1979 – Newsletter No.6


The Fairbridge Fair was held on the 15th September and was very successful. The Scoutmaster in Pinjarra contacted me during the Fair and is still hoping for more news of the earlier days of Scouting in the Murray Districts.


We showed the slides (of the Reunion Dinner and Founder’s Day) at Mandurah Camp during the school holidays. We who saw them were very gratified and they were of a very high grade. If there is a group of you who have a viewer and would like to see the slides, would you contact me to make arrangements.


Can anyone let me know where Angus Jones is? His brother David who lives in Victoria lost contact with him several years ago.


This year our Christmas Party will be held at the home of our Vice President, Mr Maurice Ashworth, of Hilton.


1979 – Newsletter No.5


Well our 150 WAY ’79 celebrations are over. On Friday our Dinner seemed to have been enjoyed 98% of those present as I have received complaints from only one couple. There was a lot of talking as some members had not met others for many years and had lots to talk about.


Mr Line talked about The Avenue of Trees both on Friday night and Sunday lunch. Any member both old and new are invited to plant a tree. The cost of each tree will be $10. All money received will go towards the renewal of the Church roof. Any members wishing to have a tree should sent their money to the Secretary. We are going to arrange an outing on a suitable day to plant the trees. So far we’re received offers for 38 trees!


Ian Turrell has given his slides (of the Founder’s weekend) to the Association. He will show them on Tuesday 28th August at 6.30pm at Mandurah Camp. Members can order through the Association any photos they would like but they will have to be paid for when ordering.


1979 – Newsletter No.4


Congratulations from the Association was sent to Len Phenna on his re-election as President of the R.S.L. Congratulations also to Vi Stevenson for her Red Cross award for services to that organisation. Don Hopkins who lives in Victoria sends news of Doris Charter (nee Campbell) who lives near him.


Jean Marriott (nee Day) of Boyup brook sent a lovely letter. She would like to contact an old friend, Mary Harris. Lily and George Snellin have just spent a few days with Dot and Joe Williams at Bruce Rock. Eileen Bloomfield (nee Diss) has written and recently visited Fairbridge after many years and was most interested in what she saw. Eileen would like to hear of any news of Sadie Smith if anyone can help.


Bill Green writes from Bunbury where he works at the power station. Don & Maigen Heslington moved to Carnamah in April – they sent in the address for Anne Passfield (nee Payne) who lives in Arrino. Stand Shepherd wrote in from Victoria, as did Wally Freeth from Sunset Hospital. Doris and Robert Hutchinson have arrived from America for our WAY ’79 reunion. David Jones (nephew of the late Mr & Mrs Stan Healy) has sent in the addresses of Peter Hawes, Bert Llewellen, Peter Perrins and Bert Read.


1979 – Newsletter No.3


There was a disappointed attendance at the ANZAC Service this year perhaps due to the day’s close proximity to Easter. We who were there were most impressed by the address written and read by 16 year-old Keith Wood, a student at Fairbridge.


Rene Sexton recently met Nora Seadon (nee Wolfenden) who was on holidays in Albany. Rene was recently invited as Guest Speaker at the Mt Barker Business and Professional Women’s Club. It being the International Year of the Child, she chose her subject ‘Yesterday’s Child’ telling them about the work of Dr Barnardo and Kingsley Fairbridge and some of her own experiences.


Miss Hall recently wrote from England that an old friend of the Fairbridge Society, Mrs Marriott, has passed away. We have sent our condolences to London.


We have welcomed 17 ‘Mums and Dads’ to our Association. I hope that their association is a happy one and if any of us can help in some small way to make their settling-in easier, then let us.


I have recently been given a number of “The Fairbridgian” magazines by John Acol and Jim Purser. I find the first magazine was published in July 1929 and the last we have is July 1956. Was that the last published? To complete our set to that date we just need 3 more magazines – Summer 1938, Winter 1943 and Winter 1949. Can anyone help us here?


1979 – Newsletter No.2


There was a good turnout to the Association’s A.G.M. There were 29 people present and 14 apologies. It was nice to see several of the parents of the children currently at Fairbridge, at the meeting. The Hon. President Mr David Buck read his annual report and the Treasurer Mr Bill Newberry delivered the annual accounts.


The Committee elected for 1979 is: Mr David Buck, President; Mr M. Ashworth, Vice President; Mrs M. Lander, Hon. Secretary; Mrs D. Briggs, Hon. Assistant Secretary; Mr W. Newberry, Hon. Treasurer; and Committee Members John Acol, Mrs K. Chapman and Mrs K. Summers.


We had an overwhelming response to the Principal’s invitation to Old Fairbridgians to attend the service in the Chapel on the occasion of the visit of H.R.H., The Prince of Wales, Prince Charles. We would like to congratulate Reverend Brian Newing on a very moving service.


1979 – Newsletter No.1


The first activity planned for 1979 is the Association’s A.G.M. which will be held on Friday 9th of February at the Melville home of Mrs Winnie Graham.


Discussion was made on admitting parents of the children at Fairbridge to the Association. The committee voted unanimously agreeing that they would be welcomed. So far, 16 ‘Mums and Dads’ have joined us as a result of a letter sent to all parents. It was pointed out that there are some children at Fairbridge who, because of parental illness or country employment, they are unable to have “Perth Trip” weekends. The Association has offered its services and if you would like to open your home to these children then please write to the Principal. Written consent of the parent (via Fairbridge) must first be obtained.


On Sunday 11th March 1979, H.R.H. Prince Charles is to visit Fairbridge. The major function he will attend is a Chapel service at 11.30am. Old Fairbridgians are invited to attend the service but admission to the Chapel will be by ticket only. This has been requested by the Principal Mr John Line in order to accommodate the expected large congregation including children, staff and other visitors.


I guess most of you saw the photo in various newspapers showing the happy reunion of Jim Gibson and his older brother after many years separation.


1978 – Newsletter No.6


David Buck and I recently had a talk with Mr Line, the Principal of Fairbridge. He is very concerned for the parents of the children now at Fairbridge. he feels they should be able to meet for social gatherings and discussions of their particular problems. He asked us if they could join us in our activities and suggested to could do a lot to help them settle down in their new country. As out constitution stands at present their children are entitled to become O.F.’s on leaving Fairbridge. So why aren’t w extending the hand of friendship to the parents before they leave? Mr Line said he must form some sort of Fairbridge Club for those parents and I do think it is silly to have two Old Fairbridgians groups in action in Perth. Please think seriously on this subject and let your Secretary know your views as soon as possible.


The picnic at Binningup was great. The weather smiled on us and the flies were absent. Rita and Phil Connup made us very welcome and greatly increased our waistlines later at afternoon tea. Their daughter Suzanne gave the children horse rides.


While reading some old magazines recently it was discovered that the inaugural meeting of the O.F.A. was held in February 1929. So next year we are celebrating our 50th anniversary. Makes it worth celebrating doesn’t it?


The Association is planning a Celebration Weekend from Friday 20th July through to Sunday 21st July. There will be a dinner-dance at Fairbridge and Saturday sports and games on the oval involving children, staff and Old Fairbridgians. Sunday, of course, is Founder’s Day. Mr Line has offered the Association the use of Mandurah Camp as accommodation for members over the weekend.


1978 – Newsletter No.5


Mary Horton (nee Cameron) write saying she sees Violet Fisher (nee Robinson) in Albany. Charles Buckley has moved to Spearwood in the metro area. We wrote of Jack Minty and Charles Cooksley both of whom are still in the police force. Dick Hennigans wife wrote offering accommodation to any Old Fairbridgians passing through Geraldton.


Jim Arthur was in W.A. a few months ago and renewed acquaintances with old friends Vicki French, Frank Hall, Edith Dodds, Cathy Scorer, Rosalind and Rosie Bell, and Jeanett Raeburn. Harry Hawksford writes that when he arrived in this State with four others bound for Fairbridge in 1924 (shortly before our Founder’s untimely death) they landed at Albany with a party of settlers for the South West.


1978 – Newsletter No.4


It is interesting to note that in the last month our financial membership has increased by 22. We now have 68 financial members out of 176 on the mailing list.


Secretary Millie Lander is still away on holidays in Europe. Daphne Briggs has had a letter from Miss Dorothy Hall from the U.K., She sends news of George Fox who has retired from the police force and is now a Lay Reader in the Church of England.


Wilf (Bill) Geary from South Australia writes mentioning Old Fairbridgians from the 1928 – 1935 era. Willie Watt and Bob Widdows both live in Adelaide. Two others from that time who also lived in Adelaide, Bernie Male and Louis Merchant, are now deceased. He also mentioned Harold Yeoman of Murray Bridge and John Loder of the Adelaide Hills.


Noticed at Founder’s Day: Mrs Barbara Rowley, daughter of Kingsley Fairbridge; Mr and Mrs Aspinall; Board Members, Dr. Smith, Mr D. Walsh, Mrs Higgins and Mrs Aitken; Chairman of the Lotteries Commission Mr Ken Wetherell; and retired Principal Mr Tom Brayn, Mrs Brayn and son Terry.


1978 – Newsletter No.3


Although a dull day weather-wise, the June 11th picnic at Walyunga National Park was a success. About 35 members and children attended. Those present partook in some cricket, tunnel ball and competitions, and a scavenger hunt. The adults enjoyed a quiz on Fairbridge which was won by Gordon Ashworth who scored 9 out of 10!


Planned WAY ’79 activities include: Founder’s Day service on Sunday July 22nd; Sporting and social activities at Fairbridge on Saturday 21st; Dramatised display by the children based on the life and work of Kingsley Fairbridge; Initiation of a tree planting programme on the entrance road; and opening a Fairbridge Museum at the Primary School which will close in 1979.


Many of you saw the photographs of Daphne Briggs and her sister in the ‘West Australian’. It was a great reunion for Daphne and a happy occasion for her own family in being able to identify with relatives after all these years. Harold Boucher writes from Coolgardie where he runs a gemstone business – Coolgardie Colourstones. If you’re in Coolgardie then call on Harold, you’ll be sure of a welcome.


Do you remember the Mansfields (Staff members 1938-1941)? Mrs Mansfield corresponds with John and Jay Acol. She lives in Kogarah, NSW, and she is now widowed. Mrs Mansfield says she keeps in reasonable health and sends her best wishes to all Fairbridgians she knew during those years.


Ivor Church who was at Fairbridge in the 1920’s is now Canon of the Anglican Church and Principal of St Francis College, Milton, Queensland. He preached the sermon in a recent telecast of Divine Service (ABW Channel 2).


1978 – Newsletter No.2


Next year is our State’s 150th anniversary. We are hoping to hold a celebration in conjunction with the Fairbridge Society during that year. Also, it has been suggested we hold a sit-down dinner for all members. What do you think of that idea? Please write to the Association and let us know.


How many of you remember Mrs Grant at Fairbridge? She is in Mount Henry Hospital and would love to see Old Fairbridgians and talk over old times and events.


An interesting letter was received from Bert Wickham in Queensland. He arrived at Pinjarra in 1912 in the care of his mother. He believes he is the only surviving member of those first boys. He was very surprised at the changes that have taken place at the Farm. He and Mr Line went looking for the original site of the School. All he could remember was that is was over that-a-way and the Farm was surrounded by red-gums, jarrah and blackboys. After making enquiries, Mrs McLarty, aged over 90 years, was able to give them the necessary information. Bert wasn’t so sure of Mr Line’s reaction but for him it was “terrific”. Do any of you remember Bert?


1978 – Newsletter No.1


The President, David Buck issued a statement thus: “Two attempts have been made to conduct the Association’s A.G.M. At the second of these on 24th February the attendance was only 11 and only some normal business was conducted. At this meeting much discussion took place as to the causes of the large drop in support given to the Association activities during the second half of 1977. The most significant points raised related to the lack of involvement of members in the affairs of the Association. Those members who attended 24th February were unanimous in agreeing that 1978 must be a year of rebuilding membership strength, participation and togetherness”. Mr Buck appealed for cohesion and support of the Association and its activities.


The present Association is Mr David Buck, President; Mrs Millie Lander, Secretary; Mrs Daphne Briggs, Assistant Secretary and Mrs Bill Newberry, Treasurer. Still to be elected is a Vice President and three General Committee Members.


Undated circa June 1977


Many thanks to all who attended out annual ANZAC Day service. It was good to see so familiar and new faces. Our next O.F.A. outing is planned for Sunday June 19th. This will be a sports day for the children of Old Fairbridgians and the children resident at Fairbridge. There will be a host of events as well as novelty events for parents.


I hope you all saw the picture and the article regarding the Governor and Lady Kyle’s visit to Fairbridge in the ‘West Australian’. Our Association was ably represented at lunch by our President, Mr David Buck.


5th April 1977


Many thanks to all those who attended our busy-bee last Sunday, approximately 50 in all. What a great day it turned out to be, the only dull moment being the crushing defeat the Fairbridge boys, led by Noel Wishart and George Elliott, inflicted upon us at cricket (some 20 runs). Already there is talk of a return challenge.


Phil Connup was duly elected as the third Committee Member. It was decided at the meeting to name the cemetery the Fairbridge Memorial Cemetery and to move the access gate back 10 feet for better access.


George Braithwaite is going to initiate a challenge to the North Pinjarra “B” Grade Football team to play us at Fairbridge. Any person wishing to play should contact the Association.


I met and had dinner with Bert Wickham, one of the original 13 Fairbridge boys (now 72 years old), over from Queensland and he had a great time.


David Buck reminds anyone visiting Fairbridge to let John Line, the Principal, know who you are. He would very much appreciate this small courtesy.


15 February 1977


I went to Fairbridge last Sunday and spoke with the Principal, Mr John Line, and he is wholeheartedly behind the Association and made it quite clear to me his message to Old Fairbridgians is “Welcome”. I also spoke with Mr & Mrs George Elliott who are soon off to England on a 3-month holiday. Thanks to them for the names and addresses passed on of Old Fairbridgians. Miss A. Gibson (Honorary Member) is looking fit and well as is Noel Wishart (Sports Master) who, I may add, loves to meet and chat with Old Fairbridgians.


Mr Tom Rouse, an Old Fairbridgian, has been seriously ill in Hollywood Hospital. Right next to Tom in Hospital is another O.F., Bill Humpage who came to Fairbridge in 1924.


It was noted the sale of O.F. badges to 14 March 1977 went to: N. Robbie, C. Brown, J. Jones, B. Wickham, N. Henshall, D. Heslington, F. Lenthall, A. Lines, Jack Jones, R. Jones, M. Baker, Mr Richter, G. Alfonsi, A. Bellingham, Mrs McKnight, Pat Sherwood, R. Chatfield, and W. Freeth.