Bullen (Jnr), William ‘Billy’ John

Personal Details

SurnameBullen (Jnr)
First nameWilliam 'Billy'
Middle nameJohn
Date of birth20/02/1935
Place of birthMuttaburra
Date of death23/01/2010
Age at death74 years


Son of William ‘Bill’ John Bullen (Snr) & Florence ‘Doodie’ Ethel Cocking

Husband of Olive Laverty m. 6 Dec 1958 in Rockhampton

Father of Leonard & Michael
Grandfather of Jacob & Sam

School Records

Muttaburra State School
Start Date1940

Cemetery Record

Download the Cemetery Map

LocationNorth Western
Grave number349
AddressPioneers Home, Longreach
OccupationRetired Station Hand/Shearer
Date of funeral10/02/2010

“Bill was born at the Muttaburra hospital on the 20th February 1935.

He was the first of four children born to William John (Bill), and Florence Ethel (Doodie). He was to be the big brother to later arrivals June, Norman and Mervyn.

Bill commenced school at the Muttaburra State School in 1940 – he was a good all round sportsman and won boys age champion before finishing school in the then scholarship year grade 7.

After leaving school he was recruited by the local baker Bud Daley and in a short time he was baking bread for the Muttaburra community.
At the same time he was employed at the Post Office as a Night Telephone Attendant for the princely sum of 2 pounds a week. Needless to say the hours and the pay caused Bill to soon ditch the job!

In his mid teens Bill decided to go “ringing” – his first job at this new line of work was at Bungoona. He then went on to work for the Seaton family on their property North Crusoe. This was to be only one of the many properties he worked on in the Muttaburra district.

Whilst at North Crusoe he was called up to undergo National Service training, which was a Federal Government requirement in the early 1950’s. After obtaining a medical clearance to undergo the training, he was struck down a few days later with peritonitis as a result of a burst appendix. It was raining at the time and he had to make his way to Muttaburra on a boggy road, even having to get out and push the car through the mud to get into town. This resulted in a lengthy stay in the Muttaburra hospital and therefore he never got a taste of good ol’ army discipline!

During this time Bill also learnt to shear, this was as well as trying his hand at a bit of fencing and droving. Ernie Corer was the man who taught him this new skill – Ernie would get a skin full and have to go and have a camp, and Bill would get to shear a few for him to keep his numbers up. He got a kick out of relating the story about the first time he did a full days shearing, some of the boys took a wheelbarrow over to the shed to wheel him back to the quarters cause they did not reckon he would be able to walk back!

In the mid to late 1950’s Bill’s life was to undergo a significant change due to him meeting a school friend of his sister June who was from the Rockhampton district. This girl’s name was Olive Laverty. They kept in touch when Olive took up a position as a governess on a station at Dirranbandi, and they arranged to meet again in Brisbane. The romance blossomed and they soon decided to wed. They were married in Rockhampton on the 6th December 1958 and took up residence in a house in Klugh Street, Muttaburra which was to be their family home for over 40 years.

Bill and Olive were blessed with two sons, Leonard who was born in 1960 and Michael in 1963.

During his lifetime Bill had the opportunity to own and train a few racehorses, which he had some success with. He was a very knowledgeable horseman and a keen golfer. He was pretty handy with his hands and could turn his hand to making and fixing most things if he set his mind to it. He had a wry sense of humour and loved nothing better than a beer, a cigarette and good yarn.

Bill would have turned 75 on the 20th February.”

read at funeral by Doug Langdon