'Because of her. We can!' – Louisa Cubillo

“I have very fond memories of grandmother,” Jennifer Cubillo, Department of Housing and Community Development Client Services Officer says.

“My grandmother Louisa was my father’s mother, very caring,” Jennifer said.

Louisa Cubillo nee Lee was born near Pine Creek and lived with her parents and sister for ten years, before both girls were taken to the Catholic Mission on Bathurst Island in accordance with the Government policy at the time.

Educated by the mission nuns and trained in health, Louisa became a midwife in 1920.

In wake of the Bombing of Darwin in February 1942, Louisa and her nine children were evacuated, leaving her husband John behind.

Widowed, Louisa and her nine children returned to Darwin and lived at Bagot community. The family then eventually moved to what was known as Parap 118 Camp.

Jennifer said her grandmother showed guidance and strength when times were difficult. She single-handedly raised and catered for her family needs, ensuring her children were educated, she sewed their uniforms, and sports guernseys for local sporting clubs. She was recognised for her contribution and was made a life time honorary member of the Pioneer Basketball club.

Always one to care for children in need, Louisa was known as “Mum Cubillo”. This dedication also saw the place names committee name a street in Wanguri in her honour in 1971.

Louisa and her 9 children
Louisa Cubillo and her nine children. Credit to the Cubillo family for sharing their story and image.