Donelly.
Frank and Elsie were married at St. Bartholemew's Church, Burnley on 1st April 1939 (April fools day).
Frank and Elsie were working at Myers when the disasterous bushfires of 1939, known as Black Friday, occurred in Victoria. Myer's had the canteen staff make thousands of sandwiches and the drivers took them to the volunteer firefighters. Frank drove a large van down to Gippsland loaded with some of these sandwiches and other food and drink for the firefighters in that area. At one stage of the trip the fire was across the road, Frank stopped the truck, wrapped the fuel tank in wet hessian bags to keep it cool and to stop it catching fire, and drove through the flames to reach the men at the fire front. Frank worked at Myer's until the outbreak of World War 2, when he went to work at the Maribyrnong Munitions Factory as a fitter and turner. However patriotism eventually got the better of him, and on 2nd July 1943, he enlisted in the Royal Australian Air Force, in which he served as a flight mechanic. Frank served most of his enlistment at Sale in Gippsland, and did not see overseas duty.
He must have been a bit of a larrikin at the time. As a story he used to like to tell goes, that he and another officer, once borrowed (stole) a motorcycle in the main street of Sale, and rode it to Melbourne. They rode it around all weekend while on leave, then took it back to exactly where they had taken it from, after first filling the tank with petrol.
Frank was demobilised on 4th January 1946. For his service he received the War Medal, Australian Service Medal, and General Service Badge. After the war he could not get his old job back at Myer's. With the result that he took up employment with the Melbourne & Metropolitan Tramways Board (M.M.T.B.), firstly as a conductor and then as a tram driver. Whilst he was employed with the M.M.T.B., he was involved in an accident. The tram he was driving along St.Kilda Road, collided with the rear of the tram in front. Frank was thrown violently forward, hitting his face on the driving handle, causing a small cross shaped wound, leaving him with a scar he carried for the rest of his life.
On 19th July 1949, Frank joined the Victoria Police, as his father and uncle had done before him. He had attempted to join earlier, but was told he was too old. However due to a shortage of Police officers, the Government relaxed the age limit for ex-servicemen, lifting it to 35 years of age. His service number was 10642. After passing through the Police Academy, he first served at Russell Street headquarters, then at Prahran. One day while he was stationed at Prahran he slipped on the wet steps at the front of the Police station and broke his ankle. Shortly after this incident Frank transferred to the Wireless Patrol as a driver. The Wireless Patrol no longer exists, being disbanded in the early 1970's. It was a branch of the force that was several cars manned by four officers, the one in charge being a Senior Constable. These cars would patrol a particular area of Melbourne on the lookout for persons breaking the law. They would also respond to calls from the D24 wireless room at Police Headquarters in Russell Street.
On more than one occasion Frank was commended by the chief commissioner for his driving skill while in high speed pursuit of criminals, mainly in stolen cars. On on such pursuit Frank had chased a stolen car round and round the block in St.Kilda. The driver of the stolen car kept making left turns with Frank right behind him but unable to force him to stop, then the driver of the stolen car made the mistake of turning right and Frank rammed the car in the driver's door. The chase was being relayed back to D24 by the radio, on a recording made at the time it is quite easy to hear Frank say “I've got the bastard now” when he realised the driver was going to turn right.
On another occasion, there was a call from D24, that there was a brawl in progress at the Capitol Theatre in Swanston Street, in the city. The Capitol Theatre had an unusual set up, the ticket box was at street level, but the foyer was on a mezzanine floor, which was reached by a wide staircase of about twenty stairs. When Frank arrived at the theatre, the brawl was in full swing at the top of the stairs, so Frank drove the Police car straight up the stairs into the foyer. This had the desired effect of breaking up the brawl without them even having to get out of the car.
One night when on patrol in the Caulfield area, they were called to a break-in at the Caulfield Railway Station. Frank drove up to the station very quietly, and they all got out of the car. The Senior Constable in charge sent one man to each end of the platform, told Frank to go up the ramp and onto the platform through the ticket barrier, while he would walk down the line, and climb onto the platform from the track. Their timing got a little out, just as Frank walked through the barrier, the Senior was coming to it from the platform side, both of them had their guns drawn. They gave one another a hell of a fright. The Senior later told Frank, that had he not had the safety catch on he would have shot him, as he had actually pulled the trigger.
There was also a funny incident that Frank used to like to tell about. One night they were chasing an escaped convict, when he crashed the car he was driving, he jumped out and started to run up an alley. Frank stopped the police car, and chased him up the alley, shouting “shoot or I'll stop”. It stopped being funny when Frank heard a bullet go past his ear, followed by the crack of a shot. He hit the deck, tearing the front out of his suit. He found out later that the idiot policeman behind him had fired a shot at the fleeing escapee. The escapee was caught, because another police car had blocked the other end of the alley.
On 15th November 1955 Frank suffered a great loss, when his beloved wife Elsie died at their home at 3 Leonard street, Moorabbin. A Coroner's inquest was held into the cause of death. The verdict given as an accidental overdose of the medication she took for her acute dermatitis. Elsie was cremated at the Springvale Crematorium on 17th November 1955.
Some time later Frank married Marjory Maynard, but this marriage was to last only a short time, ending in a divorce. There was no issue from this marriage.
In 1957 Frank sustained a neck injury, caused as a result of an accident whilst in the high speed pursuit of a stolen car. Frank lost control of the patrol car, when he was forced to take evasive action to avoid a taxi, that had come out of a side street. This caused the patrol car to collide at high speed with the brick wall surrounding the Brighton Cemetery.
Frank was thrown through the windscreen, across the bonnet, and collided with the brick wall head first. He then rolled off the bonnet and landed face down in the gutter.(There were no such things as seatbelts in those days)
When the ambulance arrived, the driver took one look at him, and said "this one's had it". Just then Frank groaned, he was quickly placed into the ambulance, and raced to Hospital, in a critical condition. The impact with the brick wall had cracked a vertebrae in his neck. Luckily the crack was vertical and not horizontal, as this would probably have left him a quadriplegic. As a result of this accident, the sirens on all police vehicles were moved from inside the radiator grill onto the front fender. The reason for this being that the driver of the taxi that came out of the side street, stated at the subsequent inquiry that he had not heard the siren. This was later proved to be correct, after a series of tests had been done at the location of the accident. Another thing to come about as a result of the accident was that, all police vehicles were fitted with seat belts.
After he recovered from his injuries Frank was transferred to Dandenong District on General Duties and then later to Brighton District. In August 1958 he was transferred back to Russell Street, where he drove the prison van transporting prisoners to and from Pentridge Gaol. Early in 1959, Frank was placed on permanent office duty, he hated being inside and what he called the “bloody boredom”. On 2nd February 1959 Frank resigned from the Victoria Police.
After leaving the Police, Frank returned to his old job at Myer's, as a driver, but the job proved too heavy for him. After a couple of years he took up a position as a gardener with The Commonwealth War Graves Commission, tending the graves of returned servicemen at Springvale Cemetery. He worked there until his death. He died of a massive stroke (Cerebral Haemorrhage) at his home at 51 Antoinette Boulevard, Eltham, on 25th January 1970. He was cremated at Springvale Crematorium on 28th January 1970, and his ashes placed in a wall niche beside his beloved wife Elsie.
FRANK MELFORT LONSDALE LEE 1939 -
Frank Melfort Lonsdale Lee (right)
, was born on Saturday 11th November 1939, at St. Vincent's Hospital, East Melbourne. At the time of his birth his parents were living at 348 Mary Street, Richmond. Shortly after this happy event they moved to Box Hill, and later to 3 Bourke Avenue, East Hawthorn.
Frank started his education at Camberwell State School. While attending this school, Frank came home for lunch every day. On one occasion he must have been in a hurry to get home, because he ran straight out of the school ground, into the path of a car proceeding down Camberwell road, and was knocked down, uninjured he got to his feet, dusted himself off, and proceeded on his way home for lunch. He didn't tell his mother about the accident when he arrived home for lunch. Unfortunately for him, a family friend had seen the accident, and told his mother. He sure copped it when he got home from school that afternoon.
In 1948 the family moved to 3 Leonard Street, Moorabbin, from where Frank attended Moorabbin State School. While attending this School, Frank met and made friends with Robert Plowman. This friendship was to last all their lives. Frank did his secondary education at Hampton High School, only staying until Form 2 (year 8). He was later to go to night school at Brighton Technical School, to obtain his Technical Certificate, to enable him to be apprenticed as a plasterer.
On first leaving school Frank got a position with the P.M.G. (Australia Post) as a telegram delivery boy. He was then employed for a short time, by the firm of F.H. Stephens Shipping Agents, as a Wharfage Clerk. However he could not stand being cooped up inside an office all day, so he got a job as a bricklayer with a family friend. One day while he was laying bricks in a block of shops, a representative from the apprenticeship commission came on the job, and told his boss, he had either, to make him an apprentice, or put him off. He was put off. Frank liked the idea of working in the building industry, so at the age of sixteen, he became a plasterer's apprentice, a position at which he worked for the next five years. On completion of his apprenticeship he gave up plastering.
He then took on various jobs driving trucks. His first driving job was with the firm of Foy & Gibson in Collingwood. He then went to Carlton & United Breweries. After working there for about two years he left because with the amount of free beer available at the brewery and after each delivery to hotels he thought he was turning in to a drunk.
After Leaving the brewery Frank drove for the transport company of Yellow Express for some time, then he went to Peter's Ice Cream, and later to Arnott's Biscuits. He only worked at Arnott's for a short time before he was put off for refusing to join the union. He also worked for the Tramways, first as a conductor, then as a tram driver.
Frank was to inherit his father's love of motor cars, so much so, that in the 1960's, he built a dragster, powered by a "souped up" 1932 four cylinder Ford engine, in which he set a class record that was to last for over twenty years. This love of cars was to desert him when in his 40's, as by then he disliked doing even the most simple of repairs.
Frank and his "Model A Ford" powered Dragster
In 1963 with money he received from a compensation claim, for injuries he received in a car accident, he bought a small van, operating it as an owner driver, delivering pies, and later automotive spare parts. Later when sub-contracting the van as a home pick-up and delivery service for Blackburn Dry Cleaners, he met Margaret Lillian Gordon
, who also worked for the same firm. Margaret Lillian was born at the Royal Women's' Hospital, Carlton, on 7th February 1948. Her parents were George Robert Gordon and Pearl May nee Elso
. After a courtship of about 12 months, Frank and Margaret were married at St. Columba's Presbyterian Church, Balwyn on 6th August 1966.
Just before their marriage, Frank (right)
sold the van and again had several jobs driving trucks for other firms. Early in 1967, Frank decided to go back to his trade, working as a sub-contract plasterer, operating a small business in partnership with his wife Margaret. However in 1988, owing to the ever increasing tax burden, they dissolved this partnership. Frank went back to working for a boss, being employed by Lepat Ceilings, a firm specialising in suspended, drop-in, acoustic tile ceilings, as well as flush plaster ceilings and walls. Frank enjoyed this work, but unfortunately, in 1991, owing to the recession , he was retrenched. After being out of work for over 12 months, he did a retraining course in Plant Nursery Production. While he was doing this course Frank obtained a position with a landscaping firm called Naturewide Landscaping as a nurseryman. This position was Government funded for three months and after the funding ran out, he was put off, Frank was then to be out of work for a further four years. He eventually got a job driving a truck for a George Katsakis, delivering seafood to Coles Supermarkets. After he had been working there for about six months, George decided to down size his business, and offered to sell Frank one of his vans with work for $10,000. After discussing the offer with Margaret, he took up the offer and was once again self employed in partnership with his wife Margaret, trading under the name of Lee's Refrigerated Transport.
CHILDREN OF FRANK & MARGARET LEE
Michelle Louise 1967-
Michelle Louise was born at the Queen Victoria Hospital, Melbourne on 15th November 1967. Michelle lives in a de-facto relationship with Neil George Norman Mills. Neil was born 7th January 1960, his parents being Raymond Frank Mills and Norma Dorothy nee Waddell. Neil and Michelle have four children.
1. Sarah Jane, born at Preston and Northcote Community Hospital, on 15th July 1986.
2. Neil Raymond, born at the Royal Women's Hospital, on 28th June 1988.
3. Brendon John, born at the Royal Women's Hospital, on 8th March 1992
4. Rowan Andrew, born at the Royal Women's Hospital, on 5th May 1993.
Nicole Andrea 1971-
Nicole Andrea was born at Preston and Northcote Community Hospital on 11th January 1971. Nicole lived in a de-facto relationship with Robert Stewart Pesak for a number of years, before they were married at the Mount Cooper Wedding Chapel in Bundoora Park, on 10th April 1993. Robert was born 12th June 1969 at Brunswick, Victoria. His parents are Steven Pesak and Barbara Joan nee Branch. Robert and Nicole have two sons.
1. Michael David, born at the Royal Women's Hospital, on 17th October 1987.
2. Anthony Robert, born at the Royal Women's Hospital, on 27th June 1990.
Nicole divorced Robert in 1998. She then married Richard Matthew Crunwell at his parents home in Tullermarine, on 14th February 1999. Richard was born at box Hill, Victoria on 19th June 1972, the son of Lloyd Richard Crundwell and Mary Anne nee Beinke. Richard and Nicole have one child, Sasha Elizabeth, Born on 15th April 2001.
Kelly Margaret 1973-
Kelly Margaret was born at Diamond Valley Community Hospital, Greensborough on, 7th March 1973. Kelly lived for a short time with Ian Vincent Cooper. Ian was the son Glenn Robert Cooper and Rosemarie Yana nee Kolsovsky. She became pregnant to Ian, and gave birth to a son Daman Scot, at Preston and Northcote Community Hospital, on 28th October 1991. Ian died of a Heroin overdose at Carlton on 7th March 1996.
Before Daman was born her relationship with Ian had ended and she had entered a de-facto relationship with Laury Wayne Van Steenis, while still pregnant with Daman. After he was born, Laury treated Daman as his own son. Not long after Daman was born Laury and Kelly became engaged to be married. Laury and Kelly have one child of their own. Rashelle Brooke, born at Preston and Northcote Community Hospital on, 17th July 1993. Shortly after Rashelle was born Laury walked out on Kelly leaving her on her own with two young children.
Not long after this Kelly met John Alfred Pryor. The eldest son of John Philemon Street and Margaret May nee Pryor. John was born at the Royal Women's Hospital on 28th February 1973. John and Kelly were married at the home of a long time family friend Bert Van Donkelaar in Eltham, Victoria on 21st October 1995. They have one child from this marriage. Jessica Anne, born 21st June 1996 at Preston and Northcote Community Hospital. John turned out to be a very violent person and would beat Kelly, however when he hit Daman and threw him against a wall, Kelly had had enough. She left John and they were divorced on 2nd December 2000.
Robert Andrew 1977-
Robert Andrew (left)
was born at Diamond Vally Community Hospital, Greensborough on the 26th February 1977. He attended Montmorency Primary School and Greensborough Secondary College. While at this College he met Tanya Raelene Mudd, the eldest daughter of Michael Brian Mudd and Dorothy Rae nee
Lorenz. Robert and Tanya were married at St. John's Anglican Church, Heidelberg, Victoria, on 8th August 1998.