A Better Western Australia

Western Australia is much better off having absorbed many thousands of families escaping the horrors of war or seeking a better life. From market gardens to fishing and stone masonry, the influx of hard working folks built a better state.

My old man was working on the wharf at Fremantle as a Customs Officer when a boatload of Europeans arrived, turned out to be Italians he told me.
A gentleman from Sicily approached Dad and said ”Ciao, I have a leaflet which says WOGs must present themselves upon arrival to Fremantle railway station before being bused to their accommodations. What is this WOGs Sir” It means Welcome Our Guests.”
The man shook Dad’s hand with great gusto exclaiming “ciao grazie buona giornata a rivederti’ and bounded off to be with his young family as they took their first steps towards a new life Down under.

Fremantle fish markets circa 1952-1954 – Jack Lorrimer

The following comments were made on a previous post and one can only imagine how it must have felt arriving in a new country full of energy ready for a fresh start.

Maureen Thomas Squires – We were given iron beds for the kids & a let down sofa for mum & dad. There was a small table & some chairs, basic bedding, wardrobe & drawers. Everything else mum & dad bought, including electric jug, ‘fridge & radio! (No tv!) It was a roof over our heads & dad paid board from his weekly wage….

Anita Stewart – We were there in 1972,my brother Micky played for the Graylands football team it was like landing in an alien state, we came from Newcastle-upon-Tyne, my mum worked in the kindergarten also.

Patricia Mann – We arrived in Fremantle June 1956 went to Graylands Hostel for 2 years , my dad drove the Nullabour in 1958 to get a job at the Adelaide steam ship Co.
We then followed by train , we came on the SS Orontes my mum and dad were Len and Gwen Thomas My sister was Lynda and I am Patricia.

Carol Webster – The first night we arrived there it was pouring with rain, my mum looked out the window and saw there were fly screens on the window and told my dad that there were bars on the windows and we were locked in!! My mum, dad, brother & I were there in 1970 but we lived in the new brick ones. I was 10 then and still have the fondest memories of that time. Hearing the Claremont Speedway every Friday night, buying a twin pole at the shop and breaking it in half, the hostel lunches to take to school in the brown paper bags, going to the canteen with a bucket with your cups and cutlery in it.

Jennifer Pettet – Sailed in on Fairsky in Dec 67 Mum, Dad and lil Bro. Were lucky to be in the new brick flats. But remember the buckets of cutlery and laundry days. No fans, air con, tv etc. Moved after 6 months to Jolimont in a rented house owned by Wentworths/Winterbottoms where Dad worked. Swanbourne High School and the Speedway – love that smell!

Winterbottoms Workshop – Richard Rigg

One story I do recall being told to me was a young Italian wanting to make his own way was given several apples, some oranges, grapes, cabbage, cauliflower etc and he found a vacant shopfront and set up there. He returned to the same grocer who loaned his the fruit & vegetables paying for what he borrowed and within days was pocketing a few bob which he saved so he could bring his family out from Italy also. I have so much respect for Italians and Europeans who came to our wonderful state and made their mark and improved our lives in the process so thank you!

Fruit and Vegetables Murray Street Perth – Julie Loran

Whether your mob landed at Graylands, Wexcombe, Noalimba, Dunreath House or another, everybody would love to read your comments.

Graylands Migrant Hostel – Ross Currie

For many more photos and stories of our youth packed into a very popular book with nostalgic photos and memories in my book “Lost Perth Volume Two”
Enjoy and share a selection of my favourite photos with family and friends in a coffee table book recapturing your past for RRP $30
For more info, follow the link – https://lostperth.com.au/shop/
Also available over the counter at AUSSIE LIQUOR DISCOUNTS in Bertram, Atwell, Spearwood and Byford.

Cheers Duff.

He Did So For His People

The Bibbulman Noongar existed for more than 40000 years on the land and many of us can imagine how beautiful it was. Crabs, prawns, oysters, mussels, kangaroos , birds, fresh water and more. When settled by the white people, a simple view would be the black fella took what he required to live off the land and the white fella did the same when he arrived be it his own salted pork, flour and biscuits or the local kangaroo, fish and birds until his own crops and livestock began to establish themselves. To the white fella, sheep, cattle and crops were a commercial prospect but to the black fella, they were tucker just like the kangaroo.

The settlers had landed in 1829 and proclaimed the Swan River Settlement but by 1832 the colonies prospects had stagnated. Whilst Captain Stirling was absent, Captain Irwin resorted to The English military method of control, employed for the most minor acts of theft.

In the diaries of George Fletcher Moore , you gather a reasonable white man’s account of day to day life in the new settlement but he is reluctant to give a positive indication to anybody to follow in his footsteps. ”Despatched James this day with potatoes, cauliflowers, turnips, and cabbages, to market. A servant of the Governor passed to-day, and told a fine budget of news, about an attack of the natives on the Government House. I do not believe it; but the natives have undoubtedly made sad havoc among the flocks of sheep in the neighbourhood; they took eleven from Mr Brown, nay worse, speared his cow, and afterwards being fired at for this offence, came stealthily and killed his shepherd; and as a grand finale, drove away no fewer than sixty-seven sheep, belonging to Mr. Bull, of which, though hotly pursued, they slaughtered forty-seven, enroute. These wholesale doings must be checked by the presence of a body of yeoman cavalry, when horses can be procured, which it is the intention of the Government to supply to those persons who shall enrol themselves. I intend to serve either as a private or an officer, I care not which. Additional magistrates have been appointed since I was here, in order to act with the military on any sudden emergency; and a party of soldiers has been stationed on the hills at the head of the Swan.”

Jeremy Marten said in his blog http://historysnapshot.blogspot.com/2014/04/the-execution-of-midgegooroo-in-perth.html, ”It was the increasing number of bloody confrontations between settlers and Noongar communities that presented the most serious threat to the stability of the colonial state during Stirling’s absence. By the early 1830s the expanding British settlement had seriously restricted indigenous people’s access to and use of land in and around Perth. Hints of ‘impending unrest’ had first emerged in 1830 when the theft of flour and potatoes, and the spearing of pigs and sheep, resulted in a skirmish between a colonial militia and a Noongar group near Lake Monger. 
By 1832, continuing indigenous opposition combined with settlers’ anxiety and uncertainty about the colony’s future ‘brought tension to a flash point’. Bloody attacks were followed by even bloodier reprisals and over the following two years several settlers and scores of Noongar people were killed. The ongoing conflict clearly had the potential to undermine the authority of the government, and Captain Irwin had little compunction in employing drastic methods in his efforts to crush indigenous opposition and curb settler vigilantism.
Irwin concentrated his attention on breaking the back of Noongar resistance in Perth and in the process overlooked many atrocities committed by colonists. Furthermore, he frequently dispensed with legal procedures altogether and resorted to summary justice.

The bravery of Yagan is well known as was his betrayal and murder at the hands of two young white men, The Keats brothers in the Swan Valley but it is Yagan’s father Midgegooroo we speak of today, the leader or elder of The Beeliar people. It was noted by early colonists Midgegooroo took care of the women and children of the tribe and refused the white man any casual labour would be performed by his people. He continued to travel with his people throughout the white mans settlement. I have seen two accounts leading up to the deaths of two white settlers two miles beyond Bulls Creek in 1833 which saw a reward proclaimed for Yagan and his father Midgegooroo. One being after an incident where a Noongar was fired upon in Fremantle overnight. A group of Aboriginal people, including a brother of Yagan named Domjun, broke into stores occupied by Mr. Downing. William Chidlow, who lived nearby: “… perceived two or three natives in the act of breaking into the stores; he aroused some of his neighbours and each being armed, they surprised the natives in the act, Chidlow fired and Domjum fell; the guns of the persons who accompanied Chidlow were discharged at the natives, as they fled. Domjum was conveyed to the jail where he received medical attendance; the ball lodged in his head, and although the brains were exuding from the cavity, he lingered for three days before he expired. Yagan had gathered his men at Point Walter and after selecting their targets on the third wagon the following day, proceeded to spear the two men , Thomas and John Velvick many times each. Midgegooroo was arrested within days on the 17th of May and with no trial the Executive Council issued a death warrant after briefly considering a series of depositions presented on 21 May. It was only on the day of Midgegooroo’s execution that he realised what was occurring and he began to struggle but was overcome by force, pinioned, blindfolded and taken to the gate of the Perth gaol to be tied to it as volunteers of The 63rd Regiment gathered with their rifles. It was Irwin who gave the order to fire, the Beeliar elder died of 3 balls to the head and one to the body.

Only this week we learned of the discovery of Matthew Flinders remains during the construction of a new railway in Britain. Flinders had circumnavigated Australia in 1801 with Bungaree, the first Aboriginal man to do so (?) Matthew Flinders remains along with many others will be treated with dignity but the same cannot be said for Midgegooroo’s. His people were refused his body and he was buried in an unmarked grave inside the grounds of the jail to teach his people a lesson.
A skull and bones were found in 1923 and presumed to be Midgegooroo’s but were lost and recent earthworks at the old prison site uncovered remains possibly of Midgegooroo. What upsets me is the remains are scattered amongst cables and pipes added as recently as the 70s. Surely seen by the contractors but covered up so as not to draw attention?

I’ve learned nothing of the outcome of this discovery, has there been closure as yet for the descendants of Midgegooroo and his people?

The Old Swan Brewery Lights

Steve McLaughlan 1963

Click here to help bring back the Old Swan Brewery Lights.

1857 saw the creation of the Swan Brewery by Frederick Sherwood at the foot of where Sherwood Court now stands. After his passing, his family leased the brewery and the new partners to use the fresh water at the base of Mt Eliza and hire of convict labour, constructed a new brewery building in 1879 we all know today.

The Swan Brewery saw them come and go buying up all before her from Lion, Stanley, Castlemaine, Albion, Kalgoorlie and Emu whilst employing the staff and buildings for her own purposes including bottling and distribution.

1966 saw some production shift from the Old Swan Brewery to the Emu Brewery on Spring Street. 1978 saw new facilities at Canning Vale and the ownership of the Swan Brewery change several times ultimately ending up today owned by Japanese brewer Kirin Brewery Company. Our once Western Australian made beers are now produced in South Australia and Tasmania.


The Old Swan Brewery complex were originally built in 1838 as a mill for timber-cutting as well as flour-grinding. These were the first steam driven mills in Western Australia, they were later taken over as one of the first convict depots (following the acceptance of convict transportation by the colony in 1850), the buildings were subsequently (between 1959 and 1879) used as a tannery, and at one time contained a restaurant (used by travellers between Perth and Fremantle). In 1877 it was acquired by the Swan Brewery Company. The brewery buildings constructed in 1879 on the Swan River foreshore beneath Mount Eliza became one of Perth’s dominant and favourite landmarks. It was surrounded by a complex of other buildings which have since been demolished or redeveloped. The car-park building on the opposite side of Mount’s Bay Road replaced the historic stables which caught fire and were demolished in 1988. Nevertheless, the state’s Heritage Council noted that, prior to redevelopment,

Swan Brewery, Perth including the old stables, 13 November 1978b

The place contains, albeit partially demolished, the finest connected group of late-Victorian and early 20th-century brewery buildings in Australia in a red brick and tile Federation style idiom. Thanks to Wiki

In 1989, the West Australian state government vested the site in the building company Multiplex for a peppercorn rental, with a view to its being redeveloped as a commercial precinct. Perth’s Noongar community reminded the state government of the site’s ancient and sacred Indigenous Australian significance, and established a protest camp on the site, while challenging the issue at law and seeking to have the land reclassified as a public reserve. They were opposed by a Brewery Preservation Group which argued the indisputable heritage value of at least the 1879 industrial building. The developers argued that the brewery had been built on land reclaimed from the Swan River and, therefore, the site of Noongar heritage importance was further inland, close to the Mount Eliza escarpment and the fresh water spring known as Kennedy’s Fountain. Ultimately the protest was unsuccessful and the development of the property went ahead. The on-site protest had endured for many months and culminated in a bitter but non-violent confrontation with police on 8 January 1990 at which several arrests were made. In August 1992, police had to break through picket lines to allow development work to proceed.


The renovated 1879 building contains a cafe/restaurant and function centre which re-opened in 2001. It also contains a microbrewery which produces malt ales and lagers. There is also a display of historic photographs and artefacts but for me what is missing is the festoons of lights that created the shapes of ships and boats. From 1962 for the Commonwealth Games, lights would be turned on each evening and we never knew heading up and down the freeway what the ship would be. As time went by, the lights were changed for the 150th celebrations and then for the America’s Cup win.

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I would love to see the lights returned and kindly ask you to sign a petition here to add your support for such an undertaking. I do not wish to annoy those who now live there with light flood or visual pollution or add to their power bill. There are new lights seen from only where they point, if it is too difficult, install the lights to one side of the old brewery on public land as you would a flag pole or on the cliff of Mt Eliza?

The lights would bring so much nostalgia and be something refreshing from our past as we proceed farther away from what was.

Please click here to add your support, Cheers Duff.

Aussie Music – My 100 or so.

I shared a playlist yesterday of my favourite Australian songs that mean so much to me and it’s difficult to keep it to only 100 artists. I like loud music although when alone I like a few slow ones plus a little comedy and I’m proud when a West Aussie goes on to make it big.
After Luciana played the songs last night and I reviewed the many comments of Lost Perth followers, I began to fine tune the list of the songs and artists we remember so well.
Whilst we all have different tastes and I am missing some of the early greats such as Johnny O’Keefe , Helen Reddy, Olivia Newton John, Russel Morris, Peter Allen, The Seekers  , John Williamson , Air Supply , Savage Garden and the Bee Gees , I included the bands and artists from across the ditch with the long fluffy clouds whose songs we know word for word from our youth but Rick Springfield doesn’t get a pozzy.
There isn’t a song here I don’t listen to regularly and I hope there are songs that you have forgotten that bring some joy to your day once more along with all the memories to go with it.
I might try and break the artists into some groups from comedy including Rodney Rude (please don’t click the link if you do not appreciate his humour) to the cuzzie bros who saw red in the 80s. Those artists and recordings unavailable on Spotify I have linked to YouTube.


We’re good at laughing at ourselves and we love a good comedian so when these recordings hit the shelves, we snapped them up with fervour.

Billy Birmingham brought us The 12th Man and one of my favourites is Marvellous

Mike Brady recorded a couple of hits including Up There Cazaly and equally successful was his involvement assisting Joe Dolce with Shaddap Your Face

MOJO matched footy’s effort with C’mon Aussie C’mon.

Slim Dusty produced a memorable hit proclaiming his favour for a beer with Duncan

Austen Tayshus split our sides with his classic Australiana and I loved George Smilovici with his delivery of I’m Tuff.

Surely huge sales only followed the release of Farewell Aunty Jack Theme due to the use of the word ‘bloody’?

A real entertainer and darn good full forward, Mark ‘Jacko’ Jackson went on after his career to star in many popular TV commercials and produced the appropriate I’m An Individual

Rodney Rude is my favourite comedian and his first cassette released had me in tears. I met him and thanked him sincerely for always being there and for sharing his talent. I Hate Cats is a sample of what tickles my funny bone. Would you believe Rodney is 76 on the 29th of January born 1943.

Whilst based in Sydney I listened to Triple M when Doug Mulray was at his peak producing a cassette full of laughs. His song I’m A Punk still entertains me.

My Kiwi comedy link has to be Baked Beans by Mother Goose.


We had some great times at the local pubs listening to the bands and every so often a Western Australian artist or band makes a name for themselves and these are the ones I enjoyed.


Brian Cadd born in Perth 29th November 1946 and the beautiful Ginger Man

The Boys came out of Perth reaching #52 with When You’re Lonely After the band moved on some talent moved on to be a part of Baby Animals who had many rocking hits including Early Warning.

The Dugites toured with Dave Warner who had a hit with Suburban Boy and they went on to release In Your Car which reached #34.

Tod Johnson formed V-Capri, a much appreciated local band who performed That’s The Way

Formed in Perth in 1980, The Eurogliders produced high quality recordings of some great songs including Can’t Wait To See You

Supernaut made it across the Nullarbor thanks to Molly Meldrum producing a couple of well known songs including I Like It Both Ways

Play this song and watch the teenagers dance to it, she was such a great entertainer and  Christie Allen‘s music is still infectious including Goosebumps

Neville Paul‎

Maybe one of the greatest front men in rock Bon Scott? He grew up on Harvest Terrace North Fremantle performing in a pipe band joining ACDC after appearing in two earlier bands before belting out hits such as Whole Lotta Rosie.

Johnny Diesel Soul Revival

Jody Robson


The radio was always on at home and these songs I remember so well.

The Masters Apprentices Turn Up Your Radio

The Mixtures In The Summertime

Stevie Wright Evie

Archie Roach  performed his song Took The Children Away in 1991, receiving a break through artist award for this very moving song. Archie is just 63 having produced a great volume of work and supported countless youth.

Daddy Cool Eagle Rock

Jon English was a very successful immigrant winning over the Aussie population with songs such as Hollywood Seven but my favourite performance was in All Together Now.

Richard Clapton Deep Water

Flash & The Pan Hey Saint Peter


Colleen Hewett Day By Day

Renee Geyer Say I Love You

Marcia Hines You

Tina Arena Burn

Christine Anu My Island Home

Pat Wilson Bop Girl

Wendy Matthews The Day You Went Away

Kylie Minogue Celebration

Kate Ceberano Bedroom Eyes

Colleen Hewett Wind Beneath My Wings

The Boys.

Jenny Seaton (Clemesha) & singer Johnny Farnham, 1960'S

John Farnham made his comeback with the brilliant  You’re The Voice We see Johnny here in his Sadie days with Perth’s beautiful Jenny Seaton (Clemesha)

John Swann you may not know is Jimmy Barnes older brother who performed Lady What’s Your Name The best gig I ever attended was Swanee at The Penrith Leagues Club in 1983, I’ve never seen a better entertainer. One of the great moments of Aussie Tellie was Andrew Denton interviewing John and Jimmy asking about their family life.

Mark Holden I Wanna Make You My Lady

Jimmy Barnes Working Class Man

Rick Price Not A Day Goes By

Ian Moss Tucker’s Daughter

John Paul Young I Hate The Music

Brian Cadd Ginger Man

Darryl Cotton Same Old Girl

Daryl Braithwaite The Horses

The Great Bands.

ACDC played at the Bussell Motor Hotel Angus 1975

ACDC as we know performed Highway To Hell which I like to believe was written about Canning Highway on the way to the Raffles Hotel.

INXS Just Keep Walking

Skyhooks Women In Uniform

Ted Mulry Gang Jump In My Car

Icehouse Great Southern Land

Models Out Of Mind Out Of Sight 

Midnight Oil Short Memory

INXS rocked the venue with Don’t Change and I will never forget it and have always been a fan.

Little River Band Help Is On It’s Way

The Angels are a great favourite of mine and I regret not chatting with Doc when I saw him having a cuppa shortly before he passed away to say thank you. Am I Ever Gonna See Your Face Again? Doc said on stage the song was written for a mate he lost after a motor cycle accident which has become an Aussie classic.

Boom Crash Opera The Best Thing

Cold Chisel’s Flame Trees is one of many hits produced by a legendary Aussie band I am happy to have seen in the early days in the pubs of NSW.


Weddings Parties Anything Father’s Day

The Divinyls I Touch Myself is Chrissy’s legacy now helping reduce the risk of breast cancer the world over.

The Ferrets Don’t Fall In Love is a little beauty I thoroughly enjoy every now and then.

The Black Sorrows Chained To The Wheel

Jo Jo Zep and The Falcons Shape I’m In

The Radiators Comin’ Home

Machinations No Say In It

Hush Bony Moronie

Mondo Rock Come Said The Boy

Australian Crawl The Boys Light Up

Mi Sex Computer Games

Rogue Traders Voodoo Child

Spiderbait Black Betty is a ripper, what a brilliant version of a childhood classic.

Goanna Solid Rock

Yothu Yindi Treaty

Hunters and Collectors When The River Runs Dry

The Church Unguarded Moment

Rose Tattoo Bad Boy For Love

Mental As Anything Live It Up

Kids In The Kitchen Change In Mood

Big Pig Breakaway

Real Life Send Me An Angel

The Party Boys He’s Gonna Step On You Again

Uncanny X-Men 50 Years

Moving Pictures What About Me?

Psuedo Echo Don’t Go

The Reels According To My Heart

Paul Kelly Dumb Things

The Screaming Jets Better

Chocolate Starfish Four Letter Word

Choirboys Never Gonna Die

Powderfinger Baby I’ve Got You On My Mind

Silverchair Straight Lines

Sunnyboys Alone With You Tonight

Hoodoo Gurus Death Defying

Sherbet Howzat

The Sports Don’t Throw Stones

Gangajang Sounds Of Then

1927 If I Could

Men At Work Be Good Johnny

Ol’ 55 On The Prowl

Redgum I Was Only 19

From Across The Ditch.

Split Enz I See Red

Noiseworks Take Me Back

Dragon recorded some great songs in their short history including Rain Mark Hunter passed way too young.

The Swingers Counting The Beat

Max Merritt & The Meteors Slipping Away

Crowded House Better Be Home Soon

Mark Williams and his rocking Show No Mercy , what an awesome pair of lungs this man has.

OMC How Bizarre

Dave Dobbin Slice Of Heaven


Rest In Peace and thank you for the memories to these and more entertainers.


Did You Attend?



Perth Entertainment Centre from West

The Perth Entertainment Centre had turned one and Queen had just released A Night At The Opera as a young Duff was approaching 12 years of age beginning to choose favourite bands thanks to influences from my school friend Richard Ollerenshaw ,  cousin Marin Garbin and Countdown. My first albums were Sweet, Fleetwood Mac, Queen, Meatloaf, ELO and borrowing my sisters ABBA records.


Queen in Australia had been booed off stage previously at Sunbury in Victoria due to arriving two hours late, a story disputed by Daddy Cool front man Ross Wilson. The release of their hit Bohemian Rhapsody saw Queen grab headlines and fill venues for many years to come including our own Entertainment Centre April 11th 1976.


A rare Queen interview by my favourite Saturday morning music show,  ‘Sounds Unlimited’ during Queen’s time in Perth whilst presenting their ‘A Night at the Opera’ Tour. Were you at the concert and does it still bring you joy today that you were one of only 8000 Sandgropers to witness such an event? The movie, Bohemian Rhapsody released recently mentions Perth and I was so proud to see it knowing we made an impression on them 43 years ago. Maybe future generations will refer to us as RAC Arena and Optus Stadium?

queen vintage

So many songs take me to a special place such as Bohemian Rhapsody that transports me to the Ollerenshaw’s home on Central Road Rossmoyne playing cricket with Richard, Michael and David in the back yard in our youth we thought would last forever.

Queen below at the studios of Radio 6PM, Perth, 12 April 1976 courtesy of SLWA

Queen at the studios of Radio 6PM, Perth, 12 April 1976

In the past 6 years, I have gathered the best memories I can to print on t shirts which when worn in public (after doing so myself) spark conversations with complete strangers bringing back memories of the past with one another such as The Perth Entertainment Centre from ABBA, Queen and ACDC, The Swan Brewery and familiar logos such as Made In Way. Your support buying these t shirts will see the range of designs and sizes increase to help fund what I do behind the scenes at your favourite Facebook page, Lost Perth.