End of an era

Marjorie Williams at Anzac Cottage on her 100th birthday.

MARJORIE WILLIAMS, the woman who helped preserve Anzac Cottage where she grew up, has died on August 4, age 100.

Ms Williams (nee Porter) was born in the cottage the community built for her father, a wounded Gallipoli veteran.

A veteran herself, Mrs Williams served as an air raid warden and was in the Australian Women’s Army Service in World War II, and lived in the cottage until 1946.

Long after the family moved out, in the 1980s Mrs Porter ensured the cottage’s future against rumoured plans of demolition by using her war widow’s pension to fund a legal case, resulting in a ruling that the cottage be vested to the state, and it was later passed to the City of Vincent.

Her daughter Anne Chapple, chair of Friends of Anzac Cottage, announced Mrs Porter’s death saying: “Her love and commitment for Anzac Cottage and all that it stands for lasted for 100 years, eight months and one day and this is the last living link with the original inhabitants of the cottage, but her legacy will live on in her generous donations to the cottage and in the lovely stories she told us.”

On January 3 Ms Williams made the trip from her Bunbury aged care home to visit the cottage for her 100th birthday. 

And in the months before her death Mrs Porter was glad to see the cottage turned over to the National Trust, thanking the council for looking after it but believing the trust was best placed to preserve the place’s history. 

by DAVID BELL

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