Self, Alice Emma

Date of Birth/Death:


Alice Emma Self was born on 16 February 1874 at Port Aldinga [Pt Willunga]. Her parents were Charles Self (Jnr) and Jane Elizabeth Self (nee Sweeting) and she was the youngest of a family of eight, 3 of whom died as children. Alice was affectionately known as Allie. She spent most of her life caring for her brothers Charles Frederick (Fred), Arthur and Henry (often called Jack) in the family home, at Self’s Cottage 5 St Peters Terrace. For whatever reasons Alice did not master basic reading and writing skills. Martin Dunstan had fond memories of Alice Self: ‘Because Allie could not read or write, she would buy comics as the photos or drawings gave her an understanding of the story being told. Allie would often call to see dad (Council Clerk Basil Dunstan) for assistance to fill in a form, answer a letter or maybe to obtain some help with a personal problem she had. I always looked forward to Allie’s visits, for when she came she always had, clutched under her arm, a rolled up bundle of comics tied up with a piece of binder twine, just for me. After she left, I would spend the better part of the day on the front lawn reading comics’. ‘I still remember that lady, short in stature and with possibly more weight than may have been comfortable for her. Allie would often discuss the various comics with me and didn’t like my favourite comic The Champions, for it contained very few pictures’. ‘Allie was well known for the number of cats she had, which numbered some thirteen. At Christmas Allie would buy each cat a ribbon which they wore around their necks’. Martin Dunstan commented that people such as the Selfs made a great contribution to Willunga’s interesting history and to his early recollections. Like the rest of her family, Alice did not venture far beyond Willunga. It was reported in 1935 that she had visited Adelaide for the first time that year, at the age of 60.

Alice Self never married and died on 31 January 1953 at Northfield, with her usual place of residence recorded as Willunga. Aged 73 years, she was buried at West Terrace Cemetery, Adelaide.


1935, News, 17 June, p. 4. , [The Stay-at-Home]

1953 ‘Family Notices’, The Advertiser, 5 February, p. 18. , [Funeral Alice Self]

Martin Dunstan Willunga Town and District as I knew it 2003 p 26.

|FlickrID=10202773153 – Self’s Cottage, 5 St Peters Terrace

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