Dorothy Irene Oliver
Dorothy Irene Oliver was born in Tamworth, New South Wales, 15 March, 1911, and died in Perth, Western Australia, on 12 November, 1993. She was the second daughter of Alfred and Esther Sneddon.

Arthur and Dorothy Oliver on their wedding day



I know little that is definite of my mother’s early days. From all reports she was something of a "Tomboy" in that she liked nothing better than to get up to all the things boys did. I have seen photos of her climbing trees. (In those days boys were boys and girls were meant to fluffy little things seen and not heard! How times change!)

At an early age both Dorothy and her sister, Huldah, were packed off to school at the Dominican Convent, Tamworth, as her mother had to go out and earn a living as her father was in ill health. (No such thing as welfare in the good old days!)

I have heard tales of how she would sneak out over the back wall to pursue her passion for dancing. Being caught occasionally did not deter her.

Both Dorothy and Huldah became very accomplished musicians, although with Dorothy it was only fun. She did not take well to studying, but had a magnificent ear for music. I understand she would ask the Nuns to just play through a piece of music for her, and then would repeat it perfectly. They all thought she could read the music well, but she told me she never could read music.

As children, much of our evening entertainment was made up of Dorothy on the piano and Arthur with his banjo or some other instrument. He, too, was quite an accomplished musician.

These were very enjoyable times, especially in winter, when everyone gathered around a blazing fire.

At what age she left school, I do not know, but her family could not afford to send both girls to university. As Huldah was the oldest, and the studious one, she was chosen to go. Dorothy went to work at The Northern Daily Leader newspaper, where she met, and later married, Arthur James Oliver on 5 July, 1930.

Dorothy and Arthur had five children, Barry, Brian, Stuart, Harvey and Roslyn. Unfortunately they had to go through the trauma of losing their first-born, Barry, in less than three weeks after his birth.

I always had the impression that my mother was a very strong person, but after the death of Arthur in 1970, I realised that she drew much of her strength from him.

She never really got over his death, and, despite having family around all the time, she lived a rather lonely existence within herself.

When my sister, Roslyn Pallister, and her family followed me to Western Australia, Dorothy came with them, but always pined for the eastern states, even though there was little left there for her. I believe it was simply because that's where Arthur’s remains lay.

Still, she had a very bright mind and a lively sense of humour. I understand that on the morning of her death she woke up, looked around, smiled at my sister, and said, "What, am I still here?" She died shortly after.
Dorothy never lost that cheeky grin   Left:  Dorothy never lost that cheeky grin that can also be seen here and in the photo of the car below, where she is seen with cousin, Les Sneddon [white coat], and her father, Alfred Sneddon.

Probably taken in the early 1930's. Dorothy in car, cousin Les Sneddon in white coat, and her father, Alfred Sneddon at right.

  Dorothy, cousin Les, and father Alfred about 1930
Arthur, Dorothy, Roslyn and son Stephen   Left:
Arthur Oliver and
Dorothy Oliver with their daughter
Roslyn Pallister and grandson,
Stephen Pallister, and an unknown dog!

Right: Dorothy Oliver,
Joan Oliver (1st wife of Dorothy's son Brian Oliver), and daughter Roslyn Pallister

 

Dorothy Oliver, Joan Oliver [nee Arnold], Roslyn Pallister [nee Oliver]

Dorothy Oliver, Esther Sneddon, Nola Oliver with baby, Janelle Oliver   Left:
Dorothy Oliver, daughter-in-law
Nola Oliver (1st wife of Dorothy's son, Harvey Oliver) with baby, Janelle Oliver, and Dorothy's mother, Esther Sneddon.

 


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