Laurence Rutherford Quiggin (1913 to present),
Clare Doreen Levett (1905 - 1964), Elaine Potts and
Vera Roberts (died 1993)

Laurence Quiggin was born in 1913 in Tighes Hills, Municipality Wickham, N.S.W., Australia. His father, John Edwin Quiggin, was 60 years of age at Laurence's birth & was working as a Commercial Agent at the time.

Laurence worked in the Commercial Bank of Australia (C.B.A.) in Newcastle, from 17 - 20 years of age.

In 1933 Laurence was transferred to the C.B.A. in Bathurst where he stayed until 1940. It was here that he met Clare Doreen Levett, who was teaching in Bathurst at the time.

Laurence Rutherfurd Quiggin married Clare Doreen Levett (born 29 November 1905) in St.Mary's Cathedral, Sydney, N.S.W., Australia in 1939. They were both married by Michael Joseph Dunne, Catholic Priest.


Their family

Laurence and Clare had 3 daughters

Margeret Clare Quiggin was born in 1940 and married Peter Stanislaus Whealy. They had three children, Michelle Catherine Whealy, David Laurence Whealy and Michael Damien Whealy.

Christine Mary Quiggin was born in 1944 and married Graham Arthur Bowmaker in 1967. They had three children, Sonia Louise Bowmaker, Richard Graham Bowmaker and Robert John Bowmaker.

Frances Maria Quiggin was born in 1945 and married John Charles Coll. They had two sons, Eamon James Coll and Joseph Robert Coll.


In 1941 Laurence Rutherfurd Quiggin was transferred to Orange, N.S.W. by the C.B.A bank.

World War 2 had been raging for 2 years & in 1941 Laurence wanted to join the Air Force, but was told that he had bad eyes, so in 1942 he joined the Army where he was told that he had flat feet & couldn't be a ground soldier. However, in 1942 Laurence was called up for Army Service in the Mechanical Corps. He was sent to Sydney Technical College to learn to be a Fitter & Turner. The Army then sent him to an army workshop at Liverpool, Sydney, N.S.W., where there was an Engine Conditioning Plant. Laurence was put on the Assembly Line where he was having to grind in valves on Ford Engines, B1 class for Colonel Patterson in Burma. Laurence also had training to make him physically fit. Laurence was next sent to North Ryde, Sydney where he picked up army wrecks from New Guinea.

The Night the Mini-subs hit Sydney Harbour - a personal experience

Laurence sat on the Manly Ferry on his way back to the Army camp. He smiled happily, thinking about the weekend leave that he had spent at Queenscliff with his wife Clare and baby daughter Margaret. He was jolted out of his reverie by blinding searchlights from South Head, illuminating not only the ferry, but the sea around it. They all felt like sitting ducks, especially so as there were suspected Japanese submarines in the area. Pearl Harbour had been bombed just a month before, and he had seen US destroyers in the harbour on the way across. The engines were cut, but the spotlight continued to shine on them. The boom gates to the harbour were closed, but Laurie and the ferry were on the wrong side - the sea side. After a very long 10 minutes, the captain turned the boat around and returned to Manly, which was in total darkness.

Laurence then walked home to Queenscliff, finding his way buy the sound of the waves. He quietly entered the house. As Clare and the baby were sound asleep, he slipped his clothes off and crawled into bed, quite shaken by the ordeal. Later in the night, Clare awoke and thinking Laurie to be safely back in the Army camp, assumed there was a strager in her bed. She reached for the iron bar that he had made for her for just such an emergency. She got a good few blows in before he was able to convince her that he was not a burglar or worse. Laurence felt he would have been safer out in the harbour!

The next morning they learned that one of the mini-subs had slipped in before the boom came across, and had damaged the Australian Navy ship "The Kattabul", and a number of sailors had lost their lives.

(The picture of our small, genteel mother belabouring my father with an iron bar was so unusual, that this story has been repeated in the family for more than fifty years. Humour has always been the motive for the retlling, although there was a really serious side to the total incident)

In 1942 Laurence & Clare Doreen Levett moved to 77 Collingwood Rd, Manly, a duplex flat, opposite Queenscliffe Beach. The duplex flat was owned by Clare's aunt, Ella O'Regan, who lived to be 103 years old at time of death.

In 1944 Laurence was sent to Lae, New Guinea, to an air conditioning plant as a fitter to do bearing re- linings. It was here that Laurence contracted dysentery - one month before the war ended. Laurence was repatriated to Brisbane, Queensland & then sent to Goulburn to recuperate. Kathleen Murphy(nee Levett), Clare's elder sister, helped Clare with her 3 young daughters.

After World War 2 Laurence was employed by the C.B.A. bank at King's Cross, Sydney; then was sent as Manager of the Overseas Department at Martin Place, Sydney. It was here that he entertained "Big Chief Little Wolf ", a famous North American Indian at the time. Laurence's last bank appointment was State Security Manager at the Margaret St, City Branch. He was in charge of Branch Securities. Laurence revised all the security document booklets which became the State Document.

During his lifetime he has had 3 homes built for him one at 60, The Glen Rd, Bardwell Park, Sydney which took 1 year to build, another at 45 Lawson Pde, St.Ives, Sydney where his daughters spent their teen years & the third home also at St.Ives.


His first home was built after the war. Materials and workers were in short supply (as was money!) so Laurence arranged with the builder to do all the painting inside and out during the weekends. The cyprus pine weatherboards were full of knots and had to be filled with putty and smoothed before painting and the inside he brushed with Linseed oil as added protection. After eventually moving in, he found there was a large rocky section nearby with loose sandstone floaters everywhere. He discovered how to split these with a hammer and cock chisel and then made a split sandstone patio at the back of the house with a retaining wall. In the subsequent houses at St Ives in Sydney he continued his split sandstone activities on patios, walls and barbeques.

In 1964 Clare Doreen Levett was killed as the result of a car crash, dying from her injuries a few months later.

In August 1966 Laurence married Elaine Potts. The marriage was short lived.

In 1972 Laurence Rutherfurd Quiggin married an English lady, Vera Eleanor Bogie (nee Roberts) at St.Kevin's Catholic Church, Dee Why. They were married by the Reverend Emilio Vaccaro. Clare Doreen Levett's sister, May Hunt was a witness. Laurence & Vera both owned a unit each at Dee Why, Sydney, N.S.W. which they sold & moved to a modern home in Kiama, N.S.W. where they stayed for 3 years before moving to Toowoomba, Queensland, Australia. Laurence would have liked to continue his split sandstone activities on this house, however there was no sandstone near Toowoomba, so he had to be content with laying a brick patio there.

Vera Eleanor Bogie died after a long illness in 1993.