September 1989


The long awaited Re-Union was voted a great success and it was wonderful to see old friends greeting each other after so many years. There were tears and laughter and many “do you remembers’. The dinner, held in the Dining Room, was attended by some 170 Old Fairbridgians and their spouses, our thanks go to Sally Karth (nee Alice Kynoch) for the splendid job she did decorating the old place, also the caterers, Peter and Jill Watson for a magnificent spread, to John Dunstan and his helpers for the bar service, to Mike Armitage for the live music, and last but not least to Ken Ducker who did the artwork for the dinner menus. Many people, after returning to their old cottages, spent the rest of the night talking over old times.


Brian Wall is still keen to compile his register of people who came out to Fairbridge, with your permission of course, and his address is available from the Secretary. He prepared a questionnaire which he gave out at the re-union and would like to hear from other members who might be interested.


We have been approached by the Victoria League with a view to re-establishing contact between the organisations.


May/June 1989


In the last newsletter I mentioned that the Association had conferred Honorary Life Membership of the O.F.A. on Jack Maude. He was very honoured by this and here follows an appreciation and short resume of his arrival and stay at the Farm School:


“It was March 8th, 1921, when we disembarked from our ship the “Omar” (a rather small vessel of less than 10,000 tonnes displacement) at the Port of Fremantle. We being the first party of boys and girls to arrive en route to Fairbridge Farm: it was not known as Fairbridge Farm School until later. We travelled down to Pinjarra by train and from there we were transported by a two horse wagon, plus our baggage, to the original Farm School about 4 miles south-east of Pinjarra, where we would stay for several months. This old farm School had been started in about 1910 by Kingsley Fairbridge, but owing to the 1914-1918 Great War, no further children had come out after the original parties, numbering about 30 boys. There were still two of these boys still working at the Old Farm, the others had gone out to work before 1921, when we arrived. It was a very hot day I remember, a few days of this heat and most of us became sunburnt, being the pink-skinned POMs that we were. The names of the two old boys working on the Farm when we arrived were Percy Quartermain and Fred Holt.


The Staff at the old Farm School was Miss Dennehy, Secretary, Miss Cantrell (later became Mrs Giles) matron, Mr Tweedy, school teacher; Miss Newholme in charge of the dairy; Miss Huston, cook, who we all come to know as “Husty”. We were housed in two open-fronted cottages with steps leading to open dormitories, one for the boys and one for the girls. There was quite a large orchard on the property and the trees were loaded with fruit, mainly apples and pears.


We were given the option of going to school in the morning or in the afternoon for about 3 1/2 hours. This arrangement gave us a great deal of leisure time to explore the bush. Trees had not been cut down as is the case today. There were several large ponds on the property full of frogs and tadpoles. It was a new life for us, getting close to nature and handling living things as well as the cows and horses. It was a great experience.


One of the pranks we boys got up to was to store up ammunition, green apples and pears, then after lights out (hurricane kerosene lanterns, no electricity then) we would creep over to the girl’s cottage and bombard them; most of the missiles finding their mark going by the screams and cries that came from within; of course we got some pretty good beltings for our carryings on, rightly so.


This idyllic life was not to last for we were to be moved to the new Fairbridge Farm School (where it is today) sometime in August. We moved, as we previously had done, by horse wagon. The new School lay 5 miles north-east of Pinjarra so our trip was close to 10 miles; we took turns in walking and riding on the wagon. This procedure was later used when we were going down to Mandurah for our annual camp.


On arrival at the new school the girls were housed in Shakespeare and the boys in Warren Hastings, these being the only cottages completed. Mr Fairbridge was living under canvas, about where the Chapel is now. His house was being built, only the foundations had been built when we arrived.


It was the first time we children had met Kingsley Fairbridge; he spent a lot of time with us as there were only 15 in our party; we were the lucky few who monopolised his attention. Later a further 30 or 40 children arrived in September 1921, but we always felt we were privileged by being at the school first.


Kingsley Fairbridge, our Founder, was a wonderful person. As children we worshipped him and looked to him as a father. I am sure knowing him and experiencing the great love he showed to us homeless ones strengthened us in later life. I was among the privileged few who knew him and his demise in 1924 was a sad and terrible thing to us children.”


It is with regret that we record the passing of Mrs Goulder, many of you will remember her as Miss Prince when she was a cottage mother at the School.


March 1989


Bryan Wall, who is the son of Fred wall and Marjorie Phenna was present at the recent A.G.M. and outlined his ideas for a book about the children who came out to W.A. under the Fairbridge scheme and about whom very little has been recorded. His ideas received unqualified support. He intended to write a short biography of Kingsley and the early days, but more importantly try and list as many of the names of the children as he can, with a short biography and photo of each, if possible. The idea that this would become a “Who’s’ Who” of Fairbridge.


January 1989


We have received news letters from the Fairbridge Alumni Association of Canada, and if any of you would be interested in getting in touch with them then please contact the Secretary.


Whilst we’re on the subject of Old Fairbridgians we understand that the Child Migration Trust and Domino Films are getting together to make a major documentary about the children who were sent overseas before and after WWII. The Association would like to make it quite clear that neither of these two organisations have contacted in W.A., although the Molong Association is involved. if anyone feel that they have anything to offer these people in the way of recollections and so forth feel free to contact them. (Addresses of Margaret Humphreys and Joy Melville supplied.)


I have also received a letter from Zimbabwe on the same subject but this writer is more interested in the impact that Fairbridgians have made upon the life of the State than in about life at Fairbridge. (Address of Mr R. C. Woolacott supplied).


Mrs Robyn South, Photo Librarian at the Battye Library at the Perth Cultural Centre is still keen for Old Fairbridgians to go and help to identify the hundreds of photographs that are stored there.


September 1988


Founder’s Day was well attended as usual, the Service was taken by our own Don Finlay, who nearly didn’t make it to Pinjarra, his car decided to give up the ghost and David Buck has to play knight errant. The weather was kind to us and the rain held off until after the formalities were over. The lessons were read by Graham Bennett and Florrie Hinton. Our thanks to Mary Bartlett who played the organ for us, at short notice. The Address was given this year by Queenie Walsh, nee Bitmead, one of the 1924 arrivals who was one of the first of the Fairbridge children to go onto further education.


May/June 1988


In my ‘spare’ time I have been reading some of the back numbers of the “Fairbridgian”, the last one published in 1954, and I am amazed at the number of Fairbridgians who no longer keep in contact with us and I hope that as a result of much publicity about the 1989 Reunion many will decide to renew old ties and friendships.


We are also getting more and more enquiries from people who wish to have a copy of their personal file. These may be obtained, on personal application by either letter of telephone call to the Secretary. There is no charge for this service to Old Fairbridgians and, when the copies are ready they will be mailed out to country people or delivered personally by the Secretary to Perth metro requesters. This normally takes about 6-8 weeks. Regarding the files themselves, there is very little pre-Pinjarra and family information in them and those people to came out to W.A. under the auspices of Barnardo’s should write to them at their head office at their Head Office in Ilford, Essex, England. We understand that Middlemore Homes still maintains a presence in Birmingham but we do not have this address.


Many of the old boys will remember Miss Waterland who was a Cook Cottage Mother for a number of years and also a mother at Molong. Miss Waterland left the Fairbridge organisation to marry a Mr Cave whom she had known for a number of years. Frankie and Ruth Richardson kept in touch with her over the years and visited her when they were last in Sydney. Mrs Cave nee Waterland expressed a wish to have her ashes scattered at Fairbridge when she died which the will beneficiary is arranging. It is hoped to have a short committal after the wreath laying on Founder’s Day.


We also note the passing of Wilf Geary and of Miss Ivy McFall who was a Cottage Mother at the Farm School from 1965 to 1980.


March/April 1988


As you know, John Desormes, after serving three years as President of the Association, was obliged under the Constitution, to step down from Office. As a mark of appreciation is was recommended that he be made an Honorary Vice President with special responsibilities for the renovation of the Clubhouse. This recommendation was endorsed at the meeting.


A very successful reunion, organised by Marcelle McKnight, Graham Bennett and Elayne Greave was held to Birralie Park, Innaloo for those Fairbridgians who came out to the Farm School between 1948 and 1960. Ex-Fairbridge boys and girls came from near and far, Sydney, the North West and the Northern Territory for a beer and BBQ with people that some of them had not seen for thirty years or since they left the Farm School. A number of former staff members were able to be present to the delight or otherwise of many.


In 1938 Fairbridge opened another Farm School at Molong NSW and this year the OFA of NSW held a reunion to mark the 50th anniversary of this founding. Mr and Mrs Ted Heath went over to NSW as guests of the OFA and carried with them a letter of good wishes and fellowship from us all. Ted and Edna had a most enjoyable trip. Molong itself is now derelict but the local Historical Society maintains a memorial park.


January/February 1988


We had a number of overseas and interstate visitors during the year including Mr George Gee and his wife, of the Worshipful Company of Glass Workers (glaziers) and Painters on Glass. You will remember that the Worshipful Company together with the Fairbridge Society of London gave two very handsome stained glass windows to the Chapel. John Desormes was able to escort Mr and Mrs Gee down to the Village during their stop-over in Perth and they were much impressed with the beauty of the place and Mr Gee promised to try and procure another two windows for the Chapel.


It is with regret that we note the passing of Annie Leagus nee Newby. John Desormes was able to represent the Association at the cremation service.


I would like to have news of Howard Emerson, last heard of in Brisbane, of Eric Chambers in Port Kembla, and of Walter Bedwell last heard of serving in the R.A.A.F. Enquiries have been made from the London Office of Fairbridge as to their whereabouts and I cannot make much headway so I’m appealing to you.


November/December 1987


It was very rewarding to meet up with Bill Grieve and his wife, Janet. Bill was paying his first visit to W.A. since 1932 and found everything much altered. Bill came to Fairbridge in 1922 and was a pall bearer at the funeral of our Founder, Kingsley Fairbridge, He went out to work in 1926 and in 1932, at the age of 21, returned to his native Scotland where he remained until after WWII when he and his wife emigrated to New Zealand. Bills’ brother Dreaus, who also came to the School returned to Scotland and joined the Royal Air Force and lost his life in one of the many bomber raids over Germany. Jack Maude arranged with Ethel Mears, Ben’s widow, a small tea party so that Bill and Janet could meet a few of Bill’s contemporaries, and after tea they and I went back to Jack’s for a rap session which was most enjoyable.


The supper dance held at the end of October was, as usual, a great success – not as many people as were expected but I think we have to blame the rather inclement weather. We found a new D.J. in Bob Schimmel to whom our sincere thanks for a sterling job. Also thanks to Lois and George Elliott for their efforts in the Clubhouse, Peter Watson for the cold table, and last but not least Johnnie Desormes and Sally Karth for their efforts.


August/September 1987


Mary Bartlett and I will be away at Camp Quality from Sunday October 4th until Friday October 9th inclusive. This is a worthwhile activity which provides a holiday for children with cancer and enables their parents to have a break and spent time with other members of their families.


Those of you who were at the 1929 Reunion will remember that hundreds of old photos were on display in the hope that they could be identified. These photographs are now in my keeping and I am endeavouring to get them into some sort of order and I would be grateful for help. If anyone is interested I am trying to leave Thursday mornings free so that Old Fairbridgians can come and browse. Please telephone me first though.


June 1987


Welcome home to Len and Pat Phenna and also to Millie Lander and Mary Rowley. We understand that Wally and Laura Milne, Bill and Beryl Newberry, and Helen Tatchell have all gone walkabout and will not be with us on Founder’s Day.


I have received long letters from George Fox, Gordon Hayes, Angus Jones and Bill Grieve, the latter now living in New Zealand but will be making his first visit to W.A. for many years. I have also received letters from the London Office containing good wishes to us all, and also from David Jones.


Does anyone have any news of George Straughan, last heard of in Northam in the late 1950’s?


We received word from Esme Neill via Norah Seadon that Barbara Benton nee “Twiggy” Churchward had passed away in Port Hedland. Many of you will remember her from the old days in the Land Army when she served at Fairbridge.


March 1987


We would like to hear from some of our younger members who might have suggestions for activities which would interest them, possibly places to visit or group activities , suitable for everyone?


John Lane (Jack Ramsbottom) has written his autobiography and it is to be published by the Fremantle Arts Centre on April 5th, so look out for it. Well done Jack.


November 1986


It is with deep regret that we note the passing of two old friends; firstly Bert Phillips, who has been a good friend of the O.F.A. over the years, and secondly Ben Mears who was one of the Founder’s boys and came out in 1924.


Does anyone remember George Lucas Mallins? He came out in 1928 and died of cancer in 1980, and his widow would like to have any recollections of him and his time at Fairbridge or of his time in the army. I understand that he was a P.O.W. in Italy. Also, Herbert Francis Ernest who came out in 1929 would like to hear from anyone who remembers him (address available from the Secretary). Does anyone have an address for Victor Drury last heard of in Bayswater.


I have received a letter from George Fox who, although he has retired from full time Ministry, still keeps busy with his work for the Physically Handicapped Children, Toc H, St John’s Ambulance, and Blind, and of course, the British League, and he still finds time to write poetry.


September 1986


Founder’s Day was held on Sunday July 20th and was blessed by fine weather for most of the day. We were pleased to welcome many old friends and were sorry that a number of others were unable to make the trip to the school. Lady Dodds Parker, who succeeds Sir Wallace Kyle as President of the London Society, and Mrs Julia Roskill sent us good wishes as did Mrs Barbara Rowley.


The Library Board has agreed to show the Fairbridge Films again especially for the Association and this showing will be on Tuesday September 30th at 7.30pm in the theatrette of the Alexander Library at the Perth Cultural Centre. All Old Fairbridgians and their families are welcome.


There is still a lot of work to be done in and around the Clubhouse and John Desormes would like to hear from anyone who might be able to help, especially from those of you who have tradesman skills in the building trade. Mike Della Posta, John Sands son-in-law, came to our aid once again and donated 3 new cisterns and loo seats for the toilets bock. Stuart Law was able to procure a small electric water heater, as a reasonable price, to replace the old Braemar. Many thanks to both.


June 1986


Many of you will remember Sister Dora Bargh who was at the Farm School for a number of years and left in 1937 to get married. It is with regret that we note her passing on June 7th.


We hear that Don and Mary Horton have gone to the U.K. for a visit; that the Hales and Wignells have taken themselves to the far north to get away from the Albany winter; that Helen Tatchell is back from her trip to England; and that Sally Karth is off to the Isle of Man and Sweden come September.


March 1986


The A.G.M. of the Association was recently held and Mr John Desormes was elected President. Mr Len Phenna was elected Vice President and Mr Bill Newberry treasurer. Pam Wilson retained the job of Secretary and Miss Rota Thompson (ex-Shakespeare Cottage Mother) is the Assistant Secretary. Committee Members are Mr George Anthony, Mr David Buck, Mr Len Chafer, Mrs Lois Elliott, Mrs Sally Karth, Mrs Millie Lander and Mr Bobby Powell.


I am trying to put together a list of members of the Association but finding it somewhat difficult as people tend to drift away and forget to let me know. If you know anyone who has moved house or would be interested in joining the O.F.A., please let me know.


As Fairbridge Village is growing more and more popular as a venue for school groups and service organisations I would suggest that any Old Fairbridgian who is thinking of staying there to make tentative enquires in good time. The person to contact is Mr Graham Riley at the Farm.


January 1986


It is with great regret that we note the passing of Mr W. E.. Aspinall, long time Secretary to the Board of Governors of the Fairbridge Society in Perth and a long time friend of all Old Fairbridgians. We send good wishes to all those members who are sick and incapacitated, especially Sid Stonehouse and Kath Bow.


November 1985 (1985 No. 5)


Our good wishes go to John Acol, his wife Joy, Lil Snellin and others who have been in hospital. It is with regret we note the passing of Doug Chuad and Ronnie Rogers.


We had a very pleasant day on Sunday November 11th when the Fairbridge family paid a visit to the Clubhouse. A number of Old Fairbridgians managed to turn up and renew their ties with Rhodes and his wife and it was good to meet up with Elizabeth again.


August 1985 (1985 No. 4)


The ANZAC Day Memorial Parade was highlighted by the unveiling of the Roll of Honour Board in the Clubhouse. Founder’s Day was well attended and it was great to see so many old friends and also to make some new ones.


In August, the Alexander Library mounted an exhibition of memorabilia to mark the 100th anniversary of the birth of our Founder, Kingsley Fairbridge. Those attending Founder’s Day were given an oral invitation to attend the opening of the exhibition on August 15th. A number of members were treated to a showing of some films from the archives made in 1936, 1954 and 1963.


You might remember a very old photo from very early Fairbridge publications of a boy with a kookaburra sitting on his shoulder. That was Bert King. We sadly note his recent passing.


June 1985


I have received a letter from Dr G. E. Sherington who is Senior Lecturer in Education at the University of Sydney. He is interesting in interviewing any Old Fairbridgian who came to Western Australia before 1924. Anyone who is interested could contact Mrs Chris Jeffrey in the Oral History Dept of the Battye/Alexander Library. Dr Sherington emphasises that all interviews would be confidential and no material would be used for publication without the consent of the interviewee.


Good news! Len Henson who was reported in one of our newsletters some years ago to have passed on is alive and well and still living in Victoria Park!


March 1985


Now that the Jesus People have left Fairbridge, the cottages are being let-out to families and other groups. If you and your family would like to spend a weekend or a few days during the week in a relaxing environment, contact Graham Riley at the Farm to make a booking. The Cottages are fully furnished and you only need to take sheets, pillows and towels. Charges are moderate $6.00 per person per night for Middlemore, Clive and Wolfe: $5.00 for the rest with a 10% discount for Old Fairbridgians. If you can’t make it, tell your friends.


Len Phenna is still waiting to hear from anyone who came out on the Jervis Bay in 1932, arriving on May 13th. We received a letter form Henry Franklin who came out to the Farm School in 1928 and was in Rhodes Cottage for a number of years. I understand he was eventually repatriated to the U.K.. He now lives in London (address available from Secretary) and would like to hear from anyone who remembers him.


July/August 1984


Many of you will be interested to learn that Rhodes Fairbridge and his family will be in W.A. in late October and early November and it is proposed to hold a get-together at the Clubhouse on November 11th. B.Y.O. picnic from 11am onwards. We should like as many of you as possible to be there. You may remember that Rhodes Fairbridge was President of the Association at one time.


May/June 1984


Have you seen the Clubhouse lately? If so, you would be very impressed with the progress of the renovations. Although on occasions some others have helped, the major work load has been done by John Desormes, Frank Richardson, Graham Riley and George Elliott. All of us are deeply indebted to these four persons for what they have done on our behalf. Among the major jobs are the completion of the toilets and cleaning out under the building. The kitchen is finished, the white ant treatment is finished, the trees at the back have been lopped and some of the carpentry in the toilets is done.


Millie Lander is still gadding about England and Scotland. Joan and Bob Halls have returned from their trip and have moved to Kelmscott. Whilst they were in England they stayed with Miss Woods, an Aftercare Officer, and met up with Mary Devignat (Fisher) and Edna Cox (Robins). Joan also went for a walk down memory lane to the Dr Barnardo’s village where they received right royalty.


Whilst on the subject of Barnardo’s, we have had enquiries from a Mr John K. Ruffels of Randwick NSW (address available from Secretary). He is an ex-Barnardo’s boy himself and is compiling a history of the organisation in Australia and is interested in the whereabouts of any boys and girls who came to W.A. between 1924 and 1928.


March 1984


We hear that …. Mary Rowley has been tripping to New Zealand. Joan and Bob Halls are off to England at the end of the month. Millie Lander will be in England from April 1st for about 3 months.


Len Phenna would like anyone who came out on the “Jervis Bay” arriving May 13th 1932 to get in touch with him. I think a reunion might be in the air. Does anyone have any news of Harry Webb (1928) who served in the R.A.A.F and worked for the Burt family at Brunswick? Frank Whatley of NSW would like to hear from anyone who came out in 1938 (address available from Secretary). News also wanted of Peter Holthuson (1935).


January 1984


Our Christmas get together which was held down at Fairbridge was a great success and the children, and some adults too, had a marvelous time in the swimming pool. John Desormes donned his disguise and became “The Old Gentleman” for a while and distributed the presents. David Buck made his usual speech and then asked Mary Bartlett , long time friend of the Association, to cut the Christmas cake which had been made by Florrie Hinton and beautifully iced by Wally and Lorna Milne’s daughter, Mary! Our thanks go to Lois Elliott for her help in the Clubhouse.


We welcome Jim and Joy Bye to the Association. To many of the younger members their shop in Forrest Place was a meeting place and a listening post where they could glean the latest news of their friends.


November 1983


George and Lois Elliott would like to remind everyone that they are still living at Fairbridge and are pleased to welcome Old Fairbridgians. They both give their whole-hearted support to the Association.


Sally Rowland-Karth, nee Alice Kylock, has returned to W.A. and will be settling in Subiaco in the New Year. She sends her greetings to all and hopes that they will write to her care of her son in Dongara.


It is with regret we note the passing of Miss Pringle at the grand age of 93, one-time cottage mother; and also of Mrs Betty Ewers, remembered with affection by younger members.


Graham Bennett organised a very successful get-together of Old Fairbridgians who were at the Farm in the 1950’s. It was held at the home of Marcelle McKnight (nee O’Brien) in Innaloo and I gather it was a great success and a non-stop natter session.


We have received word from Mr Trevor Gorey, Secretary to the Board of Fairbridge W.A. Inc, that as a result of John Desormes survey/report on the Clubhouse, and between a meeting between himself, David Buck and your Secretary, the Fairbridge Society in London have made available certain funds to the Association. The money is for the renovation and restoration of the Clubhouse and is immediately available.


September 1983


At our last meeting in Dianella, it was agreed that the Clubhouse should be given a facelift and that when the time comes working parties will be organised from amongst our members to help with the work in order to keep the costs down. John Desormes went down to Fairbridge and has done a survey of what needs to be done and Graham Bennett has arranged for the pest control people to spray for termites.


It is with regret we note the passing of our good friend Stand Read; and also the passing of Ernie Jackson, longtime member of the Association; and also of Ernie Minty of Cockatools.


Old Fairbridgians have hit the headlines recently, First, Millie Lander when she was awarded her long service badge with the Red Cross and then topped it off with an appearance on the “Late, Late Breakfast Show”. Then Ethel Toussaint was featured in “Woman’s Day”, and then Charles Cooksley on his retirement from the W.A. police force.


Anyone who remembers E. D. White (Eddie) and his wife Lillian, and would like to get in touch, then please contact Len Phenna.


Queenie Walsh (nee Bitmead) is keen to contact anyone who came out to Fairbridge on the “Euripides” in February 1924, with a view to staging a get together next year to mark 60 years in Australia.


July 1983


Founder’s Day was held on Sunday July 17th and what a day it was. There was a large turn-out of friends. The service was conducted by the Rev. Don Finlay who came up from Busselton. The first lesson was read by Jeff Hopp of the Jesus People, and the second by our own John Desormes. John Acol, just out of hospital, played the organ. The Address was given by Jock Morrison, incoming Chairman of the Board of Fairbridge W.A. During his speech Mr Morrison introduced Mrs Julia Roskill, a member of the London Council of Fairbridge Society Inc., who was visiting Western Australia for the first time.


It is with regret that we note the passing of Auntie Gibby at St John of God Hospital on July 7th.


May 1983


Our ANZAC Day Memorial Service was held at Fairbridge on Sunday May first conducted by John Acol and there was a good attendance. Sid Court sounded the Last Post and the address was given by Tim Purser who reminded us of those Old Fairbridgians who served in their new country, Australia, by giving their lives so that we might live and by their example encourage us to work together for a better way of live for all. He then went on to wish the new occupants of the Fairbridge Village every success in their work and hoped that some of Kingsley Fairbridge’s ideals would be incorporated into that work.


It was great to get together with old friends and to welcome old timers as Ken Dearlove, Arthur Tickner and Bill (Jimmy) Lines, who now lives in Exmouth. After lunch David Buck and Graham Riley (the Society’s go-between man at the Farm) clarified a few points about access to the cemetery and to the village area.


It was noted that Alcoa stated “Access across the farmlands to the public cemetery on the Pipeline road cannot be guaranteed. However, arrangements for ex-Fairbridge people to be escorted through the farmlands can be made on request. It should be noted that road access to the cemetery is available via Alcoa’s private access roads”.


We extend good wishes for a speedy recovery to Aunty Gibby (Miss Ann Gibson) long time cottage mother, and to George Snellin, who have been in hospital.


1983 – Newsletter No.2


At last work has begun on the Chapel roof and the contractors hope to have the re-roofing completed before the onset of the rains. It is heartening to know that the Fairbridge Village is to be used for purposes which are in-line with the ideals and aspirations of our Founder and that the Association will have a role to play in the support and maintenance of these ideals.


Many of the younger members will remember Mr. Tom Reid who was Farm manager at Pinjarra for 25 years, and who passed away on March 12th, 1983. Sister Bartlett and your secretary represented the Association and the Fairbridge staff at the funeral.


Frank and Ruth Richardson gave a BBQ in January for Les and Ethel Herriott and their family who were visiting from Victoria. Kath Chapman, Ken and Lil Snellin went walkabout with Lou and Bill Tames. They had a wonderful time in Albany where they stayed with Daph and Bob Powell and also managed to spend a day with Mary and Don Horton. Has anyone news of Maurice Ashworth and his family?


1983 – Newsletter No.1


Some 60 Old Fairbridgians with their friends and a few children attended a very successful Christmas Social at the Palace Hotel. Father Christmas, who, at the last moment encountered a few problems with his suit etc, finally dropped in with a gift for all. Our usual raffle was held, with Wally Milne winning the plaque depicting the Chapel at Fairbridge, David Buck won the Xmas dinner, and three of the six gem-stone necklaces going to a lucky winner who fortunately has three lovely grand-daughters.


The Rev. Peter Hodge (complete with pith helmet) arrived late in the afternoon and was able to catch up with a few old friends. Frank (circa 1930) and June Ingram were on holidays from over East so were able to join us in our festivities and to complete the family picture Beatrice Truscott (nee Ingram) (Frank’s sister) and husband Jack also turned up. The Chairman of the Board, Mr Ian Carroll and Mrs Carroll found time in a busy schedule to pop in and wish everybody compliments of the season.


Christmas greetings were received from The Fairbridge Society (London), Mr and Mrs Heath, Mrs Barbara Rowley, Rev. George Fox, Miss Nora Middleton, Bob and Daph Powell, Mr & Mrs Boyland, Mr Reed and Mr & Mrs Reed.


Old Fairbridgian, the Rt. Rev. Bishop G. R.. Fox DD, BA, (circa 1936) writes from the U.K. He has recently been ordained a Bishop and now has a number of churches to care for in the south of England.


Mike Thompson would like to contact Fernley Roy Parker – if you know of his whereabouts please contact the Secretary.


1982 – Newsletter No.5


Did you see the letter in “The West Australian” recently suggesting that the Fairbridge Centre be used as a drug rehabilitation centre? A spokesman for the Fairbridge Society in Perth was quick to reply to this suggestion, pointing out that it was presumptuous of the writer to make such a suggestion and that is was obvious he knew very little about the Centre which had been home to more than 3,000 West Australians who grew up at Pinjarra and a further 2,000 who had come to Western Australia in family groups in later years.


It was with some regret that members of the Association read in the media that Fairbridge will be auctioned next year. We understand that members of the London Society will be visiting the State in November to discuss the possible retention of the Village section of the Centre. Your Committee hopes that this discussion will also include the possibility of the O.F.A. assuming the responsibility for the Chapel, Clubhouse, Fairbridge House and guest house.


Mary Horton of Albany forwarded a news clipping showing a picture of her husband Don, together with the article. Don, as many of you will know, was at Fairbridge in 1934, and has spent the last 40 years trying to locate members of his family. You can well imagine his surprise when the Salvation Army located one brother (Albert) in Cambridge, England, and another one (Peter) popped up in Perth. As we understand it, there is still one more brother to locate (Arthur) and you can bet Don will not rest until all the family are together again.


Rick Boyland, who was at the School in the 1960’s, dropped in to see me (Secretary). He hails from Brisbane and is over here on holidays with his wife Helen, and daughter. Rick is trying to locate Fred and Grace Challis last known in Onslow Road, Shenton Park.


We have been advised that Miss Middleton, a former cottage mother is now living in Maylands. She has been in hospital recently but is on the mend now.


1982 – Newsletter No.4


Irene Hawkins who was a Cottage Mother at Fairbridge in the 1970’s is living in Brisbane. She has multiple sclerosis. She would like to hear from anybody who remembers her and also of any news of Miss Middleton.


Rose Carter wrote to say that her husband came, at the age of 8 years old, to Fairbridge as one person, now they are a family of 30 all told. Is this a record?


We had a letter from Mr Brayn (former Principal of Fairbridge) enclosing a letter received from a former Fairbridgian, Paul Boyland, enquiring about the current life and times in Western Australia.


Founder’s Day was attended by some 120 people and the service was conducted by the Bishop of Bunbury, Bishop Stanley Goldsworthy, admirably assisted by two Old Fairbridgians, the Rev. Don Findlay and John Acol. The St Mary’s Anglican Girls’ Choir provided a much appreciated musical backing to a congregation that was somewhat out of practice! The Bishop later unveiled a plaque re-naming the Chapel as “The Kingsley Fairbridge Chapel of the Holy Innocents”. After lunch in the Clubhouse, those with energy went to the Oval where games had been arranged by the Social Committee under the direction of the Chairman, Mr Graham Bennett. Others past the time in renewing old acquaintances or just by strolling around their one-time home.


1982 – Newsletter No.3


ANZAC Day was commemorated at the Memorial Gates at the Fairbridge Centre on Sunday morning, 26th April 1982. Some 130 people – Old Fairbridgians, their families and friends, were in attendance. Mr Ian Carroll, Chairman of the Board of Governors, delivered the address.


Personal files of former scholars of the School will be retained in adequate secure storage at the Centre. Old Fairbridgians who desire to obtain information from their files, may do so by contacting Mr Graham Riley at the Centre, and producing proof of identity.


1982 – Newsletter No.2


The Annual General meeting was well attended, some 37 people being present, including our guests of honour, Sir Douglas and Lady Dodds-Parker. Also there were four new parents from the U.K., one Dad having arrived on Wednesday night! David Buck stood down as President and also a voice of thanks was given to Mr Bill Newberry who has been an office-bearer of the Association for 32 years. Len Phenna was elected President and Graham Bennett as Vice President.


The Rev. Peter Hodge (Fairbridge Chaplain 1950’s) would like to hear from some of the folk from whilst he was there. Bob Charles is still in Hollywood Hospital. Harry Lucas and his wife are soon off to the U.K. Stan Shepherd is back in Australia after 3 months away in Switzerland and Japan. Audrey Ireland (nee Turner) died recently. Harry Sandilands, one of our older Old Fairbridgians , died at Hollywood Hospital in February 1982. Rev. George Fox writes again to advise us that he still telephones Miss Dorothy Hall quite frequently. Miss Hall is now blind and appreciates his calls.


1982 – Newsletter No.1


There were about 70 people present at out Christmas Party and everyone seemed to enjoy themselves. Among those present were a few faces not seen for some years, namely Ted Sutton and his wife, the former Sylvia Tremlett who I’m sure many of you would recognise as she still looks as she was when much younger. Joan Collopy was also there looking well after her recent illness. A visitor from Molong, Ben Barnett and his wife, and Lil Snellins’s sister and niece from U.K. were also there.


Christmas greetings were received from the Fairbridge Society U.K., Mrs Barbara Rowley, Miss Nora Middleton, Frank and Ruth Richardson, Jim and Yvonne Arthur, Daphne and Bob Powell, Mrs Isobel Shilkin, Bill Farrer, George Fox, Mr and Mrs John Line, and Maurice Ashworth and family.


Bill Farrer writes that Tug Wilson visited him in November and their tongues didn’t stop wagging as they had many years to catch up on. George & Kathy (Polly Oliver) King, caretakers of the Cunderdin Caravan Park (both Old Fairbridgians), go out of their way to make visitors welcome. George Fox in the U.K. wrote another long and interesting letter in which he talks about the real meaning of Christmas.


1981 – Newsletter No.6


I received a letter from John Forrester. He sees Don Brown who does not enjoy good health, having a stroke. Don has some interesting photos of the early days which he will give us. Thanks Don and I hope your recovery will be soon and complete.


Several families have arrived from the U.K. during September and October. Mrs Kettlewell and two sons, Mrs Thorburn and one son, Mrs Pearce and one son, Mrs West and one daughter, Mrs Williams and one son and one daughter, and Mrs Kinder with two sons.


I have been able to see some of the newcomers. Mrs Thorburn has been able to get a job at Bruce Rock. As she will be in a new country and a new environment, I hope any of our members will be able to make her feel welcome and give aid where necessary.


David Buck was appointed to the Fairbridge Board in Perth in April 1981.


1981 – Newsletter No.5


On Founder’s Day, Mr Line, Principal, gave the Address. It was a sunny spring-like day (in the middle of winter) and a sunny, happy, smiling crowd filly the Chapel.


Bert Read has retired and has moved to Bridgetown. Wal Downing and his wife sent a holiday postcard from NSW. Grace Miller (nee Baker) writes that she has moved to Burekup. George Fox sent in another long and interesting letter.


It is with sorrow that I must report that three former members of the staff at Fairbridge in the 1930’s have passed on. They are Mrs Mansfield in the East some time ago, Miss Cole-Hamilton, “Miss” to many of her girls who kept in contact with her after her return to the U.K.; and Mrs Grant who was an honorary member of our Association for many years.; and also of Alma Humble (nee Middleton), Old Fairbridgian.


Some members will be sorry to know that the Rev. Brian Newing of St. Johns Anglican Church in Pinjarra has been transferred to Corrigin. Rev. Newing has been at Pinjarra for 8-9 years and during that time as conducted our Founder’s Day and occasional ANZAC Day services and was also the Minister when Prince Charles visited Fairbridge in 1979.


I have been asked to compile a list of any members willing to look after children at Fairbridge during school holidays or in an emergency if one of the Cottage Mother “Aunties” suddenly became ill or received an injury. If you are willing to do this job then please write to me as soon as possible so I can send a list to Fairbridge.


The wedding of our Assistant Secretary Daphen Briggs and Bob Powell will taken place in November.


1981 – Newsletter No.4


A Fairbridge Story from Ted Williams of some 40 years ago:


” My story begins whilst waiting at Fairbridge to be sent to another job in the year 1935-36. I happened to meet a young man who was on holidays from the North-West, namely Onslow. He turned out to be one of our earlier vintage Fairbridge boys named John Preston (I belonged to the 1928 batch). He had been asked by his employer to find a young lad to work on a sheep station. I jumped at the opportunity. Colonel Heath (Principal) said “On your way – get going” etc. So after picking up the bosses son was soon in Perth, the three of us headed North in a 1928 Chev.


It took us four days to get to Yarraloola Station some 50-60 miles north of Onslow. The month was February. “Boy, it was hot”. Broke a drive shaft out from Winning Pool Station, another delay. Arriving at Yarraloola I met another Fairbridge lad older than I. He was Harry Campbell. Now some 50 odd miles further north at Mardi Station another Old Fairbridgian worked. He was Nick Carter, who is now 69 years young, so over the years we got to know each other very well. Nick got his young brother out from England as his own expense. His name was Tom. Tom and I were both in the 2/16 Battalion.


To cut this saga down, a bit before the 1939 war we were all split up. From those days down to the present time I haven’t seen any of these people except Tom, and I even lost track of him after the war. I often wondered what happened to my mates, then, towards the end to 1980’s, Mrs Briggs rang to ask if I knew someone called Harry Campbell. So started a chain of events which ended in good results. Harry and Tom are retired farmers living in South Australia. John, also a farmer, lives in Cranbrook, and our late boss’s son Ashley Paterson lives in Nedlands. At Easter time this year I had the pleasure of meeting four of my old mates and spoke over the phone to John. so, after 40 years, we met again. Such is life, sigh!! ”


1981 – Newsletter No.3


At the meeting in the Dining Hall after the ANZAC Day lunch it was good to see so many members present. There was between 60 and 70 present and 15 apologies. Just prior to the meeting the Principal, Mr John Line, took the opportunity to explain to the gathering of members the present situation at the Fairbridge Centre. The financial position and the lack of numbers of children has created quote a problem in securing the future of Fairbridge. Mr Line was appealing to the Old Fairbridgians for support with ideas in any way to help get Fairbridge flourishing again. He did say he felt sure of the support of the Old Fairbridgians in this matter.


Ivy Roe (nee Winn) and brother Brian are trying to find their sister Olive Young. Olive has done quite a lot of moving around Australia over the years and they’ve lost touch. Maurice Ashworth reports in by phone from Victoria and that the family are settling in and coping well in “foreign lands”. Ted Heath and his wife went to Sydney and were guests of honour at a Molong OFA reunion. Frank and Ruth Richardson are off on an extended working holiday around Australia. Rod Mitchell has moved from East Fremantle to Melville and would like to make contact with Rupert Masters. Amy Lippiatt who has been on the sick list in the Repatriation Hospital is leaving for the U.K. in June. Frank Lenthall recently received a letter from Mrs Mabel Cave (nee Waterland) of Cook Cottage. She mentioned meeting Frank and Ruth Richardson with whom she has continual correspondence, and Mrs and Mrs Firmiston (nee Sister Bargh who was nurse at Fairbridge in the late 1920’s and early 1930’s).


1981 – Newsletter No.2


The Annual General Meeting was held and the annual election of officers produced a disappointing results in that only the Executive were elected. No other vacancies were filled. The incoming Executive are David Buck President, Len Phenna Vice President, Daphne Briggs Assistant Secretary and Bill Newberry Treasurer. Mille Lander was elected Secretary but has since resigned.


The Association has heard from/about: Wally Freeth – Rhodes 1928-1932 (in Sunset Hospital, Dalkeith), Harry Boucher of Coolgardie, Esmie Neill holidaying in Melbourne, Doris Hutchinson (nee Leppard) from the USA, May Fonn (nee Bailey) who lives in Norway, Rose Carter from Donnybrook and Alice (Sally) Karth in Sweden. Doris Hutchinson would like to get in touch with Hilda Marmion (Simms) and Margaret Marshall (Beaven) who both went to America after World War II.


It is with regret that we note the passing of Miss Faith Missingham who was the Domestic Science teacher at Fairbridge in the late 1930’s.


You will be pleased to note that so far this year about 30 children have arrived at Fairbridge. Millie Lander will continue her liaison work with the new parents and is our official New Parents Liaison Officer.


The Committee has bestowed honorary memberships to Miss Rita Thompson and Mrs Mary Bartlett. This is conferred in recognition of their support for and hospitality to ex-Fairbridgians visiting the Fairbridge Centre.


1981 – Newsletter No.1


During the 1980 Christmas party the OFA President presented small gifts in token of appreciation to Pam Wilson, Matron of the Fairbridge centre, to Mrs Pat Francis, Secretary to the Principal Mrs John Line, to Sister Mary Bartlett, to Miss Rita Thompson and to Mr Maurice Ashworth. Both Sister Bartlett and Miss Thompson are now retired from Fairbridge.


Len Phenna has now resigned his position as State Secretary of the R.S.L. as a consequence of his appointment to the No.9 Commonwealth Repatriation Board situated in Perth.


1980 Christmas greetings were received from Mr Ivor Vincent, Director Fairbridge Society London, Barbara Rowley, Miss Nora Middleton (Middy), Phil and Rita Connup, Dorothy Randell (nee Thomas), Jim and Yvonne Arthur, David Jones and his family, Ruth and Frank Richardson, Joan Halls and family, Joyce and Tom Brayn and also George and Lois Elliott.


1980 – Newsletter No.6


We’ve heard from Wally & Laura Milne from the U.K., from Charles & Frances Buckley who have moved into their own home in Melville, from Ted Williams after his hospitalization on Hollywood, George Churchill, from Rita Connup, from Claude Knott in Bunbury, from Bob Powell who sends regards to all, from Val Hobbs in Bayswater and from Queenie Walsh.


Miss T. Woods has again written from the U.K. with news of Miss Cole-Hamilton who is in a nursing home in Berkshire. Would some of her girls continue to write to “Miss”? Miss Woods also tells of meeting Gladys Ricks and Helen Tatchelle’s family during their recent trips to the U.K.


In my last newsletter I printed a letter from Maurice Buggins. Since then I have been given a newspaper cutting which mentions that Maurice “Mot” has just retired after 15 years attending school gardens in the Kelmscott and Gosnells area. Happy retirement Maurice!


Notice in the West Australian, 22nd October 1980: “Would like to hear from anyone in Lister Cottage, Fairbridge Farm School at Pinjarra, between 1928 and 1932. A. F. (Tommy) Lewis, Boyup Brook P.O. 6244″.


1980 – Newsletter No.5


After 15 years of service to Fairbridge and many thousands of cuppa’s to Old Fairbridgians, Sister Mary Bartlett and Rita Thompson are leaving. By the time you receive this newsletter they will be living in Balga. I am assured that there will still be a cuppa available to visitors and a warm welcome extended.


It is with regret I announce the deaths in recent weeks of Joe Chapman, Roy Holoway and the wife of Bob Powell In Albany. Roy was interred at the Fairbridge Centre. Joe was cremated at Karrakatta., many of our members were able to attend.


It was good to hear that Maurice Ashworth (our Vice-President) received such a warm welcome from his family in England on his recent visit. Maurice and his family are going to Victoria at the end of the year as Maurice is studying to become a Minister in the Church of Christ.


Maurice Buggins wrote in – here is part of the letter: “My wife happened to notice the ad in the newspaper concerning Founder’s Day at Fairbridge so I decided to go down and see what a day it turned out to be. It was a beautiful sunny day, the Church was full and as I pondered I found myself wandering down memory lane going back to 1924 when a party of about 115 of us arrived. I was the youngest being 8 years old. I had my first glimpse of Kingsley Fairbridge, he was escorting us around the newly build cottages with a list of our names and ages, calling them out as in our order. It was quite dark and he had to hold a hurricane lantern shoulder high.”


“Another incident that came to mind was when a group of boys did a bunk and followed a bush track until they noticed roof tops, but on arriving they found they were back at Fairbridge! They were reprimanded by being given a dose of castor oil with gravity and a glint of humour and told not to try it again.”


“Then to notice Miss Heath who I not seen for 50 years and Colonel Heath’s son (changed somewhat) also completed the picture, or so I thought. During the dinner I was sure I heard Colonel Heath’s voice boomed once or twice! Next was a visit to my cottage (Darwin) which has now become a cosy home and found the residing Mother, as she escorted me over it, a rapt listener to all the old days – oh boy, what a day!” .. sincerely, Maurice Buggins.


1980 – Newsletter No.4


As requested by your Committee, Len Phenna recently supplied us with a copy of Deceased O.F. personnel. This list will be placed in the back of the O.F. Visitors Book. We realise that this list may not be complete so we would like Members to examine it and add the names of any persons they know who have died in war service or as a result of injuries received in any theatre of war in which Australians have served.


Once again I ask members to go through their books, magazines etc that could be used in the library. When you attend the Founder’s Day Service please bring the material with you. Ask your friends if they can help out. These books, papers etc are urgently needed.


1980 – Newsletter No.3


Mr Peter Curtis of Pinjarra Scouts thanks Ben Mears, Bob Charles and Bill Smith for their information regarding Scouting at Fairbridge., but there are still many gaps in their files and would love to have any information and tit-bits you can give them. Please write to me (Secretary) with anything you have so I can pass it on before they print their booklet. Remember all their files were burnt in 1978.


While at Fairbridge recently I met Len Merrick and his two sisters Beryl Davis and Connie Archer. We had a long chat and they would love to meet or hear from their old friends. I also met a very young Old Fairbridgian of 1960’s vintage, Stewart Crockett and he would like to hear from members. Visiting Fairbridge on April 27th was Glen Pulley, with his wife and daughter. Glen was at Molong in N.S.W.


Rene Sexton was ordained into the Priesthood in the Church of the Mystic Christ on 13 April 1980. Wally Freeth sends his greetings from Sunset Hospital. Kathy Summers lives just one minute walk from the Secretary so they meet occasionally. Jim Shugar is in Royal Perth Hospital. Mary Horton saw Harry Lucas and family recently in Albany.


Channel 7 will be making a documentary film about Fairbridge. John Hudson will be interviewing a number of Old Fairbridgians, some of whom will be in the documentary. Mr Hudson will be making his own choice of those to be interviewed from information supplied by members of the Association, most of which was gathered on April 27th.


1980 – Newsletter No.2


Mrs Alice Karth (nee Kynock) recently visited the Fairbridge centre with her two sons. She was over from Sweden. Mrs Reynolds who was a Cottage Mother at Fairbridge and left 20 years ago also paid a visit. She is now 83 years old. Harry Boucher, Miss Woods, Reg. Short Evelyn Ward (nee Roberts) and Claude Knott have all written to the Association. Miss Woods advised a new address for Miss Cole-Hamilton who is in a nursing home in Berkshire, England.


1980 – Newsletter No.1


This newsletter focused almost exclusively on the O.F.A. Constitution changes redefining membership categories, Office Bearers (i.e. creation of Assistant Secretary role and limited the office of President to three years after which he/she must stand down for at least one year). The newsletter was short as the author, Secretary Millie Lander was helping out at Mandurah Camp.