G5 07 Ann Margaret Dill (nee Sullivan)

Ann Margaret Sullivan was a great grand-daughter of Timothy Sullivan through John Sullivan her grandfather and Arthur Herbert Sullivan her father.

G5     TS/JS/AHS/ ANN MARGARET DILL (nee SULLIVAN) (1916 - 2004) 

Ann Margaret Dill (nee Sullivan) 23/12/1915 - 4/7/2004

HarryFloEdnanursingbabyAnnandJessieSullivan1916Ann was born in Katamatite on 23/12/1915, the fifth of Albert and Mary Sullivan's eight children, into a poor but loving and close family. Her mother used to say that Ann was her (Mary's) Christmas present that year. Ann had fond memories of her early years as found in her writings (see G4 TS/JS/Arthur Herbert Sullivan) and although life was not easy there was always very simple food on the table and a basic roof over their heads.

Photo of Harry, Florence, Edna nursing baby Ann and Jessie Sullivan, 1916
Photo courtesy of Mrs K Walker

Her father, a wheat farmer, was a lay preacher for the Methodist Church and so Christianity was, and remained, an important part of their daily lives.

Ann did not receive any formal secondary education as she was required to leave school at the end of primary schooling to assist with the large family. However she was, as were all eight children, very intelligent, well read, articulate and clever with numbers.

After leaving school, Ann taught sewing at the local school and excelled as a self taught dressmaker. She continued to sew throughout her life and during WWII worked as a seamstress making army uniforms. Ann also trained as a nurse at Orange before marrying Scott James Dill (17/11/1919 - 29/4/2006), from Condobolin NSW, on 23/3/1943. Scott came home on two weeks leave from WWII service in the Middle East and by the end of that leave Ann had made her wedding dress, and those of her two bridesmaids and flower girl, and so they were married on the last day of the fortnight. Scott subsequently took a week AWOL for their honeymoon which resulted in him having a day or two in the military gaol when he returned to camp.

When Scott returned from service in Borneo after the war, he and Ann relocated to Sydney for a couple of years where Scott trained to become a house painter/decorator. Their eldest daughter, Karyl-Ann, was born there on 4/9/1946 and they relocated to Gosford on the NSW Central Coast in 1948. They were following Ann's family who had moved from Tullibigeal near Condobolin (Central West NSW), starting with her parents in 1943 (see Arthur Herbert Sullivan G4 TS/JS/AHS) and then gradually all Arthur and Mary's children and families. Scott joined the Metzke/Sullivan building fraternity with whom he worked for a number of years before setting up his own business as painter/decorator.

Ann and Scott's younger daughter, Sunnie, was born on 17/12/1950 at Gosford and Ann was kept busy looking after her family and keeping the books for Scott's business. During this period she also undertook various evening college courses including floral art, soft furnishing and cake decorating. Ann was very clever with her hands and became an expert at making wedding cakes and bouquets as well as debut and wedding dresses. When her daughter, Karyl-Ann, was married in 1969 she not only made the wedding and three bridesmaid dresses but the wedding cake and bouquets as well. Ann's later skills also included designing jewellery which resulted in some very nice pieces. The jeweller commented after her death that she was amazing and knew just what she wanted.

During her life Ann was very involved with numerous community and church organisations. Her service to Torchbearers for Legacy was rewarded with a lifelong membership and she was a Lion's Lady and worked with Scott in the Lion's Club for many years. The Lion's Club officially recognised both Scott and Ann's contribution to their organisation on the occasion of Scott and Ann's 60th Diamond Wedding Anniversary at Gosford in 2003.

Ann also trained as a Lifeline Counsellor where her skill as a good listener comforted not only troubled people who rang Lifeline, but also many friends and acquaintances who sought her advice. She was very involved within the life of her church, especially at St Andrew's Presbyterian Church Gosford, where she and Scott (who was Session Clerk there for a number of years) were members for about 40 years. Ann also believed in helping others wherever possible and this included fostering a baby boy for some time. This was a big undertaking as she and Scott were in their late 40's and it was devastating when little "Butch" was taken from their care. At another time Ann and Scott had a homeless mother and her baby staying and it took quite some coaxing from Ann to get them into the bath.

Throughout her life Ann maintained a close and loving relationship with her family. The Sullivan clan gathered together each Sunday at her parent's home (Arthur and Mary Sullivan) at Holgate for lunch and/or tea. This also happened on Christmas Day when the 20 or so grandchildren of Arthur and Mary would run wild over the property whilst the women chatted and prepared the food and the men sat around and listened to the cricket on the radio. What with all the grandchildren, parents, grandparents and visitors it was always crowded and noisy and made two or three sittings necessary for each meal because of the large numbers.

Ann possessed a great sense of humour, was always stylish and also very independent until her death in 2004, at 88 years of age, after a short illness. Of Arthur and Mary Sullivan's eight children only Ann's two younger sisters outlived her with Olive dying at Condobolin in 2011 and Jean, at 95 years and very frail, still alive in 2015.