Spring 2009 (November)


A late reminder that the OFA Christmas function will be held on Sunday December 6th in the Clubhouse with the “Man in the Red Suit” paying his customary visit.


OF’s numbers are sadly decreasing and we regret to note the passing of some of our friends, namely: Syd Stonehouse (1928), Gordon Hayes (1930), Millie Lander nee Wackrill (1934), Albert Johnson (1933), John Holland (1951), David Bellamy (1951), Garth Pinnegar (1950), and Frank Ingram (1933).


We also note the passing of Miss Rita Thompson, much loved cottage mother in Shakespeare.


Mr Ambrose Depiazzi has replaced Mr John Collett as Chairman of the Board of Fairbridge W.A. Our sincere thanks to John for his support during his term in office.


The Association has recently re-negotiated the Letter of Understanding with Fairbridge W.A. thus guaranteeing the tenure of the Museum and the exclusive use of the Clubhouse flat until at least 2014.


OFA MEMBERSHIP: The OFA is facing a membership crisis and as such needs to look very seriously at its future. To anyone reading this: If you are an Old Fairbridgian then you are encouraged to join the Association to help assure its future and to preserve the memory of the work of Kingsley and Ruby Fairbridge. Please download the Membership Application form on the OFA main page.


Winter 2009 (July)


Founder’s Day 2009 is fast approaching. OFA’s would have recently received two invitations. One to the traditional Founder’s Day service and get together and another for the official naming of the “Belinda Barry Wing” – the west wing of the clubhouse. All OFA’s and friends are welcome. Belinda Barry (nee Holland) is being formally recognised through this naming for her sterling work she did for OFA’s and Fairbridge, particularly in the latter years of her life.


Well done to all those who took part in the busy bee on June 6th, cleaning up our Founder’s gravesite in the back paddock. There are arrangements in place to lay pea-gravel on the site to prevent the re-occurrence of weed growth.


Does anyone remember John Hughes who came to Fairbridge in 1956? He died in Sydney in 1989 and we have been contacted by a relative who seeks information. Also, the family of Alf McDowell (1924) .. also known as Joe .. is anxious to find papers relating to his life story which he was compiling and which seem to have disappeared. Does anyone have any ideas on the subject?


Don Finlay is making a good recovery after falling and breaking his ankle. He will be with us on Founder’s Day as usual.


We have also been contacted by Linda Alexander, daughter of Jack and Jean Hogg, who is also interested in hearing about her parents time at Fairbridge. We are hoping she will be able to join us on Founder’s Day.


Autumn 2009 (April)


One hundred years ago this year, Kingsley Fairbridge founded the Child Emigration Society to provide an opportunity for disadvantaged boys and girls to make a new life overseas. In 1913 the first party of boys arrived in Pinjarra at the old farm site. The OFA, which was founded in 1929, is planning a major re-union in 2013 to mark the 100th anniversary of the arrival of the first party of boys to Fairbridge. The date seems a long time ahead and maybe is a bit ambitious as OFA membership is dwindling, but we would appreciate your thoughts on the matter.


Due to the continued rise and uncertain price of base metals we are no longer able to set a firm price for plaques on the Memorial Wall. Henceforth we will accept deposits for plaques with the proviso that a guarantee is given that the balance of the cost will be paid from the estate of the deceased person.


The ANZAC Service will be held on Sunday 26th April 2009. The Service commences at 10.45am at the Memorial Gates. After the parade all are welcome at the Clubhouse. The Memorial Gates and Gardens are sadly in disrepair and an application to Fairbridge (with the RSL) for maintenance has been made. Should this work be in progress or the weather wet on the day, then the ceremony will be held in the Clubhouse.


It is with regret we note the passing of a number of Fairbridgians – Stan Trigg (1934), Harry Horne (1950), John Whiteman (1950), Robert Pilmoor (1928) and Jim Blake (1930).


The OFA proposes to hold a Busy Bee to clean up the bush cemetery on Saturday 6th June from 10.00am, followed by a BBQ picnic. Please brings along suitable tools (rakes, hoes, secateurs). We’d still love you to come down and see us even if you are unable to participate.


Does anyone remember Christine Dixon (1956)? Christine passed away some years ago at the age of 26. Her daughter would like to hear from anyone who knew her at the school. Please contact OFA Secretary (email address on Home Page) for details.


Please don’t forget that Founder’s Day will be held on Sunday 19th July.


Spring 2008 (October)


Founders Day, held on July 20th, was well attended in spite of a number of apologies. The Service was conducted by our own Don Finlay and the Address was given by Mr John Alexander, an incoming member of the Board of Fairbridge. Unfortunately the choir could not attend as it had a prior commitment. Our thanks to Richard Stewart for setting up the Clubhouse. The collection raised some $440 towards the Chapel maintenance fund and the OFA raffle raised $477. Our thanks to Anne and Steve Bohan for their usual excellent lunch. In the Clubhouse, the Association was presented with the original trowel used to lay the Church Foundation Stone (February 14, 1931) by Mr A.E. Joyners descendents – the Chiffing family – who very generously donated the trowel. Jan Churchill accepted it on behalf of the OFA.


On September 2nd His Excellency the Governor of W.A. the Hon. Ken Michael was at the Village to officially re-open Livingstone and Nightingale after renovation. Later the same morning, ably assisted by David Buck, he cut the ribbon to declare the Clubhouse open notwithstanding that the building has been in regular use for over a year. The Museum was also open to visitors who were very impressed with the work done by Jan Churchill and her helpers to coordinate the photographic collection. Notable OFA’s who were there on the day were David Buck and Joan Halls, both of whom were at the School in the 1930’s. Mrs Beryl Newberry was present after the ceremonies to see the The William Newberry Scholarship awarded to one of the trainee apprentices.


Sadly, we note the passing of a number of Old Fairbridgians: Charles Hughes (1935), Herbert (Blue) Ernest (1929), Charlotte Couldridge (nee Hichcliffe) (1932), Florence Hinton (nee Thorn) (1932), Harold Abbott (1928) and Harry Boucher, a well-known identity in the Goldfields (1928). There will be a short Memorial Service for Harry on Saturday 1st November at 11.00am. This will be held at the site of his Memorial Tree and will be following by the scattering of his ashes.


Now that the Museum is functional again is it proposed to open it to visitors on two Sundays per month from 10.00am to 3.00pm. Jan Churchill is seeking volunteers to help with this. OFA’s please contact Jan direct.


Winter 2008 (July)


On Saturday June 29th a gathering was held in the Clubhouse to celebrate the life of John Lane (Jacky Ramsbottom) who passed away on June 24th after a long and courageous fight against Motor Neurone Disease. Our sincere sympathy to Rhonda and family. He will be sadly missed. John had a long and full life and Fairbridge and the Association were very close to his heart. The gathering was well attended by family and friends together with a good sprinkling of OF’s who came to Fairbridge in the same party, 75 years ago.


We also note the passing of Colin Jeffrey (1951) and deepest sympathy to his wife and family.


In the last (November) newsletter we stated that the cost of plaques on the Memorial Wall would remain at $260. Unfortunately this will no longer be possible as the casters have advised a steep price rise in base metals. The cost henceforth will be $300.


At last the OFA Museum is again open, thanks to the Fairbridge team and to Jan Churchill. Any donations of exhibits of photos (we’ll make copies) that relate to Fairbridgians and Fairbridge and life at the Farm School would be extremely welcome. We’d especially welcome photos of Service Personnel. Our curator, Jan Churchill, advises that panoramic photos of the Village can be purchased at a cost of $40 each.


The year 2009 will mark the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Child Emigration Society by our Founder, Kingsley Fairbridge whilst he was at Oxford in England. It is fitting that the OFA should recognise this with some kind of celebration, a Reunion week at the end of July 2009. Perhaps you can give some thought to this matter and let us have your thoughts and ideas?


Autumn 2008 (April)


Please note that the ANZAC Day Memorial Parade will be held on Sunday 4th May at the Memorial Gates – unless it’s wet then we will hold the Service in the Clubhouse. The parade will muster at 10.45am, and again we will have the services of the Mandurah Concert band for the Service and afterwards they will play for us during lunch.


It is hoped that the Museum will be open so you can assess the renovations. Our thanks to Jan Churchill and her elves for all the hard work in getting the photographs and exhibits back on display.


The AGM was held at the end of February and Stuart Law was re-elected President. Val Hobbs was elected Vice President with committee members Jan Churchill, Rosemary Pearce, David Buck and Graham Bennett, with big welcome to Lyn Alfonsi (Rainey) to the committee. Irena Harrison is our Special Projects Member, and again, Pam is Secretary and Treasurer. Well done all!


Thanks to Sue Parker and her helpers for work done in the Memorial Gardens and also to Ollie Swiderski for the reticulation work in the rosebeds.


Summer 2008 (February)


What wonderful generous people you are! Thanks to you all and to an O.F. who wishes to remain anonymous, we have raised the whole of the $15,000 that Fairbridge needed to complete the work on the Museum and we are now waiting for the work to be completed. We hope to be able to start putting the photographs and exhibits in place before the Fairbridge Festival in April.


On December 8th we saw the Governor, the Hon. Ken Michael, open Rosa Nobes Cottage. Your President, Mr Stuart Law, and myself (Pam Wilson) together with a sprinkling of O.F.’s, John Lane’s sons, the Friends of Fairbridge and members of the Board of Fairbridge gathered to thank John Lane for his generosity in endowing this replica boy’s cottage which is named after his much loved foster mother.


We have been contacted by Christine Douglas nee Hinch (1953) and June Bachelor (1976) with regard to joining the Association.


Our love and best wishes to John Lane who is now in Murray Districts Hospital, however he insists that he is not sick, just taking time out! Also to Stan Trigg who is now in “high care” in Midland.


Spring 2007 (November)


The year is nearly over and it has seen us lose three links with our past, namely the passing of Barbara Rowley and Professor Rhodes Fairbridge, daughter and son of our Founder, and of Queenie Walsh (nee Bitmead) who came to the School in 1924.


In July we were delighted to welcome Sean Fairbridge, grandson of Rhodes and great-grandson of our Founder. He spent a few days in the Village and was absolutely fascinated by the work being done at/by Fairbridge and also by the friendliness of the O.F.A. During the Founder’s Day memorial service Sean read a eulogy to his grandfather Rhodes, and later unveiled a Memorial Plaque on Kingsley’s Memorial Stone in the paddock behind the Chapel.


Perhaps you have noticed that the flag pole has been re-furbished with a new Australian flag, donated by Mr Don Randall, and is proudly flying over the Memorial Garden. Thanks to the efforts of John Cooper and Richard Stewart.


Our President, Stuart Law, has launched an appeal for funds to help complete renovations to the Museum Wing of the Clubhouse. $15,000 is required to complete the work. If the O.F.A. can raise half the amount then the Fairbridge Board will contribute the other $7,500. We already have $1,000 towards our share. Donation Details.


It is with regret we note the passing of George Hine (1930) and Gordon Bowles (1930). Sincere sympathies to their families.


Next year Val Hobbs and Sue Chafer are hosting a reunion for parents who came to Western Australia in 1977, bringing with them their children, some of whom only stayed with us a few weeks, others for several years. Unfortunately very few of those parents have stayed in touch with us. Further details in the next Newsletter.


As always, if you are a member of the O.F.A. and have changed address, please let the Association know of your new address!


Winter 2007


Your Committee has been in consultation with the Board and Management of Fairbridge to negotiate some kind of loyalty scheme for Old Fairbridgians whereby we will be entitled to discount accommodation at the Village. I am in the process of drawing up a list of those persons who will qualify.


We are still unable to access the Museum as progress has been slow with the Club House renovations. It has now been some two years since the Museum was dismantled and packed up and stored away!


Founder’s Day will be held on Sunday July 22nd and we understand Fairbridge is to put up a Memorial plaque to Rhodes Fairbridge on Ruby’s stone outside the Chapel.


Summer 2007


2006 was a sad year for the Association with the passing of Barbara Rowley following in November by Rhodes Fairbridge, thus severing the last direct link with the Founder. Many of the post-war Fairbridgians will remember Rhodes as he used to meet the new arrivals at Fremantle. However links with the family are not wholly lost as Barbara’s sons and their families have expressed a wish to keep up the connection and we welcome them all to the Association.


Although the renovations to the Club House are almost complete the Association is no nearer to being able to re-open the Museum and we can get no firm date from Fairbridge. The interior and upper room of the Club House look very smart, new paint work, down lights, air conditioning, and now we have unisex toilets with wheel chair access.


Winter 2006


Founder’s Day will commence at 11am in the Chapel of the Holy Innocents and will include Memorials to the late Barbara Rowley, the daughter of our Founder Kingsley Fairbridge and his wife Ruby. Members of her family have come over from Canberra to take part in the service. After the wreath laying her ashes will be interred in the original grave site of her father further down in the paddock.


Sometime during the afternoon the new caretaker’s cottage behind Exeter will be named Elizabeth Cottage after the Founder’s second daughter and will be declared open by Barbara’s grandson.


We had a visit from Ellen Boucher (USA) who is doing a PhD on Child Migrants. She was able to make a trip to the Village and interview some Old Fairbridgians.


Rob Willis from the National Library of Australian Folklore Collections will be in W.A. in October and would be interested in meeting up with some Fairbridgians to discuss Fairbridge songs or ditties to be included in the 2007 Folk Festival to be known as “Crossing Borders” which will feature the general folklore of Child Migration.


February 26, 2006 – Museum Report to AGM


The O.F.A. Museum has been closed to members and the general public since Founder’s Day 2005 due to the Club House renovations. Wall panels and cabinets were removed and all items were carefully packed away to ensure their safety. Some of the larger items (heavy bookcases etc) had to be left in place. A temporary photographic display with story sheets has been set up in the General Store to allow people to appreciate the history of Fairbridge. It is anticipated Club House renovations will be completed prior to the Fairbridge Festival (21 to 23 April) and hopefully the Museum will be up and running for that event.


February 26, 2006 – Presidents Report to AGM


The ANZAC Day Memorial Service was held on 2nd May and had good support of family members and music by the Mandurah Concert Band that was really appreciated. It was great to have the March Past in honour of all who served. Sadly the numbers are down from previous years.


During the year we saw Exeter refurbished, burnt down, then rebuilt again. The work that I have seen is a credit to the young trainees are all involved in the whole project. The Replica Boy’s Cottage is progressing along. Belfast Cottage is now complete and available for visitors.


The Committee has started to try and build up membership numbers by inviting all Old Fairbridgians who can be contacted to join the Association. I hope that this continues with this year’s Committee because if we don’t build up our membership we could find ourselves struggling to make up a full Committee. If you know of anyone entitled to join who may be interested please advise the Committee.


Winter 2005


Founder’s Day this year will be the last get together we will be able to hold in the Club House for the next few months as the renovations, including the upgrade of the kitchen and the flat, are due to commence at the end of July. These renovations will include the removal of all asbestos panels, the removal of the “drop” ceilings in the main area, replacing jarrah paneling in the West Wing, extra toilet facilities including disabled access, insulation for the upper storey, and new and improved access to the upper storey at the rear of the building. The Museum collection will be packed away and stored in a safe place.


We note the passing of Leonard Bowles (1924) and Fred Isaacs (1922). The “Kath Mir” day went off well and the weather was pleasant. The day had been planned to celebrate Kath’s 80th birthday, instead a wake was held.


February 26, 2005 – Museum Report to AGM


As you may be aware funds donated to Fairbridge Western Australia Inc. for the preservation of the Old Fairbridgians’ Collection is being used in part for the renovation of the Museum (in the Club House). The balance is being put towards the archival storage media necessary for the conservation of the negatives and the original photographs that have been removed from the walls.


All photographs taken from the walls are being set up in albums for ease of viewing. Details of photographs have been taken from annotations on the back of them and from notes in albums. Whilst all care has been taken in compiling the records, errors and omissions may have occurred and amendments and contributions would be welcome. We have supplied a number of copies of photos requested during the year. The current charge for a 7″ x 5″ is $5 plus $1 for postage.


Spring 2004


Founder’s Day went well and I have copies of Irena Harrison’s address if anyone would like one. Stan Trigg had a visit from his niece Veronica his last relative, from the U.K. and he and Margaret were able to show them around the village.


The second Memorial Wall is now in place and our thanks to the builder, Fred Newton of Mandurah, for a job well done.


Len Phenna and his son Allyn, assisted by Vince McFagan continue to do sterling work putting up the plaques and keeping records straight.


The rebuilding of Exeter (destroyed by fire on Easter Saturday) is progressing well and it is hoped to have it completed by March 2005. We also understand that the replica boy’s cottage largely funded by John Lane, will be completed by that time, likewise the old bunkhouse from Mandurah Camp.


Many of you will remember Tom Brayn who was bursar/ after-care officer and then principal of the school who has passed away.


Winter 2004


We had a very successful busy bee at the bush cemetery and the end of May and the boys and girls did a wonderful job and afterwards forgathered on Lois Elliott’s verandah to eat our sandwiches and drink coffee. The Clubhouse was let to visitors but it was a very chummy get together at Lois’s. Many thanks Lois.


You will be pleased to know that the plans for rebuilding Exeter are complete, planning approval has been received and rebuilding has commenced and it is hoped to have the new building completed by the end of the year.


It is with sincere regret that we note the passing of Pat Phenna, wife of Len and long time member of the O.F.A.


Autumn 2004


No doubt some of you will have seen on TV and in the West Australian that there was a fire at Fairbridge last weekend and Exeter Cottage was burnt to the ground, however we were fortunate that although the building was completed destroyed the fire was confined to that building alone. It is a great loss as it was one of the original buildings from 1921 and had been recently renovated prior to being opened as a Visitor Reception Centre and Admin Offices.


Mrs Jan Churchill would like it be known that she is now custodian of the O.F.’s photographic collection and is in a position to supply copies of most of the photos in the collection. The cost would be $5 per copy plus postage.


The Association has decided to go ahead with the erection of the second Memorial Wall in the Memorial Garden as, although there are plenty of spaces available, we are getting down to the lower courses of bricks which makes it hard to read the names.


I have been contacted by Anne Hollywood (nee Bowden, 1950) who now lives in Queensland and would love to hear from anyone who remembers her and her brother and sister. Also heard from Mark Herbert (1976) who lives in Albany and is very keen to stir up younger Fairbridgians into taking an interest in Fairbridge and the O.F.A. Contact addresses for both these people can be obtained from the O.F.A. Secretary. (Please quote this newsletter edition).


Summer 2004


It is with deep regret that we note the passing of our good friend and loyal member, Belinda Barry on January 8th. Belinda will be remembered for her dedication to Fairbridge and her untiring work in the OFA Museum and for her genuine interest in young people. Other OF’s who have recently passed away are Noel Matthews, Gladys Rick (nee Middleton 1935) and Bill Pettit who was a Staff member, post war.


The work of restoration goes on at the Village with the new Reception Centre and office located at Exeter will be completed in the near future, also the renovation of Belfast. Work should begin later on the Multi-Purpose facility next to the Workshop. The Wind Turbine is now ready to go and Fairbridge is negotiating with Western Power on the payback arrangements from the Grid.


Of interest to Fairbridgians, discussions have been held with the Heritage Architect and the team from Fairbridge on the proposed renovations to the Clubhouse, As you may remember certain alterations were made by John Desormes and his band of volunteers nearly 20 years ago. However these changes to not comply with the present building standards required by law especially if the premises are to be used by the general public. It is therefore not feasible to restore the Clubhouse to its original condition, however the ambience of the Clubhouse will not be altered.


I have received a number of enquiries recently from the families of former Fairbridgians requesting copies of documents held in the Archives of the Battye Library, and, whilst it is possible to photocopy selected documents it is not possible to photocopy whole files. I have been in consultation with the manager of Archival Collections and have ascertained whilst access remains the same, photocopying can only be carried out by Library staff at a cost of $1 per page.


Spring 2003


Barbara Rowley is residing in a Nursing Home in Narrabundah in the A.C.T. Mark Anderson had afternoon tea with her when her was in Canberra a few weeks ago and says she is well and sends her good wishes to all.


The BBC 4 programmes on Child Migration which went to air in September did Fairbridge less than justice and, as usual we were smeared by association with the Catholic Institutions, especially since the promo advertising the programmes showed a party of Fairbridge boys and girls aboard ship on its way to Australia.


March/April 2003


I am sure you are all aware that 2005 marks the 75th anniversary of the founding of the O.F.A. and it is proposed to hold a reunion over the Founder’s Day weekend.


Mr Peter Kyle has stepped down as Chairman of the Board of Fairbridge and has been succeeded by Mr John Smith.


We have been contacted by researchers from Curtin University about Dutch refugee children who were at Fairbridge during the early 1940’s. Does anyone remember them or their names? We also have an album of snapshots of some of the children and their carers but no names.


Fairbridge has received $1.2 million fro the State Government for Stage 5 of the Development Plan. This will enable Fairbridge to complete the multi-purpose facility, renovate Exeter into a reception office and to upgrade Belfast to the standard of the other 2-storey cottages.


It is hoped to obtain further funding to enable Fairbridge to renovate Heath House, renovate Fairbridge House and to commence renovations to the Clubhouse, in consultation with the OFA and heritage architects. Also, in the not too distant future there will be a need to re-roof the Chapel as the Canadian cedar shingles are beginning to perish.


January 2003


Does anyone remember Phyllis McShee 1929 in Belfast Cottage? She is now living in Victoria and would love to hear from other OF’s. Let me know and I will forward your contact details to her daughter.


Would anyone have any information on Malcolm Eric Caffery Edwards, Balranald 1935, or John Millen 1956? Their families are interested in their whereabouts.


September/October 2002


Did you know that Fairbridge had a visit from the Prime Minster? He came on the wettest day of the year, had a quick tour around the village, met some of the trainees, declared the wind turbine open and was shown around the OF Museum and was presented with a framed photo of Don Bradman with the Fairbridge group of boys on their way to Australia.


John Lane’s video “Fairbridge the Vision Splendid” is now available and His Excellency the Governor of WA Lt Gen John Sanderson has accepted an invitation to launch the video on Thursday 24th October at 5.30pm in the Gallipoli Room, ANZAC House, St Georges Terrace and any OF who wishes to attend will be welcome.


June/July 2002


You will notice the grassed area of the Memorial Gardens has been stripped of turf prior to putting in a new reticulation system and it is hoped to have a reasonable area completed before Founder’s Day. The Association has paid towards the cost of the reticulation equipment as it is in our interest to preserve the area.


Belinda Barry, who has been doing sterling work copying and correlating photographs for the Museum and so on, has asked if anyone has any photographs of cottages (buildings, that is) or groups of children with Cottage Mothers, particularly post-1950 as she is trying to update our collection. Our sincere thanks to Vince McFagan who has been playing handyman in the Museum.


We were contacted by a team from BBC Radio 4 doing research into Child Migration (not just Fairbridge, but worldwide) and we were able to entertain them with a working lunch in the Barbara Rowley House at Fairbridge with a few OF’s, both pre and post war. The documentary series will go to air in the UK in 2003.


March/April 2002


We note the passing of Jim Bye who, with his wife Joy, was a good friend to many post-war Fairbridgians and was also a staunch supporter of the Royal Victoria League. Also passed away are Stan Sinden (1928) and Ron Smith (1950).


David Buck went to the British High Commission to sign the condolence book for H.M. Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother on behalf of all Fairbridge boys and girls. Some of you will remember the Royal visit in 1927.


January 2002


We have been given to understand that their are still monies available under the British Government Scheme for trips to the UK for former Child Migrants but time is running out and applications have to be received before 31 March 2002.


Some younger OF’s have been in touch recently – Anne Hollywood (nee Bowden) ( 1950), Malcolm and Terence Eaton (1964), Kenneth Morrish (1954), Sam Fitzsimmons (1961) and James Dixon (1950). Maybe as people get older their thoughts turn back to their school days?


Through the good offices of the Child Migration Trust, James Dixon has been to England and made contact with his family. His story appeared in the Armadale Kelmscott edition of the Community Newspaper.


It is with deep regret that we note the passing of long time member Stan Shepherd (1934) in South Australia and also Bernie Carpenter (1935) and Howard Emerson (1929).


Aug/Sept/Oct 2001


On the 6th September the Governor of W.A., Lt General John Sanderson and his wife paid an official visit to Fairbridge to see the work we are doing in the areas of youth training and the environment. Members of the committee were invited to meet them at a luncheon held in the Barbara Rowley Centre. It was also Barbara Rowley’s birthday and she is recognised as the first Fairbridge Kid, being born at the Old Farm. General Sanderson has graciously agreed to become Patron of Fairbridge.


It is with deep regret we note the passing of George Dick Leyland, (1934), Jean Marshall (nee McCormick) (1949), Abina Hanafin (1976), Patrick Conchie (1928), Ernest Skippings (1928), Doug Wilkinson (1929) and Lionel Pierce (1932).


We wish Val Hobbs the best of luck in her new job with the Shire of Gascoyne Junction. We shall miss her loyal support as a member of the Association and long-time Committee member.


May/June 2001


Our ANZAC Day Memorial Service on 29 April was quite well attended, we must remember the years are slipping away fast and the ranks of the “Diggers are thinning”. The address was given by Bert Coltman who was visiting from Queensland. After the Service we adjourned to the Clubhouse for a welcome cuppa and then at 12 made our way to the Memorial Garden for a short blessing and the scattering of the ashes of Jack Maude and John Urwin. Our thanks to Milly Lander for her services.


During luncheon Mr Peter Kyle, Chairman of the Board of Fairbridge made a speech outlining the long association of David Buck over some 67 years, as a former pupil, and, for 22 years a member of the Board. He took the opportunity on behalf of the Board to announce that one of the former primary school class rooms was to be named “The David Buck Training Room”. Mr Kyle also highlighted the long term membership of the Board of Mr Gordon McLarty and the McLarty family’s involvement with Kingsley Fairbridge and the Farm School going back to the earliest days. One of the new walking trails around the campus was to be named the “McLarty Walking Trail”.


March/April 2001


This year is the Centenary of Federation and as Fairbridge W.A. has been in receipt of federal funding towards renovation and restoration of the Village. It is needful that we mark the year in some way or other and it has been suggested that we, together with the Board, invite the Prime Minister or another senior member of Government to give the Founder’s Day address. This in no way distracts from the fact that this is “Our Day”, rather it highlights the huge contribution that Child Migrants have made to Western Australia in particular, and also Australia as a whole. The invitation has been sent but as yet we have received no reply.


It is with sincere regret that we have to report the passing of Jack Maude on March 18. Jack was possibly the oldest surviving Old Fairbridgian and had had the privilege of being the first boy to set foot on the “New Farm” in 1921.


John Lane is off to Gallipoli on April 16 for the Dawn Service on ANZAC Day and will be away for about a month in all so he will miss the Zimbabwe reunion.


Jan/Feb 2001


Unfortunately it is more than four months since the last newsletter and we have to report the passing of more of our old friends – Bob Powell, Len Downing, John Urwin, Doug Tanner, Emily Eldridge, Pauline Reed, David Jones, Florence Timmins, Ron Dare, Joe White and also Miss Tempe Woods, who died in the U.K. at the age of 94.


We understand that it is becoming increasingly difficult for some members to make the journey down to Fairbridge but remember it was your home and you are still very welcome.


In May some of the former pupils of the Fairbridge Memorial College in Bulawayo, Rhodesia now Zimbabwe are holding their reunion in Perth and have expressed a wish to come down to Pinjarra and have a get together with some of you on Sunday May 6th at the Clubhouse. It is proposed we provide a light lunch, in other words finger food, similar to that provided for guests on Founder’s Day. We would like as many of you as possible to come along.


Aug/Sept 2000


Founder’s Day was a success, as usual, and our sincere thanks go out to all those people who donated prizes for the raffle which raised $292. Our thanks to Millie Lander who did her usual wonderful job of selling tickets, also to Jane who helped her. The service was well attended and the Fairbridge Choir made a tuneful contribution to swell the joyful noise in the Chapel. Mrs Chris Jeffery gave an unusual address, a copy of which is included with this newsletter (this referred to the originals of the stained glass windows in the Chapel). Our thanks also to Rev. Don Finlay who conducted the service assisted by Rev. Maurice Ashworth, and also to Frankie Richardson for his bell-ringing efforts and to all the people who helped make the day enjoyable. David Buck and I were sorry that we did not have more time to spend with members … the call of duty to a Board meeting.


Sadly we have said farewell to a number of fellow Fairbridgians in the past few months – Jack Hogg, Fred Webb, Victor Holyoak, Harry Lucas, and also to Mary Wilson who was a cottage mother at the school from 1975 to 1981. Our sincere sympathy and prayers to their families.


I have been contacted by Florence Timmins (nee Price) married to Edward who lives at Clackline and has been out of touch with the School for many years and would like to be remembered by all her friends.


May/June 2000


It is with sincere regret that we note the passing of Mrs Betty Fry who was matron at the school for a number of year and will be remembered by many post-war OF’s.


March/April 2000


The AGM was held on 20 February at the Clubhouse, Fairbridge and was reasonably well attended. Mr Bill Newberry has already intimated that he would be stepping down as treasurer, however his sudden illness caught us all unawares and the meeting agreed to appoint an interim treasurer. Alas, Bill died on March 7th. He has been a tower of strength for more than 50 years.


Mr John Lane decided not to serve again as President, he felt that it was time for a change and he wished to conserve his strength for his work with the historical side of Fairbridge and the preservation of archival material.


Mrs Betty Fry, who was Matron of the School, has been moved to the Mandurah Nursing Home as she is no longer able to live alone.


January 2000


The Christmas get-together went off quite well but the numbers attending were down from previous years. Our thanks to Rose Downing for making the scrumptious cake; to Rose and Len Downing and Chris Downs for their efforts at running the Christmas stall; to Millie Lander for her sterling duty selling raffle tickets and last but not least, to David Buck who played Father Christmas.


December and January have been sad times for the Association as we note the passing of Irene Sexton (nee Thompson) 1928, Walter Freeth 1928, John Peart 1928, and Joe White 1928. We also note the passing of Charles McKay 1921, a long-time friend, member and benefactor of the Association – our sincere thanks to his good friends and Mary Wells who cared for him in his last two years.