The beloved mother of Alan, twins Simon and Mark, Mathew, twins Julia and Sarah and grandmother to their children and great-grandmother to three was cremated on July 11, 2015 with a celebration of her life being held at the Ashby Community Hall the following day. She is also survived by a sister, Joan Fisher, of Albury-Wodonga.
A resident of Ashby, for 42 years, Winifred was the daughter of the late iron founder of Melbourne, Ralph Moore Gibson and the late Dorothy Jean Gibson (nee Buchanan) and sister to the late Gerald Gibson, the late Clive Gibson and her late twin sister Jean Anderson. She was a granddaughter to the late Sir Robert Gibson and the late Winifred Moore Gibson.
Educated at the Melbourne girl’s school, Lowther Hall, ‘Winnie’ went on to serve as a nursing sister but was forced to leave the profession in her final year when in 1959 she married the late Colin Henry Willmore, a former watchmaker of Maclean, as married women were not allowed to continue nursing.
It was from here on that Winnie’s indomitable spirit was really forged, with three children thus far, she learnt to ‘make do’ as husband Colin took on a position as roustabout on a sheep station at Glenthompson in Victoria’s Western Districts, pay was low and conditions were very basic. On to Hamilton in Western Victoria, Colin started a watchmakers business and three more children arrived, but the arrival of a drought in the late 1960s meant that few had the additional money for watch repairs. In 1966 ‘Winnie’ was looking after her six children working hard to ensure there was always a meal on the table, clean clothes and a cuddle for everyone.
Because of the drought in 1969 ‘Winnie’s’ clan packed up everything into an old Ford Falcon and a little old canvas covered trailer and moved to Toukley on the Central Coast. Arriving with little money ‘Winnie’s’ spirit would not be broken. While raising six children, she worked with Colin to establish a successful watch and jewellery business but in 1973 the decision was made to move to Ashby. A family home was built using their own hands and a garden carved out of the bush, which was a ‘labour of love’.
In time – there was a divorce and ‘Winnie’ owner built her own home where everyone was welcome. She supplemented her income by growing flowers of gladioli and chrysanthemums for market and vegetables for the table. She devoted her life to her family, her love of art, pottery, sculpting, drawing, painting, cooking and her garden but also ‘Winnie’s’ strength of purpose and dogged determination resulted in her holding office as secretary, treasurer and president of the Ashby Progress Association resulting in her helping to raise initial funds for the building of the present Ashby Community Hall followed by the tennis court, kitchen and the playground. To achieve this, she sold her famous home baked sponge cakes and scones at the monthly markets. Her tireless efforts in this regard were rewarded by a NSW State Community Award.
The Willmore family wish to thank Hope and Alan Bennett of Riverview Funerals, Maclean, and for all expressed sympathies received following ‘Winnie’s’ passing.