Robert John Woods (Woodsie)
Robert John Woods was born around 1888 in England and came to WA shortly after the end of WW1 going first to the country; working at Shackleton as a store assistant. In Shackleton at the same time as Robert was Cecil Valentine Leedman who worked initially with his father who was a produce merchant doing storekeeping. Cecil then tried his hand at being an Agent (Real Estate) before taking up the position of Post Master at the Darlington Post Office in 1935. It would appear that Robert came with the Leedman’s to Darlington and worked for them at either the Post Office and/or the store next door. How long he worked for the Leedman’s is unknown but at a later date he changed to working as a storeman for Morrie Owen’s Grocery Store at Montrose Ave.
According to Gwen Whitley (nee Owen), Bob as he was known, or Woodsie, was a very upright and loyal man, He suffered from tuberculosis at some stage when in Darlington and spent time recovering in the Sanatorium at Wooroloo. He loved sports and was keen on the trots to which he would listen on his radio. After Morrie Owen’s death in 1949, his son John ran the store and Bob then became his assistant. He became part of the family and was looked after by Morrie’s widow Gladys until1966 when he was found to have died in his sleep one morning by John Owen. John was the grantee on Bob’s grave which is in the Presbyterian section of the Midland Cemetery.
Robert John Woods with Gwen Owen c 1950s with the old Darlington Bakery to the right.