By Gisela Horner | Bella Vista Farm Volunteer
Don’t be surprised if you recognise the smiling face of IVOR JONES (pictured) welcoming you to Bella Vista Farm.
He is the contributor of a two-page article in every edition of Hills to HawkesburyCommunity News and his picture by-line appears inside the front cover.
Born in Bristol England, the family moved to Australia in December 1959. With his parents and two sisters (known as the three little pigs! – Pat, Ivor and Gloria)they landed in Melbourne, going straight to a migrant camp in Brooklyn which happened to be next door to the abattoirs.
After a hot, odorous summer and a visit to Sydney, Ivor’s mother said they were not staying in Melbourne and in early1960, the family moved to Cabramattawhere Ivor spent his teenage years and early working life as a retail shop assistant.
In 1971, he joined the AustralianElectoral Commission where he remained until his retirement in 1996. Ivorremembers two historic elections vividly –the Australian constitutional crisis on November 11th 1975 which caused the dismissal of Prime Minister Gough Whitlam and the first multi-racial election resulting in Nelson Mandela becoming president ofSouth Africa on May 10th 1994, whenever was in charge of the polling booth for expatriate South Africans.
On December 10th 1977, after Labor lost the election to Malcolm Fraser, a phone call came into Ivor’s Liverpool office. Ivor took the call. The speaker was Gough Whitlam, whose office for Werriwa was in Liverpool, wanting pertinent electoral information. He resigned as Leader of the opposition shortly after. Following Ivor’sretirement, he and his wife Maree planned a new project and established Metro-Poll, a private election and ballot company. In2017 it became a division of the AustralianElection Company in Queensland and continues today, serving clubs and associations.
Ivor has always been interested in history and writing historical stories. His other interests are geography, stamp collecting, photography, local radio and he was once a ballroom dancing aficionado.
As a resident of the Hills Shire for the past 37 years, he has been involved in community radio serving as Chairman of2CCR (now Alive 90.5fm). He also served on Council committees volunteering on local events, festivals and writing for theHills TV Magazine. Over six years ago, when that magazine became Hills to HawkesburyCommunity News, he was invited by the new owner to contribute his stories.
He accepted on the proviso he could write about history. He has been married to Maree for 36 years, they have two daughters and three grandchildren.
Their late dog Katie, a Maltese Shiatzu Cross, played her part in Ivor joining Friends of Bella Vista Farm. He used to take her for walks in the park surrounding Bella Vista Farm and became interested in knowing more about the property.
* Due to the current Covid situation Bella Vista Farm will be open on Sunday, August 1st. The next monthly open day will be n Sunday, September 5th for Orange Blossom Festival from 9amto 2pm. Entry is free. QR code will apply. Bella Vista Farm is located on the corner of Elizabeth Macarthur Drive and Norwest Boulevard, Bella Vista.
More information about Bella Vista Farm can be found at www.thehills.nsw.gov.au. Type in Bella Vista Farm in the search option.
If you are interested in becoming a member and would like to contribute to the Farm, email [email protected]