Geoffrey Wallace Hickson
A biography by his daughter Dawn
Born in Napier, New Zealand on the 2nd September, 1920. Geoffrey was
adopted by Jean Alice Hickson and Ernest Henry Hickson on the 15th
May, 1923. Geoffrey was 2 years and 8 months old. Jean and Ernest were
living at 13 Brigg Street, Camperdown at the time of adoption.
Geoffrey was often kept home from school to "learn" domestic duties such as
cooking, cleaning the silver or scrubbing the marble steps of their home.
Geoffrey was a salesman at Scarfs Menswear prior to joining the Australian
Army. Geoffrey arrived in Singapore where he "celebrated" his 21st Birthday
not long before the Fall of Singapore to the Japanese. Geoffrey was a POW
for a while at Changi before being moved to Blakang Mati Island (now known
as Santosa). This is where he remained until the end of World War 11.
His time as a POW was harsh as all of the POWS. They all suffered in one
way or another. Teeth knocked out with bricks, being stabbed at with
bayonets by the Japanese to make sure the POWs were really sick with
Malaria etc, sleeping on concrete floors and picking rice out of the cracks to
eat was just some of what Geoffrey had to endure.
After the War, Geoffrey became a Pastry Cook where he worked at The Blue
Ribbon Cake Shop, at Crows Nest. He eventually married Grace Margaret
Dolton, daughter of Vera Dolton and Louis Thomas Cantor Dolton, on the
27th September, 1946 at St Johns Church of England, Parramatta, NSW.
Geoffrey continued to work as a Pastry Cook until he developed finger nail
problems from the pastry and was inhaling flour dust. He then became a
Government Tram Conductor based at Neutral Bay, Sydney. When the trams
were taken off the road, Geoffrey became a Government Bus Conductor
where he remained for eight years which was the time required before
becoming a bus driver. He loved being a Bus Driver and the buses. He drove
the old green double deckers then the automatic "modern" ones as they
came along. Geoffrey retired from the Brookvale, NSW Bus Depot due to his
deteriorating condition with Motor Neurone Disease.
Geoff (as he was called) and Grace had two children, Dawn and Michael.
Geoff was a family man and kept a watchful eye on his parents, Jean and
Ernest and would often pop in to see them after his bus shift. He would help
out with painting their home in Henry Street, Dee Why or repair fences.
Dawn once asked her Father if he ever wondered who his natural parents
were. He replied that he had a long time ago tried by writing to his Aunt in
New Zealand who promptly wrote back to Jean telling her. Geoff was then
accused of being ungrateful so he never tried again and he just told Dawn
that (to quote ),"Nan and Pop were his parents".
Geoff died in his sleep at a young age of 57 years at his home at Seaforth,
NSW with his beloved wife Grace by his side. Geoff died on 16th June, 1979
and is buried in the Macquarie Park Cemetery, general lawn section M19
grave 14. Geoff had a difficult life but never complained. He was a quiet and
gentle man who avoided arguments and confrontation. He is survived by wife,
Grace, daughter Dawn and son-in-law Wal, son Michael and daughter-in-law
Christine. Grandchildren, Leanne, Jodie and husband Paul, Darren and wife
Vanessa, Michelle and husband Jeremy, Shane and wife Carina, Kelly and
husband Troy, Danielle and husband Marty. Great grandchildren, Jay, Luke,
Noah, Noah, Kobi, Paris, Cameron, Brandy, Whylie, Hayley, Tianna, and
Photos: Left top to bottom
Geoff with adopted mother Jean
Wedding photo of Geoff and Grace
Geoff in his tram drivers uniform
Geoff marching in the Sydney Anzac Day parade
Above: Daughter Dawn and grandchildren at Geoff's grave.
Below: Geoff on Anzac Day at his father Ernest's graveside, wearing both his
own and Ernest's medals.
Original Birth Reference Number 4Q [I think this is 4th quarter] Napier Folio No 1920/6394.
There is a second reference issued in 1923 which would be for his adoption. 2503 1923.