October/November 1999


On October 31st Fairbridge hosted a “thank-you” day at the village. Invitations were sent to all those persons – OF’s, Friends of Fairbridge and all Corporate Sponsors to attend a morning tea and to receive a Certificate acknowledging their interest and generosity in supporting the restoration and redevelopment of Fairbridge. Some three hundred people attended and were thanked by Mr Peter Kyle, Chairman of the Board of Fairbridge in a short speech in which he outlined the seemingly impossible dream of rejuvenating Fairbridge, and, how, with your support, his dream is becoming a reality. After morning tea, provided by the Friends of Fairbridge, everyone was invited to go on a tour of the Village to see what has been done to date – the renovations to Forest, Raleigh, Wolfe and Scratton are of a very high order and come well inside the current Australian Standard for public accommodation. Saumarez has also been restored. Much of what has been achieved is not visible – new water, gas and electricity infrastructure and several new sewerage/septic systems are now in place. The Oval is to have proper sub-surface drainage and to be replanted with new grass. The work is necessary because during the winter months the ground becomes water logged. The Primary School buildings will have a face-lift to enable full use by the ECO Track and STAR programme students.


On October 5th David Buck and I represented the Association and the Board at the launch of the Migrant Referral Index at the Old Observatory in Perth – some of you may have seen David’s picture in the West Australian. Unfortunately the British Government has not yet completed its own list of migrants and sending agencies – we live in hope.


Fairbridge has received a grant form the National Library Board in Canberra for a Preservation Assessment Survey of the heritage item in our museum. This has come about through the good offices of Mrs Jan Churchill and will be carried out by an experienced assessor of photographic collections. We also expect to receive expert advice on the future display and housing of the collection.


August/September 1999


We were pleased to welcome the Chairman and members of the Board of Fairbridge W.A.; also Mrs Chris Jeffery, co-author of the book “Fairbridge, Empire and Child Migration” and Mrs Jennie Gregory, Director of U.W.A. Press. It was wonderful to see old friends again among them, David Jones, Henry Hawksford, Maurice Buggins, Charlie McKay, Cyril Wise and Betty Truscott and also to welcome some Fairbridgians from the 1970’s. My apologies to all those people I did not manage to greet.


Old Northcotian, Derrick (Taffy) Rees has written his autobiography “By Then I Was Thirteen” and it has been published by Lexington Avenue Pty Ltd, 31 Boundary Road, Wahroonga, NSW 2076. The price is $19.95 (plus postage, I imagine).


Renovations and restorations are proceeding apace at the Village. Forrest sub-divided into 3 small units and Raleigh with wheelchair access are now back online and Clive, Middlemore and Wolfe are all being renovated and will have shingle roofs. The Arthur Scratton Memorial building is also undergoing a refit and will be equipped to deal with up to 60 persons.


Some of you will be aware that I have been involved with Family and Children’s Services and representatives of some nine other welfare agencies charged with setting up a referral index of Child Migrants to W.A. The Minister, Hon. Rhonda Parker, announced on August 19th last that such an index was now in place and contains the names of those boys and girls who came to W.A. under the auspices of a recognised Child Migration agency between 1913 and 1968. It does not contain any personal records and does not contain other details other than name, date of birth, date of arrival, ship or flight number, placement (i.e. Fairbridge, Christian Brothers etc) and where the records may be sighted. The conditions for access will be strictly observed. This index does not contain the names of those children who may have arrived in W.A. with their parents. Our joint research shows that figures on Child Migration quoted in the media have been grossly exaggerated.


May/June 1999


On Sunday July 19th we will remember 75 years since the death of the Founder in 1924. The Memorial Service will be held in the Chapel of Holy Innocents, Fairbridge Village commencing at 11.00am. Afterwards in the Clubhouse, bring your own picnic lunch, tea and coffee will be served.


UWA has finally published “Fairbridge, Empire and Child Migration” by Geoffrey Sherrington and Chris Jeffery – this book has been eagerly awaited and I can recommend it to anyone who is interested in an un-biased history of Fairbridge.


We note the passing of Bob Spackman and Gilbert Masters. We also note the passing of Mrs Joyce Brayn, wife of Mr Tom Brayn, former welfare officer, bursar and Principal of Fairbridge Pinjarra.


The entrance road to the village has been resurfaced, a great improvement and work is going on apace in the Village itself. The restoration of Saumarez and Hudson is now complete and that on Raleigh and Forrest is nearing completion. Work has commenced on upgrading Scratton, and it is hoped work will start on Clive, Middlemore and Wolfe cottages next month.


March/April 1999


Mr Mark Anderson gave the Association’s AGM a very comprehensive run-down on working being done at the Village. Restoration work on Hudson and Scratton has been completed and the upgrade of Noah’s Ark Pavilion will be completed by April 9th, in time for the annual Folk Festival. Also, renovations to Forrest and Raleigh will begin soon. The Shire of Murray and the Main Roads Department will complete an extensive up-grade to the main road into the village.


It is with sincere regret we note the passing of Norah Seadon nee Woofingden, she will be sadly missed by all her friends. We also note the passing of Dorothy Randell nee Thomas and Robert King. Our sincere sympathies to their families.


January 1999


In November a number of Old Fairbridgians and others were invited to spend a weekend in the Village and to be present at the opening of the Barbara Rowley Centre – a new building behind Saumarez, overlooking the hills, built by Alcoa as a conference and seminar facility. Although the building is modern in concept, being of rammed earth it blends in well with the surrounding bush.


Owing to changes governing cemeteries it has been necessary to alter the status of the Bush Cemetery and in future it will be designated as a “Private Cemetery” and its use is restricted to Fairbridgians and those associated with Fairbridge. Also, in future, no ashes may be put into the Memorial Garden. However, ashes may be scattered anywhere on the property provided they are not scattered near the river.


We received a long letter from Rhodes Fairbridge for Christmas applauding the progress being made at the village; and also some photographs from George Fox in Basingstoke and his personal war memorial with a Fairbridge Roll of Honour (he is Chaplain to the British Legion).


November 1998


It has been a rather sad time for the Association over the past few months and our love and sympathy got to Walter Downing on the loss of his wife and also to Cyril Wise who suffered the same loss. We also note the passing of Ivor Church in Queensland and of Bill Bryant whilst on holiday in Darwin, and also the passing of Bert Ward


It is with deep personal regret that I report the passing of Mary Bartlett, former Matron of KFFS and long-time fiend of David Buck and the Association. On Sunday 6th December the Rev. Maurice Ashworth will conduct a short service of Remembrance before scattering her ashes on the Memorial Garden.


Mr Rod Quartermain has relinquished his post as C.E.O. of Fairbridge and his place has been taken by Mr Mark Anderson.


May 1998


John Lane, President of the O.F.A: On behalf to of Association’s Veterans I want to thank everyone who attended our ANZAC Day service on Sunday 26th April. The record large attendance was a fitting tribute to the memory of our 49 Brother Fairbridgians who gave their lives for the nation. Sincere thanks to all those who could not attend yet send their apologies. It was a pleasure to see our old friends Gordon Bowles and Reg Pascall who made the trip from NSW and Victoria to be with us. We are especially indebted to Pam’s son Alex who displayed a vital sense of history by making a comprehensive photographic record of this important function. The Association also acknowledges the considerable groundwork by Len Phenna in gaining a grant of $1,000 from the Department of Veterans Affairs, towards the cost of the Roll Of Honour. And for his efforts together with those of Alick Webster in the construction and placing of the plaque on the Memorial Gates. With Senator Ross Lightfoot, representing the Minister for Veterans Affairs, unveiling the plaque, John Irwin’s inspiring address, the presence of the Fairbridge Board Mr Peter Kyle, the Hon. Mick Gayfor and other members of the Board of Fairbridge together with the support of the Melville AFA Band, the ceremony was conducted with appropriate and impressive dignity. Our thanks to the Rev. Maurice Ashworth who led the Dedication exercises. Thanks also to our flag raisers and wreath layers and to Stuart Macklin for the PA system. It was great to have the AFA Band with us again and their played during lunch was much appreciated.


It is with deep regret we note the passing of Dennis Seiffert (1931) and of Napier McLeod (1938), and also Peter Horne (1950) and Keith Baker (1952).


January 1998


Lois Elliott would like it known that the get together arranged for the Australia Day weekend is still on and all are welcome .. bring you own barbeque or picnics; overnight accommodation is available.


Our thanks to John Lane for his efforts in the Museum and of course his role as Father Christmas! Thanks also to Chris Downs and John Galsworthy for their untiring efforts in the Clubhouse, also to Maurice Harrison who helped us towards solving the possum problem in the upper part of the Clubhouse.


We received Christmas cards and letters from Rhodes Fairbridge, Bishop George Fox, Lady Dodds-Parker (London Fairbridge) and from Molly Harris O.F.A. Canada. We also received a letter from Marian Cordwell (1956) who is now living in Mandurah and would like to hear from Old Fairbridgians of the 1950’s, and she has also offered to help other Old Fairbridgians in family research. (contact this website for Marian’s address please).


There are now 21 plaques on the Memorial Wall and thanks must go to Alick Webster who has been running around ordering and collecting the plaques and then going down to Fairbridge to place them on the Wall.


Did you see the Sunday Times a few weeks ago and the wonderful story about Norman Hale? Anne Baxter (Baker 1995) has gone to England to catch up with yet another member of the clan. We understand that Michael Baker (1952) has returned from overseas and is marrying again .. congratulations.


May/June 1997


It has been a sad beginning to the new year as we note the passing of Bob Anderson (1932) and Frank Lenthall (1928). To all those in hospital, especially Jack Maude, Napier McLeod, Noel Matthews, our good withes for continuing convalescence.


Does anyone known the whereabouts of Mary Lewis or Jeannie Lowe (she married John Donnelly)?


Lois Elliott wants it known that she is having a barbeque and picnic lunch at their place, Elliott’s Nest, to mark George’s 70th birthday and all his friends are welcome. Accommodation will be available in the Village.


Lillian Kingston (nee Dyer, 1928) who lives in Manjimup would like to hear from anyone who remembers her (contact this website for address please).


March/April 1997


The A.G.M. held on February 23rd was reasonable well attended and it was pleasing to see some of the younger folk who have joined the Association. Elected to office at the meeting were Mr Len Phenna, President; Mr Stuart Macklin, Vice President,; Mr Bill Newberry, Treasurer; Mrs Pam Wilson, Secretary; and Committee Members Mrs Val Hobbs, Mr John Lane, Mrs Christine Downs and Mrs Belinda Barry.


The Museum sub-committee would be grateful for photographs and other memorabilia, and also bequests of medals of ex-soldiers, sailors and airmen.


December/January 1996/7


As you all know, your personal files have been officially handed over to the Archive Division of the Battye Library under strict security and we are awaiting the confirmation of the rules governing access by Fairbridgians. You will be kept fully informed.


The Welfare Trust Fund set up in London in 1983/4 for the benefit of Old Fairbridgians in need, will be vested in the Association in the coming months. It will be administered by a special committee of, for the time being, the President, Treasurer an Secretary of the Association, together with two independent Trustees, namely Mr Trevor Gorey and Mr Paul O’Halloran. Applications in writing will be considered. Please note that under the terms of the Original Endowment only income from the Trust Fund may be used.


In is with deep regret that we note the passing of Mr Frank Hatch, for many years the Manual Arts Teacher at Fairbridge. Mr & Mrs Len Phenna represented the Association at his funeral.


Does anyone have and news of Willie MacDonald (1922), brother of Agnes MacDonald who was the first girl to be married at the School?


May/June 1996


Please note the annual Founder’s Day service will be held on Sunday, July 21st at the School Chapel, Fairbridge Village, commencing at 11.00am. During the service, which will be conducted by the Rev. Don Finlay, a plaque commissioned by Fairbridge, London, to mark 75 years of association with the Farm School will be unveiled by Mr Nigel Haynes CBE, Director of Fairbridge U.K. He will be visiting W.A. in July. Also, a new altar cloth, made and donated by Wendy Lander, daughter of Millie Lander, will be dedicated. Wendy has made and gifted this cloth to the Chapel as a thank-you for all that Fairbridge has done for and means to Millie and her family.


For the benefit of those people who will be staying in the Village for the banquet, don’t forget to bring some extra warm bedding as it can get very cold at this time of year, and also you will need to bring the wherewithal for breakfast on Sunday morning.


We are still looking for memorabilia for the Museum; much work is still needed to improve the conditions at present in the West Wing of the Clubhouse and we are currently exploring the possibilities of obtaining a grant towards such up-grading. Once again, our sincere thanks to our small band of dedicated helpers and to our Museum sub-committee – John and Rhonda Lane, and Belinda Barry.


March/April 1996


The A.G.M. was held on Sunday February 25th at the Clubhouse and was fairly well attended. The committee was elected unopposed with Mr Len Phenna as President. It was agreed at the meeting to form a Social Committee to organise social activities for members. Those elected are Mrs Rose Downing, Mrs Joan Thompson, Mrs Lois Elliott, Mr John Galsworthy and Mr Tommy Thompson, chaired by Mr Stuart Macklin. The first event will be a B.Y.O. barbeque to be held on Sunday May 17th at the Clubhouse. The Mandurah and Murray Lodges of Freemasons have accepted an invitation to join us, so get out your cooks’ aprons, tongs and bbq forks and come and join us, any time after 11.00am.


John Lane reported on his trip to Zimbabwe and to the Fairbridge Family Reunion and I hope to publish a full report in the next News Letter.


Maurice Ashworth reported that he was disappointed at the lack of topical contributions to a magazine; it was not his intention to collate and print a whole series of autobiographical stories or to re-hash material from the old magazines, also, all current news that came out in news letters. to re-cap, for anyone who may be interested, there is a full set of past magazines in the Battye Library, courtesy of Frank Richardson.


Jack Maude, Len Phenna and Alick Webster have all had spells in hospitals and we wish them well. Millie Lander has made a remarkable recovery from back surgery and will soon be getting around like a two-year old. We have received word that Bob Charles is in the Concord Repatriation Hospital in N.S.W., and is not very well at all. We understand Polly Oliver is in Cunderdin Hospital. It is with regret we note the passing of Norman Harvey.


Fairbridge is embarking on a huge fund-raising campaign this year with the object of raising several million dollars for the restoration of the village. There are not plans to destroy the present ambience rather to preserve the historical significance of the Village and the part which has been played by Fairbridge and Fairbridgians in Western Australia. At the present time, as you are all aware, Fairbridge is working hard becoming a viable and credible part of the youth awareness and self-help scene side-by-side with providing facilities for training seminars and accommodation for family and school groups. There is an adventure programme in place with a fully qualified instructor.


The Chapel is becoming an increasingly popular venue for weddings and, did you know, Fairbridge now has its own choral group who will be singing for us before the Founder’s Day service?


January 1996


It is with regret that we note the passing of Charles Cobbin after many years of ill-health; also of Oswald Dixon. It is with special regret that we record the untimely death of Alan Duncan at the early age of 51.


John Lane wants it known that if anyone has an unwanted copy of “Summer Will Come Again” could you contact him as he is willing to purchase any copies. John has also donated three copies of the new edition of “Fairbridge Kid” to the Association and proceeds of the sale of these will go to the Museum.


September/October 1995


The plans for the Memorial Wall have been submitted to the Board of Fairbridge and have received tentative approval., therefore estimates for the work are being sought and the membership will be informed of the progress. The final proposal is that, after an appraisal by Don Finlay, to lay a brick pavement in front of the Wall and ashes would be placed beneath a brick, and a Memorial Plaque placed on the Wall in the appropriate place. It seems that the Cemetery Board has no restrictions or rules about interring ashes in the ground, only about containers placed in walls as there is an increased risk of vandalism.


We note the passing of Doris Hutchison (nee Leppard), in the U.S.A, and also of John Sands and Geoffrey Farrer. Mrs Betty Fry has been in Hollywood Private Hospital for the last few weeks.


John Galsworthy, Lois Elliott and Chrissie Strangeway organised a small B.Y.O. dance in the Clubhouse. The music was provided by Norm Hale’s son who came up from Albany to enjoy the fun.


I spent a most enjoyable day at the Village recently with Mrs Jessie Boothroyd, widow of Robert Boothroyd (1924).; she was Jessie Clarke whose mother had been a house-mother in Darwin in the early 1920’s. Jessie had not been back to the School for 70 years and so saw many “new” buildings, including the Clubhouse and the Chapel, and so on!


July/August 1995


At Founder’s Day it was a delight to welcome Kath and Jack Heard from Queensland. Kath was Kath Musselwhite, Belfast 1935 and she would love to hear from anyone who remembers her. We were also pleased to welcome Mrs Yeats, who, as Miss Bridge, taught at the Primary School in 1922/24. It was her first post after completing her teacher training! Joan Broughton nee Bailey has been visiting from the U.K. and has been able to catch up with many old friends.


Next year, 1996, Fairbridge will celebrate 75 years at its present site with a yearlong calendar of events and it is hoped that the Association will be closely involved with a special ANZAC Memorial Service in April; a Founder’s Day week-end with a banquet on the Saturday night, and a special church service of the Sunday.


Does anyone have a war-time photo of Gordon Rees amongst his or hers treasures? If so, would you be kind enough be get in touch with Mrs Joan G. Smith (via this website). Joan was engaged to Gordon when he was killed in the landing of Tarakan.


The Management of the Village is well aware that the new price structure for accommodation in the Village is causing some concern to the Association and has offered to provide limited accommodation to small groups of couples in one of the small cottages (i.e. Lister or Newton) at the old rate of $10 per person per night. You will appreciate that it is just not good business practice to permit 4 persons to occupy a 16-bed cottage. If you wish to organise a group to occupy a larger cottage then the new tariff will apply.


May/June 1995


Winter is well and truly with us, and at last W.A. has received some reasonable rainfall. Our ANZAC Memorial Parade was well attended in spite of being held on May 1st; unfortunately it was not practical to hold this Parade on the day itself or even the Sunday before mainly because many people with the attend either their own branch parade or, more importantly, the march-past in Perth. Stuart Macklin gave a short address and the Service was led by Len Phenna and John Lane was the Parade marshal. Our sincere thanks to all those people who brought down plants to beautify the Memorial Garden.


It is with sincere regret that we note the passing of Kath Chapman, Florence Double (nee Lynch) and John Minty.


We had a welcome visit from Stan Manning (1928), who came over from New Zealand with his family; his first visit since 1938. It was a very emotional time for him revisiting all the places he had known so many years before.


On May 13th a number of younger Fairbridgians were the guests of the Victoria League as a dinner held at the League headquarters in Shenton Park. A very enjoyable evening was had by all with some Old Fairbridgians coming from interstate for the occasion. Sincere thanks to the League and Mrs Joy Bye in particular for arranging it all.


March/April 1995


A number of Old Fairbridgians have been successful in tracing families in the U.K., among them Fred Rickard, Olive Crouch (nee Furness) and Brian Ellison. Basil Foord has just returned from England where he was able to see his mother. Cyril Wise hopes to go to the U.K. in November but is having the usual problems with the Dept of Immigration but we hope to get it al fixed up in the near future.


Our friend John Stocker from Molong is the in the U.K. at present, he has been awarded an M.B.E. which he will receive from H.M. The Queen whilst he is there. He hopes to visit W.A. later in the years and we look forward to seeing him.


The W.A. Land Army is celebrating the 50th anniversary of the end of World War II and the granting of recognition to its members by the Government with a re-union of those girls who did their training at the Farm School and have expressed a wish to have such training remembered by a plaque which will be put on the eastern pillar faces of the Memorial Gates. The W.A.L.A. was very thrilled that the Association has offered such a site.


January 1995


The latter part of 1994 was quite a bust time for the Association with the Supper Dance held at the end of October; unfortunately a number of people were unable to attend due to ill-health, however a goodtime was had by all and we were able to record a modest profit which was channeled into the Museum Fund.


Early n November Queenie Walsh held her annual “At Home” – it was grand to see some new (old?) faces and to hear the “do you remembers”. Many thanks Queenie.


On November 22nd the 1934 “Baradine” party held their 60th anniversary re-union at Fairbridge Village. The re-union was organised by Norah Seadon (nee Wolfenden), and Frank Richardson was, we understand, a howling success. We wish all the best to Irena and Maurie Harrison who are the new joint-managers of the Village.


I have received a letter form Mr Ray Johnson of Campbelltown N.S.W., sending me some photographs of the Farm School taken in the early 1920’s by his mother. He would be very interested in hearing from any ex-servicemen as he is getting together information for the N.S.W. R.S.L.


John Andrews from Pershore, Worcs, U.K., wrote to the Association (the letter was published in full in this news letter edition). His letter is entitled “Gratitude of a Child Migrant”, and goes to great pains to point out the differences faced by child emigrants who went to schools run the Christian Brothers as opposed to Fairbridge. John went to Fairbridge in Rhodesia. He says “I am sure that, 45 years on, many children such as me still have cause to give thanks for the life of Kingsley Fairbridge, whose vision and compassion enabled us to break free of the spiritual and economic poverty of post-war Britain. There could be no greater injustice than to link his name with the obscenities that occurred elsewhere”.


We note the passing of two olds boys – Eric Cater and Walter (Snow) Hampton, and also of Victor Drury on January 27th.


October (approx) 1994


“Nakasaki Survivor at home in Hollywood” : August 6th 1945 is the date that 84-year-old Jack Maude will remember until the day he dies. That was the day that he was only 15 miles from the centre of Nagasaki when the city was obliterated by a nuclear bomb. A prisoner of war of the Japanese, he was working in a coal mine 800 feet below the ground when the whole earth seemed to give a mighty shrug that flung him and his companions hard against the wall of the shaft they were working in. The lights went out, the dirt fell from the roof and the pit props and bent. In pitch darkness he and his fellow emaciated fellow prisoners had to crawl upwards for three hours to reach the surface to find the mine compound deserted. All the guards had fled to the hills. After 3 1/2 years of hell they were free at last.


Possibly the sole survivor of a nuclear explosion now living in Australia, Jack Maude now leads an active life in retirement, taking long daily walks and regularly visiting old friends at Hollywood Hospital where he spent so many long months being treated for radiation and other war-related illnesses. Note: This is just a small part of a transcript of a press release for Jack’s appearance on TV in 1994. The whole story makes fascinating reading. Contact this website for more details.


June 1994


We received word from Griffiths of the passing of Hazel Spry (nee Brown). We also extend our sympathy to Marie Henwood and her family on the untimely passing of Hugh. Hugh was the bus driver at Fairbridge in the late 1970’s and Marie helped with the new mums in Scratton.


Roy and Barbara Peet have relinquished their posts as Managers at the Village and a new Manager has been appointed by the Board. He is Tony Gale and he will be living in Heath House.


It has been decided by the Board of Fairbridge (W.A.) that all files now held at Pinjarra be transferred to the Battye Library after August 15th 1994. Such action to come in line with the recommendations made by the London Office of Fairbridge made some years ago. The files will be under the supervision of the Archivist, however it has been agreed that I (O.F.A. Secretary) will have access to the files to do research for Fairbridgians as and when required. There will be no access to personal files by the general public but next of kin and close family may have access on production of proper authority for the purposes of medical or genealogical purposes. Further information will be made available after consultation with the Archivist. The move should not give any rise to concern amongst members as this system is in place in Canada and also the London records are held by at the University of Liverpool.


March/April 1994


As yet we have received no further information about the future of the Village except that it will continue trading. Mr Peter Kyle came down to the Clubhouse and addressed members after the A.G.M. and assured the membership of the continued goodwill of the new Board of Fairbridge and promised that there would be greater co-operation between the Association and the Board.


Frank Richardson, who has been making a collection of the Fairbridgian, has, with the assistance of the Battye Library, lodged a complete set of the magazines in the Archives. The library has arranged to photocopy the magazines and correlate them and they are now available for anyone who wishes to look at them.


December 1993


We congratulate Carol Elliott, daughter of George and Lois on the birth of her baby, Karman. Also, my own daughter Jane on the birth of Sara-Kate, and Mary Bartlett has a new great-granddaughter.


Some of you will know that in November the Board of Fairbridge decided to cease trading in the Village as income was not keeping up with the day-to-day running costs and on-going expenses. A media release from the Grand Lodge of the Freemasons suggested a rescue package is in place and that the Village will continue trading at least until the end of the year. No official word has thus far been received from the new Board of Fairbridge W.A. in relation to the Freemasons offer.


September 1993


To honour our late member, John Desormes, for his dedicated work in restoring and renovating the Clubhouse, it is proposed to place a plaque in the Clubhouse in his memory. This will be unveiled at the Christmas party, this being the most appropriate time.


A funny thing happened at Fairbridge recently, a visitor to walking around the Chapel and Memorial Gardens when she nearly fell over her own name! Ms Mary Dennehy, who lives in Safety Bay, was visiting the School for the first time . She would be interested to hear from anyone who remembers “our Miss Dennehy”. If you care to get in touch with the Secretary then I will pass on her name, address and phone number.


May/June 1993


May and June have been very sad months for the Association. Firstly we have to report the passing of Ted Williams, long time member and good friend to many. For a number of years he presented an old-time music programme on 6NR. He will be sadly missed by Mary Rowley and her family. Secondly, the passing of Esme Neill (nee McKenzie) of Geraldton. You will remember she made the lovely tapestry picture of the original Association Badge which hangs in the Clubhouse. Lastly, of John Desormes, who died on June 11th at home after major surgery. John will be remembered for his unfailing good spirits and his abounding energy. The Association owes John a great debt of gratitude as it was largely through his efforts that the work on the Clubhouse was started and funds obtained for the renovations from the London Office.


We also received news that Dennis Turner (Jervis Bay 1934) and Ron Forrester (Oronsay 1932) have passed away.


A very enjoyable afternoon gathering was spent at Kath Bow’s home in Gosnells to mark the 60th anniversary of the arrival of Party No.29 aboard the S.S. Otranto. Kath and her sister Joan Halls had put in a great effort rounding up the girls and John Lane and David Buck summoned the boys.


March/April 1993


Mr Tim Purser remains the co-coordinator of the work of renovating the Clubhouse. We would like to record our appreciation of the work he is doing and to express our thanks to his band of willing helpers.


You will note that Norm Henshall and Val Hobbs are back on the Committee and that Graham Bennett is once again Vice President. We welcome John Lane to the Committee.


January 1993


The last few months of 1992 were a very busy time for the Association, starting with Queenie Walsh’s afternoon party which most enjoyable as most of the “old guard” turned up .. our sincere thanks to Queenie for her hospitality.


The Halloween dance held at the end of October was voted a great success. Sally Karth put her artistic talents to work and made four witches which were suspended from the ceiling also there were back ct and pumpkin cut-outs. The prize for the best pumpkin lantern went to Belinda Barry. Music was provided by DJ Ray Liddelow who also brought a party of friends and family with him.


1992 was a year of the walkabout for Old Fairbridgians. Bill and Enid Sheppard, Graham Bennett and Val Hobbs and tripped off to the U.K.; and Stuart Macklin and his wife, Syd and Louise Stonehouse, George and Lil Snellin and Frank and Ruth Richardson and wended their way interstate. Angus McLean (Jones) is still in the U.S.A. and we have had a number of visitors from interstate namely Bill Farrer, Gordon Bowles and Donald Foord; also Brain Kirkby from Northcote. Margaret Braithwaite has been visiting Western Australia and has enjoyed meeting up with old friends.


September 1992


Sadly we note the passing of Walter Hitchen – our love and sympathy to Peg.


There will be a busy bee to clean up the Cemetery as it has been allowed to become somewhat overgrown with native scrub and access is no longer easy. It has been agreed that the Association will hold special clean-up days twice a year, probably in October and May. The first one is, however, on September 20th.


July 1992


Founder’s Day will be held on Sunday 19th July. The Memorial Service will be held in the Chapel at 11am conducted by the Rev. Don Finlay. Wreaths will be laid after the service in the Memorial Garden. Should the weather be unkind to us, the wreaths will be laid upon the Chapel steps.


It is with regret we note the passing of Malcolm Knocker after a period of ill-health. We also note with sincere regret the passing of Mr Stephen Carden, former Chairman of the London Council of the Fairbridge Society. Mr Carden was a good friend of the Association and helped us in many ways, especially in funding the restoration of the Clubhouse.


Owing to ill-health, Bill Sheppard has resigned from the position of Vice-President of the Association, and, and the request of the Committee, David Buck has agreed to serve in his place. We wish Bill the best for the future.


April 1992


The annual ANZAC Parade will now be held at 2pm on Sunday April 26th at the Memorial Gates, Fairbridge Village. The change of time is to accommodate our good friends the A.F.A. Band who have another engagement at 10.30am on that day but offered to come down and play for us if we didn’t mind holding the parade until after lunch. We also look forward to seeing members of the Light Horse and the Murray Sub-branch of the R.S.L.


It is with deep regret we note the passing of our good friend and long time member, Wally Milne. Our prayers and sympathy go out to Laura and his family.


I have been contacted by Bert Colman (1928) who now lives in Queensland and who would like to hear from anyone who might remember him.


Changes of members addresses were noted for Ricky Boyland ((Wilson), Stuart and Kerry Law (Flagstaff Hill, S.A.), Tom Emmerson (Wanneroo) and John Field (Karrinyup).


The Chapel and Fairbridge and the Association have been given an electric organ by Mr Brian Illingworth APM, a very senior member of our police force, in memory of a lifelong friend. Mr Illingworth’s grandfather was a pall-bearer at the funeral of Kingsley Fairbridge, our Founder.


It is 60 years since a number of you came out to Australia and Len Phenna is organising a reunion of those who came out on the Jervis Bay in 1932.


January 1992


John Lane has written a new fictional book entitled “Sayonara Australia”. It is published by Leader Press. For aging veterans, we war is never over. John has also published to prior books “Summer Will Come Again”, and “Fairbridge Kid”. In Sayonara Australia he exposes the difficulties of aging veterans to come to terms with a former against they fought for their country’s survival, but , half a century later, they cannot survive without their economic support.


It is with deep regret we note the passing of Arthur Cousins and Doug Lefevre, both of whom were staunch members of the Association. We also note the passing of Lily Ladiges, Fred Robinson, Eunice Mizwen (nee Taylor); and of Miss Connie Phillips, who was on the staff at the school around 1928.


Marcelle McKnight has just returned from the U.K. where she made contact with her foster family. but efforts have been unsuccessful in finding any close relatives. She tells me that Margaret Humphries of the Child Migration Trust is visiting Western Australia again in March and has expressed a wish to meet up with Old Fairbridgians, especially those who may be searching for family in the U.K.


September 1991


The Association notes the passing of Ron Balaam (1938), Grace Challis nee Rogers (1924), and of Elizabeth Lapedus nee Fairbridge, the younger daughter of our Founder; and of Edna Heath, with wife of our friend Ted Heath, the son of Colonel Heath, ex-Principal


The Open Meeting held at the Clubhouse in August was addressed by Mr Ron Douglas, Chairman if the Board of Fairbridge W.A. Inc., on the subject of the Clubhouse and of accommodation for Old Fairbridgians at the Village. The Board was generally happy with the stewardship of the building (Clubhouse) and of the renovations being undertaken but felt that if the facilities were to be available to the public they should be kept at a fairly high standard of readiness for use. The Board did not feel that a Cottage could be set aside for the sole use of Old Fairbridgians as the Village is now being run as a commercial undertaking and the Association was in no position to pay a retaining fee to ensure sole use.


We have received a letter from the OFA of New South Wales proposing to offer reciprocal Association membership to West Australian Old Fairbridgians who are resident in New South Wales. The Committee decided to accept the offer and in return to offer the same membership to ex-Molongites.


Tiny “Flapper” Owen who lives in Woods Point, Victoria asks to be remembered to everyone and God willing hopes to make to the West again in the not too distant future. It was great to see Roland Iddison and Ian Johnson at Founder’s Day.


June 1991


ANZAC Day has been and gone and many Old Fairbridgians agree it was one of the best turn-outs for many years. John Cooper and Jim Vaughan got together to prepare the Address which was different and well received. Once again the Air Force Association Band supported the Parade and provided light music during lunch.


It is with deep regret that we note the passing of Daphne Briggs Powell on May 16th. A moving service was held in the Chapel on May 21st. We also note the passing of Kath Morrisby who was a teacher at the school in 1932/1933.


Millie Lander has been busy giving lectures to various branches of the Mothers Union in the Perth area and last month a group of ladies from South Perth made a trip to the Village. They were shown around by Millie and myself and were fortunate enough to look over Darwin and Shakespeare, of course we had to tell them that things had changed somewhat over the years. Mrs Peet, the Manager’s wife was kind and offered to show them over Fairbridge House. Everyone then repaired to the Clubhouse for coffee and sandwiches.


March 1991


Mr John Desormes, Special V.P. in charge of the Clubhouse repairs and renovations gave his final report and asked that the meeting (The Association A.G.M. held on February 10th) endorse the appointment of Mr Tim Purser as his successor. The meeting voted an unanimous and sincere vote of thanks to him for al his hard work over the past eight years and he was presented with a small token in recognition of his single-minded dedication to the project.


We hear that Derek and Robert Saunders had a marvelous reunion with their brother, that Bill Sheppard has had a visit from a new-found sister from England, that Mary Rowley has been tripping to Tasmania, and that Kath Chapman is off to England this year to visit her sister.


I have been contacted by Gwen Perry (now Mrs Geddison), Reg Edwards, Fred Ward, Maurice Wakeling, Richard Henrigan and Phillip McCullaugh. Their addresses are available upon request.


January 1991


It is with deep regret that we note the passing of Barbara Hudson nee Sparks. Sally Karth (nee Alice Kynoch) is having an open house on Sunday 17th February in Subiaco. All are welcome especially old Clive girls.


John Desormes has intimated that he will be stepping down from his role as coordinator and extra hard worker in the Clubhouse Project but will continue his interest and when and where possible attend future Busy Bees. He will be asking the A.G.M. to approve of his choice of successor, Tim Purser, whom many of you know as a willing and qualified helper.


Sept/Oct/Nov 1990


As you all known, Mr Graham Riley, who was Administrator of the Fairbridge Village for a number of years and a good friend of the O.F.A. retired during September and, as a token of our appreciation the Association held an afternoon tea for him and his wife and presented them with some specially made wood pictures of the Village.


The new managers of the Village are Mr and Mrs Roy Peet and we wish them every success in their new venture.


A get-together for the Boyland Brothers held at the Clubhouse was voted a great success and many of the younger set renewed old ties.


Queenie Walsh’s afternoon was very well attended and as the weather was kind everyone forgathered in her garden. Our sincere thanks to Queenie for her efforts to keep the ‘oldies’ in touch.


Camp Quality was wonderful, as usual, but exhausting. I think that I must be getting too old for that sort of thing.


The Supper Dance was not as well attended as in previous years but a good time was had by all. Our thanks to Lois for all her hard work, also to Jill and Peter Watson for the catering and to Greg Levett for the music which was excellent, a good mixture of all and new.


It is with regret we note the passing of our old friend George Seymour. We also note the passing of Mrs Massey, wife of onetime Principal of the Farm School.


Congratulations to Kerry and Stuart Law on the birth of their second son.


Bobby Charles is heading this way and hopes to be with us at the Christmas Party. Frank Wellington is now caretaker at the Landsdale Farm School in the northern outskirts of Perth and would welcome Old Fairbridgians to see the work being done there for handicapped children. Florrie Hickson nee Brown (1928) would like to hear from any Shakespeare girls who were at the School in her day. (Please ask Secretary for the address).


June/July 1990


On April 7th Frances and Charles Buckley host a get-together of old boys and girls who came out on the ‘Oronsay’ in August 1932. Some 15 members and relatives were able to attend at the Old Tea Pavilion in Kings Park. Old tales and memories, experiences and photographs all helped to rekindle memories of early days on the ship, school days at Fairbridge, employment, war service and married life, of those attending.


1990 Founder’s Day welcomed Barbara Rowley and Elizabeth Lapidus, the Founder’s daughters. Most of the members of the Board of Fairbridge W.A. were able to be present this year as well. The service was conducted by our own Don Finlay. The lessons were read by Millie Lander and John Cooper and the address was given by Mr Frank Hatch whom many of you will remember from his days on the staff at the Farm School.


On Sunday 29th July, Rick Boyland, Stuart Law, Graham Bennett and Aunty Kath Mir organised a get-together for all those boys and girls who came out in the 1950’s and 1960’s, to say hello to Kevin and Paul Boyland – Kevin visiting from the Eastern States and Paul and his family from the U.K., staying with Rick and his family.


Our sincere thanks are due to Joy Acol who has given us John’s collection of Fairbridge memorabilia and a new album to protect the photographs. Our thanks also to Bert Leagas who has given us some rare photos which belonged to his late wife, Anne.


Frank Richardson has made wonderful progress in his collection of “The Fairbridgian” and only needs one more to complete his set, which he is having photocopied for his own records.


We mourn the passing of Irene Blue formerly Osborne nee Randall, Florence Bickerdyke formerly Nicholls nee Wood, Paul Warren, John Tree, Tome Hazelwood and Royce Fletcher.


March 1990


On January 27th, Sally Karth (Alice Kynoch) gave a luncheon and afternoon tea for Irene Sexton (Thompson) who was in Perth for the wedding of one of her granddaughters. Many of the old Clive girls got together and how the tongues wagged, they finally all went home at about 8pm


Bob Charles was in W.A. a few weeks ago and managed to have a session with Walter Hitchen, Jack Maude, Steve Brown and Peg McMullan (Violet Roper) in Fremantle. The rest of us were sorry to have missed him.


John Lane’s book “Fairbridge Kid” was given an excellent send off at the Fremantle Arts Centre on February 21st and John has asked me to say how pleased and touched he was to see so many friends there to wish him well. Mrs Barbara Rowley, the daughter of our Founder, gave short speech to launch the book and afterwards renewed acquaintances with Old Fairbridgians. John must have suffered from RSI when it was all over as he seemed to be signed books for hours. There are some signed copies of the book available from the Craft Shop at Fairbridge.


Frank Richardson is trying to complete his collection of “The Fairbridgian” and if anyone has any spare copies would they please get in touch with the Association Secretary.


Rick Boyland would like it known that his brother, Paul, is coming over from England in July and August, arriving about July 23rd and his other brother Kevin will also be joining them. Stuart and Kerry Law have confided that they are expecting another baby in the middle of the year. We hear that those Collins boys – Ted and Sid, are off to England at the end of April.


January 1990


It is with great regret that we record the passing of our friend and fellow member, John Acol, who died in October last. We also note the passing of Miss Judy Hutchinson of the London Office of the Fairbridge Drake Society.


Did you know that Walter Hitchen, who came to the Farm in 1921 spent over 60 years with the same employer, surely this must be a record.


John Lane’s book “Fairbridge Kid” is being launched on Wednesday February 21st 1990 at the Fremantle Arts Centre. Anyone who would like to be present should telephone Helen Garwood for further details. We wish John as great a success as he achieved with his first book “Summer Will Come Again”.