82, Eliza Purton
Anton’s daughter reminisces proudly about her Dad’s talents and life accomplishments:
“He was born Anton Willem Ward in Middleburg Holland in 1934.
Mum and dad came out to Australia about 3 months after they were married in 1960. He picked up whatever work he could get. He used to work in factories quite a bit. He worked with BHP in Sydney at one point. A year and a half after we got to Australia he joined the RAAF.
I grew up with dad playing the fiddle, he has perfect pitch and can play anything by ear. People always commented that he was so clever especially when he played the fiddle. He used to play nursery rhymes when I was little. I’ve got a recording of it actually, from when I was about 2.
He had a huge library of books and a huge collection of music, spoke 5 languages and travelled the world. He loved walking, an hour and a half a day. Dad loved the ocean, always did. Dad actually built a boat – a trailer/sailor with a cabin and everything. When we went back to Holland he bought a laser and he and I would get on the lake in Holland (it was freezing) and sail. It’s one of my most cherished memories.
Dad was a devoted husband for over 53 years to his wife Ella. They did so much, they crammed so much into their lives together. They moved a lot – different countries, different states. Mum and dad renovated houses. He was always that quiet, dependable type of person for us. He’s got really good manners, he’s a gentleman, would open doors for people, try to share his food. He is the cleverest person I’ve ever known and the most modest. He didn’t like a fuss. He is the best dad a girl could ever have”.