Obituary: Olive Ina Wardley (Sharpe)


Olive Wardley celebrating Mother’s Day in 2017 at 96 years of age. Inset: Olive Wardley at 21 years. Photos contributed.

Sharpe girl returns

Olive Ina Wardley was buried at the Bourke Cemetery on 25th January 2021, in accordance with her wishes.

Olive was born at Dubbo on 3rd July 1921 to her parents Albert and Dorothy Sharpe.

The Sharpe family owned Comeroo Station from 1920, where Olive grew up with her brothers Mervyn and Lionel, and her sisters Bub and Eileen.

Olive mustered sheep, classed wool, went to races and loved the bush life in the Bourke district. And she loved her family.

She married Norman Wardley in Bourke on 9th June 1949, and they later moved to Dubbo where they owned and ran a baby clothes store.

Olive and Norm had a daughter, Christine, while living in Dubbo and they later moved to Sydney where their son, Stephen, was born.

The family moved back to Bourke for a while and then back to Sydney where they had milk bars.

Olive always had a connection, and a deep love, for Bourke.

Olive visited family still living in Bourke many times over the years. The last time was for her 90th birthday, when she returned to Comeroo Station which is still owned by Olive’s nephew Bruce Sharpe (Mervyn’s son).

The Sharpe family has a lot of history at Bourke. The saleyards were named after Olive’s brother Mervyn Sharpe, her grandfather once had the Wanaaring Hotel and Tatt’s Hotel in Bourke.

Olive was a resilient woman with an amazing mind. She had lived on her own and took care of herself until the last two months of her 100th year.

She was born at a time when the world was going through a pandemic, and 100 years on, she left the world during another pandemic.

Mum was a strong, independent woman, who worked hard all her life.

She separated from her husband Norm in 1966 and the family moved to Manly, where she brought up her children on her own. In 1971 she moved to the Hawkesbury district where Olive and her daughter Christine (Smart) bred Arabian horses at “Balamara Arabians”.

Olive passed away at North Richmond on 15th January 2021 at 99 years of age, six months short of her 100th birthday.

All Olive’s family were with her in the last days, and she is survived by her daughter Christine Smart, her son Stephen, her grandson Laurance, her great grandchildren, Zoe (and Zoe’s husband, Jess), Natasha (and Natasha’s husband, Edward), Brayden, Tyler, Keira, Cody, and Reece, and her great, great grandchildren, Hamish, Eva, and Oliver.

Ollie’s wish was to return to Bourke, so she was buried at the Bourke Cemetery on 25th January 2021, not far from her brothers Mervyn and Lionel, and her Mum and Dad.

The burial followed a Requiem Mass at Bourke’s Holy Spirit Catholic Church, conducted by Father Manoj Manuel.

Nearly 100 years from when she first arrived in Bourke, a Sharpe girl returned home to Bourke.