Many happy returns to Millicent who celebrated her 100th birthday recently, enjoying a live video celebration with her family from her home at Moran Sylvania. Thank you to Millicent and her family for sharing her story.
Millicent was the youngest of 4 daughters and grew up in Bronte, attending Woollahra Public School and Sydney Girls’ High School. She was always a keen singer but didn’t enjoy high school and left as the Depression hit. Her father was a primary school teacher at Waverley Public School and took on other jobs to keep the family afloat. Her mother took in boarders to increase the family’s income and was always cooking for large numbers of people, including the girls’ boyfriends.
Millicent became a dental nurse and also a doctor’s receptionist, but her love was singing. She sang professionally on the radio and with big bands. During WWII she sang for the troops in venues around Sydney. She received great applause when she sang with the big bands, but found it sad when the injured soldiers were wheeled into the halls to hear her sing.
Millicent had always known Bruce Oliver as he and his 3 brothers lived nearby and the Oliver boys would accompany her and her sisters to dances. Millicent and Bruce became a couple after Bruce enlisted aged 17 and was subsequently sent overseas during the War. They married in 1945 and settled first in Gunnedah then Cronulla where cheap land and housing was offered to veterans. Cronulla was largely bushland but was a fantastic place to settle and bring up children, with its wonderful beaches and a close-knit community of largely WW2 veterans, their wives, and young families.
Together Millicent and Bruce had two daughters Leonie and Julie. Millicent was involved in the church and of course in singing. She sang in the Uniting Church choir for many years and had many lead roles in the Cronulla Pantomime company. Millicent has 4 grandchildren and 2 great-grandchildren and she is very much loved by them all.
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