This home was the first cottage built by the Old Colonists' Association, and was the gift of Mr and Mrs F.J. Williams. It was completed in 1925.
From the minute books:
"Mr and Mrs F.J. Williams, both natives of Ballarat, offered to build a cottage on the Association's ground at Perry Park [now known as Charles Anderson Grove] something after a style of the Hassell Homes. That offer was immediately followed by another from Mr S.W.J. Clark, a member of the Council. Both offers were promptly and gratefully accepted."
One of the first objectives of the Association was "to provide the shelter of a hose for those Pioneers of the Goldfields whom the reverses of fortune have deprived of the means of procuring the comforts of life in their declining years." The first home at Charles Anderson Grove was built in 1925. Before that time the Association provided relief for needy pioneers. Relief included monthly monetary payments, loads of firewood, medical assistance and distribution of Christmas bosed of groceries to deserving pensioners, and in some cases payment of burial costs.
::a) The dominant purpose of the Association is to give public benevolent relief as a charity, but providing independent living accommodation in our Retirement Village for person in need who are over 65.
::b) To raise funds by membership subscription, commercial and residential rents, donations, gifts and voluntary work, for the purpose of providing direct relief of poverty, distress, misfortune or helplessness.
::c) To maintain the important heritage and ongoing viability of the Old Colonists' Association. (Revised Rules of the Old Colonists' Association of Ballarat Inc., 2016)
Mr and Mrs Fred John and Matilda Anne Williams of Melbourne made a generous donation to enable this cottage to be built. It was opened in their presence in 1925.
Fred John Williams was the son of John Williams and Thomassina Whilley. Together with his brother Frank Williams, Fred Williams was the proprietor of J. Williams and Sons. The brothers took over the business when their father, John Williams, retired in January 1893.
In 1918 Fred Williams left Ballarat for Melbourne, at which time he was described as someone who had ‘tried to benefit the whole of Ballarat’. He was highly involved with the Forward Ballarat Movement
At the time of his death in February 1926 at Lorne F.J. Williams was a partner in the firm Williams Shoemen Pty. Ltd.
Colour photograph of Williams Cottage at The Old Colonists' Association of Ballarat Inc retirement village at Charles Anderson Grove, Ballarat. It features a colourful flower border.
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