Fam­ily and friends say farewell to Lola Gibbs

Joondalup Weekender - - Front Page -

ON Fri­day, June 1, Wan­neroo lost one of its favourite daugh­ters when Lola Gibbs died af­ter a sud­den bat­tle with can­cer. She was 88. Lola met her hus­band Ken Gibbs at a Wan­neroo dance in 1950. They were mar­ried in the Perth Wes­ley Church on Oc­to­ber 13, 1951. They had six chil­dren: Leonie, Michelle, John, Leonard and Andrea. In July 1957 they lost a baby son. The young cou­ple started their mar­ried life by leas­ing a small plot of Yanchep swamp­land for 10 shillings a week and grow­ing veg­eta­bles. Ken sup­ple­mented the fam­ily in­come by work­ing part-time at Yanchep Park. He died in 2010. How­ever, their main home, which was named af­ter Ken’s father, ap­pears as The Aubrey Gibbs Home on the City of Wan­neroo reg­is­ter of Her­itage Places.

In 2002, Lola’s life­time of com­mu­nity ser­vice and in­volve­ment was ac­knowl­edged by the City of Wan­neroo, when she was pre­sented with her 50-year plaque at the An­nual Pi­o­neer Lun­cheon.

She served on many com­mit­tees and also drove the Yanchep School Bus for 32 years, pick­ing up chil­dren from out­ly­ing ar­eas and tak­ing them to Yanchep Pri­mary School.

On one oc­ca­sion, a young girl was ac­com­pa­nied by her mother and grand­mother to see her safely on her first ride on Lola’s school bus. The lit­tle girl was ap­pre­hen­sive about catch­ing such a big bus but was com­forted by her mother.

“You will be safe on this bus, as Mrs Gibbs is very nice and drives very care­fully,” the mother said. “She used to drive me to school, when I was young.”

The grand­mother added: “Mrs Gibbs used to drive grandma to school, too.”

On an­other oc­ca­sion, dur­ing a vi­o­lent storm, Lola’s bus was sud­denly con­fronted by a shed whipped up by a mini cy­clone and thrown across the road, nar­rowly miss­ing her bus.

Lola was a char­ter mem­ber of the Wan­neroo His­tor­i­cal So­ci­ety and served many years on the so­ci­ety’s main com­mit­tee, in­clud­ing one formed by her daugh­ter Leonie in the early 1990s to re­search the 10th Light Horse’s Wan­neroo coastal pa­trols and his­tory dur­ing World War II.

Be­cause of the com­mit­tee’s work, a rec­om­men­da­tion to the Wan­neroo Coun­cil, sup­ported by the Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment, saw the Wan­neroo 10th Light Horse Com­mem­o­ra­tive Trail es­tab­lished by 2004 and opened by Wan­neroo Mayor Jon Kelly.

Lola, Ken and Leonie played sig­nif­i­cant roles in the re­search.

Lola also served on the Glouces­ter Lodge Mu­seum Com­mit­tee and spent many years as a guide at the Cock­man House Mu­seum.

Lola and her close friend Iris Har­ris started the 1st Yanchep Cubs and Scouts.

At her fu­neral ser­vice, Lola’s daugh­ter Andrea said Lola was the first per­son she and her sib­lings ever trusted, the first per­son they ever loved, and some­one who of­fered them many pearls of wis­dom.

Bill Mar­wick

Lola Gibbs will be re­mem­bered for her tire­less and lov­ing ser­vice.

Ken and Lola Gibbs on their wed­ding day.

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