Hills celebrate 60 happy years

Charles and Joan Hill at their wedding anniversary.
Charles and Joan Hill at their wedding anniversary.

They were typical of the migrant families of the 1960s, traipsing across from the UK to settle in Perth.

They came with five children between two and 11, and minimal family support except for some cousins in the Wheatbelt.

Starting at a short-term house in Belmont, they moved their brood to Maida Vale for a while before building their home in Kalamunda and moving in a year or two after arriving in Australia.

Their children helped around the house by burning trees and filling sand bags.

New neighbours soon became friends and helped the family out, and the Hill family had found their home in the Kalamunda hills.

Charles Hill was the first mature age electrical apprentice in WA in his 30s or 40s then, and caused some consternation with the old SEC as there were no precedents for older apprentices.

Hills Electrical Services became part of Kalamunda and when his boss and friend Laurie Galloway retired, he started a contracting business with Joan.

Over the next 48 years they welcomed into their family of five another five in-laws, and helped as 14 grandchildren and then great-grandchildren arrived.

Son Graham, a father of four who lives in Lesmurdie, said his parents were generous with their time, helping the kids and the community out when they could.

‘After the typical parental jobs of Boys Brigade, basketball netball and the church, again both working together in all they did, Someone Cares was their last formal task together after their own retirement,’ he said.

‘Through it all, mum and dad are constant companions and enjoy each other’s company, still holding hands and enjoying a trip out bush in their old camper, a walk through the Hills and along the railway track when they can.

‘They are very good examples to their kids.’