Volume 1, Number 1

Big Welcome to our NEW Secretary Karen Rose. We look forward to a progressive, enterprising team now that you have joined us. And we wish you every rewarding, worthwhile time too.

How have you coped with COVID-19? I would like to hear your stories, know your feelings on the changes that you have seen in your everyday life. As something that we can all relate to, the power of words or artwork from an individual’s perspective, is recognised as an important part of recording history in modern times. By listening and observing, future generations can understand more of how this impacted many lives.

I found in the column ‘Can You Help’ 23rd January 1995 an article requesting “Past residents and timber workers are sought for a ‘Back to Jarrahdale’ reunion on a Sunday in April”.

This brought to mind on what other little events could we be planning for 2021! .

Photo Credit: Diana Henniker

Our new signs are here. They look fabulous and Volunteers you will find wheeling this out to the road verge far easier than carrying our old heavy sign.

Visitors to Jarrahdale will see the sign on the white fence too as it is very visual.

We may see more tourists walking into the Old Post Office Museum now.

Photo Credit: Diana Henniker

In my Family Research, I found this little gem on Trove:

W.A. Record (Perth, WA: 1888-1922), Saturday 16 June 1900, page 8


It is with deep regret that we have to announce the death of Mrs. George Armstrong of the Canning Mills and formerly of Jarrahdale. The deceased lady who was in her 37th year was an old Fremantleite, being a daughter of the late Mr. Vincent of Fremantle, while on the other hand Mr. Armstrong belongs to one of the oldest families in West Australia. Much sympathy is felt for Mr. Armstrong in his sad bereavement he is left with children of tender years. On receipt of the news at the Canning Mills the Manager (Mr. Foy) kindly sent a special train to Midland Junction with the children in order to give them an opportunity of attending the funeral. The mournful cortege left the residence of the Hon. Donald McKay, Stirling Street, Fremantle, at 4pm on Friday last, for interment in the new portion of the Church of England cemetery. The Venerable Archdeacon Watkins officiated at the grave. Numerous wreaths, etc., were sent by sorrowing friends. Many came from Pinjarrah, Perth, the Serpentine, Rockingham, and Jarrahdale Junction, to pay their last respects.

Go Mr. Foy. I would like to shake his hand!

Look out for our new Tyro Merchant EFTPOS facility which does not require the purchase of a smartphone. The machine has built-in Wi-Fi. There are no lock in contracts, sign up fees or exit fees. A standard rate of 1.8% per transaction applies.

Henry Charles Stephen by Wendy Durant

Henry (Harry) was born in Aberdeen, Scotland, 11 November 1845 to Henry Stephen and Mary nee Collie. Harry made the trip to Australia working his passage as a carpenter aboard the ship “Peri” arriving at Sydney in 1869. He married Elizabeth Wool. They had nine children.

Harry worked for C and E Miller of Collins St, Melbourne. This firm
won tenders to build railway lines including the last section of the
Intercolonial line, the continuation of the Nairne Railway Line,
Murray Bridge to Victorian border. He worked on construction in
1888/9 of a bridge over Adelaide River NT and the railway line, Darwin to Daly Waters, NT.
He built railway lines from Oakleigh to Rosedale and Belgrave to Glenbrook in Victoria, and railway bridges over Don River and the Fourth River in Tasmania. Then moved to New Zealand again building railways and bridges. On his return to Australia, he worked as a boat builder on the Yarra River trying out new ideas in boat building.

In 1885 he built the ship “Active” for Messrs Miller, before he moving back to Tasmania building bridges, and a steam ship. In 1890 he built the “Red Gauntlet” at Leigh.

He arrived in Western Australia 1893/4 and went to work for Millar’s Timber Company working on the steam engines they operated. It was here he invented the steam whim for hauling the timber out of the forests. He made the first one of timber before sending plans to Geo W Kelly Co of Melbourne to construct a steel one. He applied for patent for his invention.

He then build the lighter Rockingham’ on the beach next to the jetties in 1904, he also built the Jarrahdaleher sister vessel.

The Rockingham was launched on St Patrick’s Day 1904, a very enjoyable day on the occasion of the launch. At the invitation of Captain Stephen there was a large crowd of the local residents assembled. At 4.30pm Miss Millicent Stephen daughter of Capt. Harry Stephen broke the bottle on her bow naming her Rockingham and she glided gracefully into the ocean. The Rockingham was 137 ft in length, 27 ft 9 in beam, depth of hold 9 ft, tonnage 200 tons and could take a burden of 250 tons.

After serving the timber industry both these vessels were sold to the Swan River Shipping Co. But by 1938 with the advent of roads, rails, and trucks, lightering on our rivers was virtually at a standstill. However, they then played an important role during WW2 taking fresh water to the warships anchored in Gage Roads. A decision was made in 1947 to discard these two vessels along with the Dragon, these vessels over the years had carried thousands of tons of cargo from overseas and interstate. They were to be towed to sea on the 19 December 1947 and sunk in the graveyard of ships west of Rottnest Island, but due to the weather this was postponed until weather improved. A sad end to a vessel that played a huge role in Rockingham and the state history.

Captain Henry Charles Stephen lived his life in Gosnells and died in 1915 where he is buried at Karrakatta Cemetery.

References. Trove, Mark Stephen, Ancestry, BDM. WA, Pickering Brook Heritage Group, Jinkers and Whims, by J Bradshaw.


FLU PANDEMIC by Nicholas Reynolds

The “Spanish” Flu pandemic of 1918-19 had widespread impacts on Australia and Western Australia. Originating towards the end of the First World War in Kansas USA, the moving of large numbers of people across the world during the war spread the disease worldwide just like air travel would spread COVID-19 in 2020.

Spanish Flu would first arrive in Western Australia on the troop ship Boonah. While the Boonah was refuelling in Durban, local workers transporting coal to the ship infected its passengers and crew.

By the time Boonah had returned to Western Australia there were over 300 cases on board the ship, in the same way, that COVID-19 would arrive on cruise ships into Fremantle in 2020. In 1918, a call was put out for nurses to work at the now overcrowded Woodman Point quarantine station.

Before the Boonah outbreak was over, 27 soldiers and 4 nurses had died. Many of the reactions by the West Australian public to the 1918 pandemic were very similar to those displayed today.

From the West Australian in June 1919: “there are Australian doctors of repute who privately sneer at the official diagnosis, albeit they do nothing publicly to discount it, it being necessary, one presumes, to preserve the illusion or fiction of medical infallibility. In Britain, however, where the prevailing malady had done far more damage than it has done or ever likely to do in Australia, they don’t call it Spanish or pneumonic influenza. The call it influenza simply that and nothing more. Influenza, the old familiar

influenza, which visits most countries every year, and is worse in some years than in others.” We can see that pandemics and human reactions to them are similar over time, even to the point of denying their existence.

The more well-known 1918 flu was not the only pandemic to occur in the 20th Century. In 1957 a disease was detected in China which was identified as a type of flu. This was the first ‘new” emergence of a pandemic flu in the era of modern medicine. Between 700,000 and one million deaths worldwide were caused by this disease. Like today, in North America it was the second wave of this pandemic which was more severe and caused more deaths than the first.

Ten years later in 1968 another global pandemic was called. With better understanding of how viruses change it was realized that this new flu type had mutated from the 1957 virus. Thankfully, this meant that those who had caught the 1957 strain had some immunity to this new type. Over one million people still died worldwide.

Other viruses have also been considered by some as pandemics. Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) is one which came to the world stage in the 1980s. This virus originated much earlier; maybe as early as the 1880s in Africa when it moved from chimpanzees to humans during hunting and eating of their meat. Even though it took 32 million lives there is no agreement that HIV is a pandemic. As a widespread disease which first began during most of our lives, we can see that there are similarities to our current times such as the sudden and shocking emergence of a virus which was often misunderstood in the media.

In 2002 the world prepared for another possible pandemic with the arrival of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome. Better known as SARS, this outbreak was a predecessor to COVID-19 as it also made the jump from bats to humans. In the end, SARS was not the big pandemic that was feared by both the media and doctors, as it was successfully stopped.

As we can see, pandemics have been with us for as long as we have existed. History has been shaped by these events. Only time can tell how COVID-19 will continue this journey.

Publication Produced & Edited by Debra Armstrong

Historic Jarrahdale Cemetery

Historic Jarrahdale Cemetery

Atkins Road

This cemetery has served Jarrahdale since the 1883. Ironwork was restored by Karnet prisoners in 1998. Cemetery records are available at the Old Post Office Museum.
Old Post Office Museum

Old Post Office Museum

Old Post Office Museum

The Old Post Office is the starting point of many guided walks, run by the Jarrahdale Heritage Society.
Built in 1896, the Old Post Office provides a wealth of information on the attractions of Jarrahdale, its rich history, as well as a range of local crafts at reasonable prices.
The Old Post Office not only serves as a tourist centre, but also as a museum, documenting the history of the area. It is home to a large collection of historical records and photos, unique to this museum. Located on Jarrahdale Road, Jarrahdale. The Museum is closed from mid-December until February.
Viewings can also be arranged by appointment: Di 0432 795 679

Opening Hours:

Saturday: 10.00am – 2.00pm
Sunday: 10.00am – 4.00pm
Public Holidays: 10.00am – 4.00pm

Tel: 9525 5358

Catholic Church St Maria Goretti

Catholic Church St Maria Goretti

Catholic Church

Cnr Cousens Street and Atkins Road

In 1885 a Roman Catholic chapel was opened and blessed by Rev. Fr. J. Duff and known as St James.
In 1923 Father T.R. O’Grady handed over his presbytery to the Sisters of St Joseph’s for a convent and took up residence at the back of the old church. On 24 February 1924 a school was opened in a hall with 35 children in attendance.
When Father O’Grady died in 1926 aged 38 he was replaced by Rev. T. Lynch who built a two-room presbytery for himself. A new school opened in April 1927, funded by a large mortgage. In 1929 due to the Great Depression, the timber mills ceased operation and few men at Jarrahdale had work. As a result the school and convent closed. In the following year, there was an abortive attempt to reopen the school, but in April 1930 Father Lynch was forced to withdraw the community to Pinjarra where the Sisters of St Joseph began a convent and school.
In 1923 the Health Authorities condemned St James church, due to white ants. However, the church was renovated and served until c1958 when a new church, St Maria Goretti, was built.
Mass held in Serpentine – St Kevins : 9.00am.  

Further information St Francis Xavier Parish, Armadale Tel: 9399 4687

Centenary Log

Centenary Log

Centenary Log

Commemorates Jarrahdale’s logging history. The centenary log represents 100 years of logging in Jarrahdale. Set next to Gooralong Brook, it is within walking distance to the Old Post Office Museum.

Set next to Gooralong Brook, it is within walking distance of the Old Post Office Museum where seating provides an attractive picnic spot overlooking the old ford across the brook.