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Barbara Boston

in conversation with Sue Rochester

Originally from Ballarat, George Hosking Berryman arrived in Mildura in 1917 to pick grapes. He returned to live in Ballarat for four years before deciding to settle in Mildura. He purchased six acres of Mallee scrub land from the First Mildura Irrigation Trust (FMIT). George cleared the land and planted grape vines on the property. In 1929 he married Laura Isabelle Gross, who was always known as ‘Bell’. Their property was located in Walnut Avenue between 17th and 18th Streets. It was here that their two children were born and raised. Their son Victor was born in 1930, and their daughter Barbara was born five years later. This is Barbara’s story. Barbara Ann Berryman was born on November 1, 1935, at a private hospital in San Mateo Avenue. The family home was a small two-bedroom weatherboard house, where Barbara shared a bedroom with her parents until she was about nine years old. The bathroom was a bagcovered, added-on area which also served as a washhouse. Electricity was supplied to the house in 1950. Surplus money was tight. The proceeds from the annual grape harvest were used to repay the Mildura Cooperative Fruit Company for the loan of cash for the property. Barbara’s parents both rode pushbikes, and the family never owned a car. They were hard workers, with George working for other block owners during the winter months.

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Mallee Living Histories

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