Sooby Abraham interviewed for the City of Cockburn Aboriginal Oral History Project (2001)
The City of Cockburn Aboriginal Oral History Project records and summarises the oral histories of eleven indigenous people with a custodial or cultural connection to the Cockburn district. In this recording, Dr. Leonie Stella talks with long time resident of the Cockburn area, Sooby Abrahams. Recorded 23 July 2001 in Hilton.
Summary of interview:
The following notes are a summary of what Mr Abraham was able to share with the interviewer, Dr. Leonie Stella, as they sat in the sun on a cold winter’s morning enjoying the leafy outlook and the sound of birds. The birds are quite vocal on the tape!
Mr. Abraham was born in Narrogin in 1935. His parents were Emmet Abraham and Doris Ugle who had lived ‘all over’ the South West including Narrogin. Mr. Emmet Abraham had also worked as a farm labourer.
Mr. and Mrs. Sooby Abraham had one daughter, Sue who was born in 1960, when they moved to the Cockburn area in the 1980s. They had to move to the city because of Mrs. Abraham’s ill-health. Mr. Abraham had relatives in the area, and they lived in Coolbellup initially. They subsequently adopted three other children who they then ‘reared up’. They were Ricky Ugle, Bradley Miller and Kathy Abraham, and they attended the North Lake High School.
Moving to the city was a sad time for Mr. Abraham as his wife Gracie passed away in 1996.
Mr. Abraham has been a parishioner of the Rev. Sealin Garlett’s Coolbellup church, and recalls being a member of the Southern Suburbs Progress Association. He mentioned in particular, working with Jean and Fred Collard, and their daughter Betty Collard who was Mrs. Spencer Riley.
For many years Mr. Abraham worked as a volunteer community bus driver in the Cockburn/Fremantle area.
As a young man Mr. Abraham played football for West Perth, and had to come up to Perth and stay overnight with friends in Guildford. He was a very active player with the Cuballing Club near Narrogin. He married his wife Gracie in Narrogin about 1959 or 60.
Before coming to the city to live, Sooby was a farm labourer who drove tractors doing the seeding and harvesting/stripping for farmers in the Narrogin and Williams area. In particular he recalled working for a farmer named Heddington.
Mr. Abraham had 4 brothers and 5 sisters. One brother Matt has passed away, as have two sisters, Rene and Leonie. His other brothers and sisters are: Hurdle, George, Hilda, Biney, Loma and Pam. They mostly live in the Bunbury area.
Mr. Abraham’s daughter Kathy and little grandaughter Sue-Anne live with him in Hilton, as does his niece Grace.
Coming from another area Mr. Abraham was unable to share any local stories with me.