Please find attached or included in your mail a membership form. Membership monies are due January 2017. If you are paying by electronic transfer please complete, sign and return the membership form. This can be done either by email or snail mail – addresses for both at top of newsletter.



      The Annual General Meeting of the OFA will be held on Sunday 26 February 2017 commencing at 10:00am in the Clubhouse.

      A reminder that you need to be a financial member to vote at the AGM.



      The advanced party of Fairbridge Kids and partners arrived at Fairbridge House on Friday afternoon, confronted with what we believed was going to be an extremely cold and wet weekend. However, to everyone’s surprise and relief, Sunday 24th July turned out to be a beautiful day, clear blue sky, crisp early and most pleasant for what is claimed to be the 87th Founders Day Ceremony, this statement is subject to audit.

      At 10.50am, Lois Elliott, as she has done for many years, was in position to ring the recently renovated chapel bell, signalling to the large crowd present to move quickly and quietly into the chapel as the ceremony was about to commence. Again at 11.00am this process was repeated and the ceremony commenced on time – well almost. Thank you Lois, for your support and expertise on this most auspicious occasion.

      What an absolute delight to find the interior of the chapel, decorated with flowers, red carpet in place and the Donnybrook flagstones cleaned of many years of grime build-up. We believe the Donnybrook flagstones have yet to be sealed. We were to learn later that David Russell (CEO – Fairbridge WA Inc) had actually ventured up the bell tower and personally replaced some integral mechanical parts, ropes, cleaned the bell and removed many years of debris from the floor. From all reports it appears that many of the cigarette butts removed were from brands that have long been removed from the super market shelves. Thank you David and Iggy for your support on this occasion, your efforts are greatly appreciated.

      We were again blessed to have the Reverend Garth Eichorn officiate over the Founders Day Service, supported by Chris Ryland (organist) and Mandurah Choral Society. What wonderful support these people have provided to this important annual event. Fairbridge Kids and families’ thank you all for your support and look forward to having you present in 2017.

      As with tradition, the President of the OFA, Derek Smith – gave the opening address and thanked all those present for attending, and inviting all to meet in the Clubhouse for a light luncheon immediately after the service. As an indication of those present, some 90 people were seated in the congregation, and as discovered later on, some member’s found the 11.00am start a bit early and were present at the gathering in the Clubhouse following the service. One must remember and understand some members travelled many hours from many parts of the WA including, Albany, Wickepin, Margaret River, Northern Perth suburbs, Collie and Bunbury. This is a true indication of the spirit and connection that exists between Fairbridge Kids, and their families, towards Kingsley Fairbridge, the founder of this place, which many of us called home in our formative years.

      One of the many highlights of this year’s gathering were the presentations and this year we were fortunate to have 3 presenters:



      As with tradition, all present adjourned to the Clubhouse to enjoy a light lunch and meet many of the 125 plus persons present.

      All too soon it was time to say goodbye and wish all those persons a safe trip home and hopefully you will all be able to attend next year’s event.

      Thank you to all those who attended this our 87th Founders Day, this day is the highlight of the calendar year and offers the opportunity for many of us to meet former colleagues and friends.



      All those present for the 2016 Founders Day Service in July, would have been enthralled with the transformation that has happened in the OFA Memorial Gardens. This transformation, under the leadership of the OFA Vice President – Richard Hinch supported by teams from Alcoa and Fairbridge WA have to date removed and replaced those roses which were considered “from a horticultural perspective’ – dead. However, before this process could commence, all commemorative plaques were identified, mapped and moved out of harms way, “dead” roses removed and reticulation relocated. Planting of nearly 30 roses was completed and plaques placed back in place.

      We as an organisation have recognised the importance of the need to encourage business organisations to support our cause. During the planning phase, Richard approached many businesses for support – the response was excellent. In particular we would like to mention the following organisations:

      Ø Roworths Nursery – Landsdale: ANZAC Rose bushes

      Ø Dawson’s Nursery – Forrestfield: Rose bushes

      Ø Swiss Rose Nursery – Haynes: Rose Bushes

      Ø Ellis Roses – Kelmscott: Rose bushes

      Ø C:Wise Products – Nambeelup: Mushroom Compost and Mulch

      Ø Richgro – Canning Vale: Mulch and liquid fertiliser.


      We are also indebted to:

      Craig Durham (Alcoa’s Horticulturist) and his team;

      Iggy Matthew (Fairbridge – WA Construction Manager);

      John Alexander (Chairman – Fairbridge Board of Governors)

      Robyn O’Meagher (Fairbridge WA – Conservation & Land Care Management Trainer)

      Trainees – Conservation & Land Care Fairbridge WA

      The rose bush replacement program is the initial phase of the refurbishment of this very special area, which is so dear to many Fairbridge Kids.

      In the planning phase:

      Ø Minor repairs to cracks in the southern Memorial Wall

      Ø White picket fence, arbour and rose garden. Documents for this are currently being prepared to submit to the appropriate authorities – principally the Heritage Council of WA.

      Ø Replace the disease ridden “Plumbago” hedge with roses (obtained for us by John Alexander and currently in storage in the plant nursery at Fairbridge).

      Ø Automatic reticulation – driven by solar panels.



      A long overdue project – renovations/rebuilding of the Commemorative Colonnade commenced in March 2016. Our initial strategy was to apply for funding from the Royalties for Region and this was duly submitted early in April, with successful bidders being notified late May. Unfortunately we were not successful with this bid, however we were encouraged to put in a submission with the support of members of the Royalties for Region.

      At our March Committee Meeting it was discussed and supported to proceed with replacing the roses, as this was the OFA contribution to the package presented in our bid, again Richard managed this project, and his enthusiasm and knowledge needs to be commended.

      Already discussed, the Memorial Gardens, well the Commemorative Colonnade looks absolutely stunning, a credit to all those who worked diligently and efficiently. The Colonnade is a project in progress, however to date completed are:

       Before any horticulture tasks could be completed, Richard coerced his bricklayer bother-in-law, Bill Kelley, to visit Fairbridge – the hidden agenda of this invitation “remove and replace a considerable portion of the damaged brickwork (southern planter box) with the new bricks being donated by Midland Bricks. Great job and thank you.

       Removal of circa 1960’s planted roses – of which the majority had sprouted below the graft – resulting in a feral rose with a host of thorns and resulting in a display of blooms, which defy description.

       Removal of the clay – so solid it had to be removed using some hefty muscle work and the bobcat. Thanks to Craig Durham and his team at Fairbridge.

       Replacement of the soil removed with a specific rose growing material, again another donation and a task for the younger generation.

       Penultimate task was to plant the roses – 20 ANZAC Rose bushes, again a wonderful donation from Roworths Rose Nursery and great work by Richard, Craig Durham and his team in planting the rose bushes for us.

       Recently planted, many hundreds of Petunias to provide a wonderful flush of colour to support the roses. Once again donated by our supporters and planted out by supporters.


      Still to be completed:

      1. Timber replacement – planning commenced.
      2. Replace outdated Honour Roll plaque – see report elsewhere by Allan Deverell in this Newsletter.


      This project is nearing completion – with some effort and luck it will be completed in time for next year’s Commemorative Service.



      The task of reviewing the service history of those Fairbridge Kids, who attended Kingsley Fairbridge Farm School, Pinjarra in the period 1913 to 1981 was a challenge, magnitude unknown. The intended outcome, “ensure all those Fairbridge Kids who joined Australia’s Defence Forces were identified and those who ultimately paid the ultimate price – had their names proudly embellished on the Roll of Honour to be placed on the Memorial Colonnade and also on a similar plaque in the Old Fairbridgians Clubhouse”.

      Alan Deverell was vested with bringing this challenging project to fruition, and it was discovered in the very early stages of this project, the information relating to the service history was going to change. And the major change, the roll of those that served has expanded to 680 for all conflicts. This is not a static figure and names can be added as information is forthcoming.

      Discovered very early in the research, the name of a Fairbridge Kid, not listed on the Roll of Honour. The focus changed dramatically and it was decided to check the names of all Fairbridge Kids before proceeding further.

      To achieve a more accurate outcome the sources checked were:

       Attendance Lists of Kingsley Fairbridge Farm School, Pinjarra

       List of Casualties (Killed in Action) From all Conflicts

       The Old Fairbridgian Magazine

       National Archives

       Nominal Rolls of WW2, Korea and Vietnam

       Australian War Memorial


      During that search an additional 3 persons have been identified and are eligible to have their names placed on the Honour Roll. On Allan’s report to the Committee it was agreed the additional names (4) would be added to the Roll of Honour.

      We are now looking at funding to have the new Plaque manufactured and also the Roll of Honour located in the Old Fairbridgians Clubhouse replaced.

      Should funding become available – 2017 Commemorative will become the unveiling ceremony.

      With renovations nearly completed, it should look a picture for 2017 Commemorative Service.

      Thank you Alan, a job well done –.



      The Farm School was started by Kingsley Fairbridge in 1912 with the idea to bring out children from the United Kingdom who were living in the slums/orphanages and give them training and an education for them to go on and make a better life for themselves in Australia.

      The first 2 parties arrived in 1913 with 2 of the young men serving in the 1st World War. One with the RAN who also went on to serve in the 2nd World War and the other with AIF

      The parties of children stopped during the war and started arriving again in the 1920s, which also included young girls by the beginning of the 2nd World War about 806 boys and 368 girls had arrived in Fairbridge. Of those 571 young men and 50 young women enlisted in the 2nd World War when looking at those figures 71% of the young men enlisted to serve, that percentage would be higher if the number of those not eligible because of their age was not included. 15% of the young women enlisted and that is not including those that served in the Land Army, with the training for the Land Army being done at Fairbridge.

      Our Fairbridge Kids served in the RAN, RAAF/RAF and 2nd AIF in various units around the world; United Kingdom, North Africa, Greece, Timor, Malaya, Singapore, Borneo and New Guinea. They served in 7 different Infantry Battalions and other various units, from Armoured Regiments to Artillery, Commandos (Z Special Force) including Sparrow Force in Timor and after the war in War Graves Units. Some of them went on to serve in Korea, Japan (BCOF), and Malaya. Also serving in Papua New Guinea with the PIR and another served in the Congo for the Red Cross whilst in the Army during the 1960s. With others enlisting as they became eligible to enlist also serving in Korea, Malaya.

      There were 34 Fairbridge servicemen taken POW and 12 died as POW’s.

      The arrival of children stopped because of the War but continued after the War with the arrival of more children. And a select few went on to serve in Borneo, Malaya, Vietnam and in times of Peace. Records examined identified 32 Fairbridge Kids served in Vietnam.

      During the period 1913 to 1962, 1661 Children came to Fairbridge with a further 72 in 1963. Fairbridge had a total of 680 serve in the Australian Forces in the same time; 40% of all Fairbridge children.

      After 16 months of research; the number of Fairbridge Kids killed whilst on active service went from 49 to 53, many of these were in the RAN, Army and RAAF/RAF. It was also discovered, 2 were killed in action in Korea and 1 in PNG in the 1960s

      Their service is remembered yearly with a Commemorative Service on the first Sunday after ANZAC Day at the Memorial Colonnades as you enter the Farm Village.

      They served their country with honour with the award of 2 Military Medals one in the 2nd World War and one in Vietnam, 2 Mentioned in Despatches with one in Korea and one in Borneo. The Red Cross, Meritorious Service Medal in the Congo.

      Fairbridge Farm, during World War 2, was also home for the many Dutch Children evacuated from the East Indies to stay and recuperate before going home to Holland after the war.

      Guildford Grammar School moved to Fairbridge during the 2nd World War and a RAAF Airstrip was built on the Farm.

      Even those serving had already left Fairbridge, however it was still home to them and they often returned they also kept in touch via the bi annual magazine the “Fairbridgian



      Old Fairbridgians who served in the forces were guests of honour at a reunion dinner given by the Old Fairbridgians’ Comforts Committee at ANZAC House last night. It was one of the most successful functions held since the inception of the Fairbridge Farm School 24 years ago. Over 250 attended the dinner and many more were present later in the evening.

      Surveying the history of the Fairbridge Farm School, the president (Mr A E Joyner) said that like many other enterprises of its nature, risks had to be taken. It was hard to convince others that the ideal that one’s brain had built up could be worked out to a practical solution. He paid a tribute to the work of the late Kingsley Fairbridge and introduced Flight-Lieut. Rhodes Kingsley Fairbridge, the eldest son of the founder. Since the inception of the farm, said Mr Joyner, 806 boys and 368 girls had been brought to the school. Of that number 541 of the boys had enlisted, 48 paid the supreme sacrifice and 55 girls had joined the forces. That was a record possibly not equalled anywhere else. Since the school was opened 62 had returned to England or elsewhere and others from the school had risen to prominent positions in the industrial life of the State. He appealed to the old boys and girls to remember the importance of keeping together and retaining the utmost loyalty to the land of their adoption.

    •″ data-slimstat=”5″>″ data-slimstat=”5″>Barry Rainey 10 January 2018

      AGM Report for year 2018 added

    •″ data-slimstat=”5″>″ data-slimstat=”5″>Barry Rainey 25 February 2016

      Application for OFA Membership

    •″ data-slimstat=”5″>″ data-slimstat=”5″>Barry Rainey 10 February 2016

      Report to England written prior to end of WWI (by Kingsley Fairbridge ?) explaining the need for future Farm Schools to accommodate ongoing and future needy children. The report (while only part of it now being available) goes into great detail on how the Farms should be set up, the children educated in Farming and how they are to be trained for their future place in society.