St Edmund’s, Pangbourne Street, Wembley

Monday Memories@Cambridge Library takes us back to 1954 and plans to build the new St Edmund’s church in Wembley. The first St Edmund’s was built by volunteers “out of wood and iron on land overlooking Herdsman Lake between Simper and Marlow Streets [in 1917]. In 1930 it was decided that a new site should be found. “The existing church hall is hidden away in the bush and is not easily found by many who live in that vicinity.

The tiny wood and iron church which was the first St Edmund's, on Emerald Hill in 1917.

The tiny wood and iron church which was the first St Edmund’s, on Emerald Hill in 1917.

A new wooden hall was erects in Pangbourne Street (a nursing home is on the site now) and the existing hall was moved behind the new hall as a vestry. A new parish of Wembley-Jolimont was formed and in 1943 Rev. R. Hawkins realise the need for a permanent Church. The architect L. Williams designed the Church and the furnishings. There were many setbacks however before the Church was built. There was talk of a railway being built and the costs rose as the years went by. When Rev. Jack Watts accepted the parish in 1952 he had the big task of the expanding parish and Floreat (St Nicholas Church) and City Beach. Thousands of pounds had to be raised to pay for all the buildings.

Architect's Plans for New Church - The West Australia, Saturday June 26 1954, p, 20

Architect’s Plans for New Church – The West Australia, Saturday June 26 1954, p, 20

St Edmund’s was consecrated by Archbishop of Perth in 1956.”

Images: 1954, ‘Architects Plan for New Church’, in The West Australian, Saturday, June 26, 1954, p. 20; and St Edmund’s, Emerald Hill, Wembley, 1917

Reference:  Putt, Margaret, 1990, Wembley Its People and Its Past, p. 31



The First City of Perth Surf Life Saving Clubrooms at City Beach

The first clubrooms of the City of Perth Amateur Swimming and Surf Life-saving Club were opened on the 20th February 1926 by the Mayor of the City of Perth Mr J. T. Franklin. The celebrations featured music, competitions showcasing surf life-saving skills and even a “miss popular lady competition” which garnered the club £60. This date was also the first official opening of the City Beach.

Image: 1926, 'The Clubrooms of the COP Amateur Swimming and Surf Life-Saving Club at City Beach', Western Mail, Thursday 25 February, p. 25.

Image: 1926, ‘The Clubrooms of the City of Perth Amateur Swimming and Surf Life-Saving Club at City Beach’, Western Mail, Thursday 25 February, p. 25.


The weekend’s action and events were recorded thus in The West Australian


Clubrooms Opened.

Parade of Life-Savers.


Charabancs and motor cars, laden with passengers seeking a sniff of the sea breeze or a plunge into the breakers, wended their way over the switchback road to the green-capped sandy knolls of the City Beach on Saturday afternoon and Sunday. The first surf carnival and the clubrooms of the City of Perth Amateur Swimming and Life Saving Club were officially opened by the Mayor (Mr. J. T. Franklin). The Mayor of Cottesloe (Mr. Aidan Bryan), Mr. J. L. Paton and Mr. P. Andreas, captain and vice-captain respectively of the Cottesloe Surf Life Saving Club, and Mr. P. G. Hampshire, vice-president of that club, were among those present on the beach.


A guard of honour for the Mayor was provided by surf life-saving teams from the City, Cottesloe, and North Cottesloe clubs.


The president of the Swimming Association (Mr. C. Bader) welcomed the Mayor, and thanked the City Council for having erected the building and for having donated first-aid equipment.


The Mayor, in the course of his remarks, said that whenever the City Council could advance the interests of the Life Saving Club and of the people who patronised the beach it would do so without hesitation. Members of the life saving clubs had pledged themselves to attend the beaches, not only for their own pleasure, but for the protection of the lives of those who patronised them. Nothing could give more confidence to patrons of the beaches than to know that young men and women of the calibre of those he saw around him were prepared to brave the dangers of the water to save anyone who was in distress. This occasion marked the first official opening of the City Beach, and he hoped that it would in future be well patronised both by city folk and those from the country.


The Mayor of Cottesloe referred to the friendly rivalry between the various life saving clubs, which tended to increase the efficiency of members. He could assure them of cordial reciprocity between the Cottesloe and City life saving clubs.


Miss Franklin, then handed a trophy to Miss Edna Keane, winner of the popular lady competition, who with Miss Fitzgerald and Miss Scott, had helped to augment the club funds to the extent of £60.


Cr. Ford, on behalf of club members, made a presentation to Mr. W. Schulsted in token of appreciation for his services to the club.


Mr. Barter referred to the plucky action of Miss Edwards, a lady member of the club, who on New Year’s Day, although an indifferent swimmer, went to the assistance of a girl who was in difficulties, and held her up until, more competent swimmers arrived. A board of inquiry was sitting that afternoon, he said, and a presentation would probably be made to Miss Edwards at a later date.


The Mayor was presented with a paper weight made of curly jarrah, surmounted by the club badge, by the president of the City Club (Mr. F. H. Raston).


Later in the afternoon some smart work was accomplished by the life saving teams in the contest for the alarm reel surf championship of Western Australia. The winning team, North Cottesloe, performed the whole operation of carrying the reel to the water’s edge while the leader grasped the line and swam to a buoy, anchored about 100 yards from the shore, in 1 min. 19 4-5 sec.. Cottesloe No. 1 was second, in 1 min. 20 1-5 sec.; Cottesloe No. 2. third, in 1 min. 22 sec., and City, whose leader slipped on the beach, fourth, in 2 min. 8 2-5 sec. A brisk piece of work was somewhat marred by a delay in getting the teams ready for the contest. The 100 yards beach sprint championship of surf swimmers was won by Mr. Allen (City Club), in 12 4-5sec. R. Skinner (Cottesloe) was second, and. K. lnnes (Cottesloe) third.


Sunday’s Events.

The beach was crowded on Sunday afternoon. To the strains of the “Colonel Bogie” march played by the Subiaco Brass Band, the surf life saving teams of Western Australian paraded on the sands. A round of applause broke out as they formed up for inspection. The smart appearance of these virile young men, and the keenness with which they performed their drill, were generally commended. The Cottesloe team was adjudged to be the smartest, City being second, and North Cottesloe third.


Five teams gave, the public an excellent idea of the work being done by the Surf Life Saving Association, in an admirable exhibition of rescue and resuscitation, work.


An official of the club stated that expenses had been covered by public contributions during the two days’ carnival.


The carnival arrangements were in the hands of Mr. D. G. White, secretary of the City Swimming Club.” (1)


Reference: 1926, ‘City Beach Carnival’, The West Australian, Monday 22 February, p. 6




On The Buses – A History Repeat

Let’s take a ride on public transport and do what Historypin calls a “History Repeat”. The first image, courtesy of Lost Perth, is a trolley bus passing under the Sutherland Street Railway Bridge in West Perth on its way to Floreat. The other two images are of Trans Perth buses taking the 82 route which takes commuters from the City right through to Floreat and City Beach via Cambridge Street and The Boulevard. How times and skylines have changed….

Floreat No. 90 Bus passing under the Sutherland Street Railway Bridge in West Perth (Image Courtesy of Lost Perth).

Floreat No. 90 trolley bus passing under the Sutherland Street Railway Bridge in West Perth (Image Courtesy of Lost Perth).


The No 82 Transperth service on its way to the City, 15 October 2015. For a short time the buses weren't travelling under the Sutherland Street Railway Bridge due to development of the new City bus station, and this image was taken during this time. More photographs are due to be taken soon as the route has returned to normal.

The No 82 Transperth service on its way to the City, 15 October 2015. For a short time the buses weren’t travelling under the Sutherland Street Railway Bridge due to development of the new City bus station, and this image was taken during this time. More photographs are due to be taken soon as the route has returned to normal.


The No 82 Transperth bus service to City Beach, via Cambridge Street through Floreat.

The No 82 Transperth bus service to City Beach, via Cambridge Street through Floreat.

Our Lady of Victories School, Floreat Park

Our Lady of Victories School, Floreat Park in 1948

This image of Our Lady of Victories School is part of the “Souvenir of the Blessing and Opening of Our Lady of Victories Floreat Park, 7 November 1948”


On this day, 7th November 1948 Our Lady of Victories School, Floreat Park was opened by the Archbishop of Perth the Reverend R. Prendiville. ” Responsibility for conducting the school was entrusted to the Brigidine Sisters and classes commenced in February 1949 with sixty children. Weekend masses were then held in the school which involved two adjoining class rooms having to be re-arranged on Friday afternoons so mass could be celebrated and then converted back to class rooms in time for the students on Monday mornings.”  (Floreat Wembley Catholic Parish website).

The school was located on the corner of Cambridge and Simper Streets, Wembley on land that was originally a dairy farm owned by a Mr T Delamere. The Our Lady of Victories church on Cambridge Street was opened on the 15th May 1954.

The school was closed in 1982, due to changing demographics but the land was not sold and developed until 2004. Read more about the school and its history on the website of the Floreat Wembley Catholic Parish:

A photocopy of the “Souvenir” is in the Local Studies Collection and included here:

Souvenir of the Blessing and Opening of Our Lady of Victories, Floreat Park, 7 November 1948

Souvenir of the Blessing and Opening of Our Lady of Victories, Floreat Park, 7 November 1948


Cambridge Endowment Lands

An ‘endowment’ is defined by the Collins English Dictionary as “a. the source of income with which an institution, etc., is endowed, b. the income itself” (1)

The Endowment Lands are crown lands which the Town of Perth (later the City of Perth) was granted certain administrative rights over by the Colonial Government on the 14th of August 1855. But they didn’t officially become known as the Endowment Lands until 1902.


Source: The Western Australian Government Gazette, No. 506, Tuesday, August 14, 1855, p. 2


Ian Pleydell describes well the transition from rights to timber and stone, to endowment, in his book “From Limestone and Sandhills: The story of the development of City Beach & Floreat“:

“The Municipalities Act was passed in 1871 giving local councils jurisdiction over roads, drains, wharves, public buildings, pounds, boundaries, fences and sanitation with the power to rate and also to borrow money for the above purposes. Under this Act, Perth was proclaimed a municipality (approximately 5,000 citizens) as were Fremantle, Guildford, Albany, Bunbury, Busselton, Geraldton and York. The municipalities of Subiaco and Leederville soon followed. The Local Roads Boards Act – also 1871 – provided for government control over rural districts that were not prepared to assume the responsibilities of municipalities.

After considerable negotiation between the Government and the Perth City Council, not all of it pleasant, the Council was granted, on 13 September 1902,  2,281 acres along the coast. The issues delaying settlement centred around the government’s need to retain certain parts of the land in question for the proposed mental asylum and agricultural college at Mt Claremont, and the exclusion of a strip of land immediately abutting the ocean. This gift ‘to the people of Perth’ was to be known as the Endowment Lands. The title provided that the land be held by the Council, in perpetuity, for the use of the benefit of the city provided that the Council not sell or lease it for any term exceeding 99 years without the consent of the Governor. The endowment was part of the government split-up of the vast Perth commonage along the ocean frontage, and one important stipulation of the enabling legislation provided that any surplus revenue from the endowment land must be spent on improving the area. This stipulation remains contentious as local government and various interest groups debate the application of the legislation in relation to such facilities as the Perry Lakes stadium and the Ocean Gardens retirement village.

The Endowment Lands, or at least that portion vested with the Perth City Council and incorporated into the current suburb of City Beach, is more accurately described as three miles of land along the coast from just south of Fortview Road, Claremont, to Pesholm Street, City Beach, and inland to a boundary formed by Brompton Road and Empire Avenue to a north-south line through the Wembley Downs golf course over the top of Reabold Hill to the southern boundary.” (2)

The maps following provide a visual of the extent and location of the Endowment Lands:


Pleydell, Ian 2003, ‘Locations West of Perth – 1898’, in From Limestone and Sandhills: The story of the development of City Beach & Floreat, p. 10.

Pleydell, Ian 2003, From Limestone and Sandhills, Map of Endowment Lands and Limekilns Estate, p. 11.jpg

Pleydell, Ian 2003, ‘Map of Endowment Lands and Limekilns Estate’, in From Limestone and Sandhills: The story of the development of City Beach & Floreat, p. 11.

By 1920 the idea of creating two new suburbs (the future Floreat and City Beach) and a road to connect the City of Perth with the ocean, was helped into fruition by the passing of the City of Perth Endowment Lands Act 1920 on the 18th of November.

Within the 2281 acres of the Endowment Lands and the additional land within the Lime Kilns Estate, ” the council desired to establish an up-to-date sea-side town, and the bill was asked for to give them the necessary powers to establish this resort at a point on the ocean which as the nearest point to their present boundaries. They wanted power to sell land for building purposes. This measure would provide means for developing the estate, which at present, was entirely useless to the community” (3).

Many points of debate were brought to the table over the Act, including the right of running trams and public transport through the land and the appropriate system on which to evaluate land and property values.


‘Endowment Lands Bill’, The Western Argus, Kalgoorlie, October 5, 1920, p. 7


‘Endowment Lands Bill’, The Kalgoorlie Miner, Friday 1 October, 1920, p. 4.



‘Perth Endowment Lands’, The West Australian, Wednesday 17 November 1920, p. 7.




‘Bills Passed’, in The West Australian, Friday 19 November 1920, p. 8


This Act is now known as the “Cambridge Endowment Lands Act 1920 An Act relating to lands known as the Endowment Lands and the Lime Kilns Estate” (4) and still governs the use of these lands to this day. Part 1, section 3 of the Act provides the geographical boundaries thus:

“Endowment Lands means those lands being portion of Swan Location 1911 containing 2, 281 acres, which lands are comprised in Certificate of Title Volume 641, Folio 60, and are held by way of endowment and are known as the ‘Endowment Lands’ “(4)

The Act is available to be read in its entirety and can be downloaded from the website of the State Law Publisher:$FILE/Cambridge%20Endowment%20Lands%20Act%201920%20-%20[02-00-01].doc?OpenElement

It is also online at the Australian Legal Information Institute (AUSTLII):

A copy of the Act is also housed in the Cambridge Library Local Studies Collection.



(1) Collins 2003, ‘endowment’, in Collins English Dictionary, sixth edn, Harper Collins Publishers, Glasgow, p. 542.

(2) Pleydell, Ian 2003, From Limestone and Sandhills: The story of the Development of City Beach and Floreat, unpublished, pp. 8-9.

(3) ‘Endowment Lands Bill’ in The Western Argus (Kalgoorlie, WA 1916-1938), Tuesday 5 October 1920, p. 7.

(4) Cambridge Endowment Lands Act 1920.




At Perry’s Hill

It is Monday Memories @ Cambridge Library time and this week we are headed back to 1913 and a stroll… “AT PERRY’S HILL. BY LIME-KILN AND QUARRY. (By W.C.T.)

[Listen to the narrated article as you read the transcription below]

Trust the boys of your neighbourhood to discover the whereabouts of any “beauty spots” that may lie within a day’s easy march. Boys are said to have the exploring instinct strongly developed because they are so much nearer nature’ than man. The boys of Leederville and Subiaco go into ecstasies over the charm of that part of the coastal region that lies between them and the northern shores looking out upon Rottnest. Often when the days are salubrious and calm you will see little bands of lads wending their breezy way out along Cambridge-street, that fine, long straight road of excellent formation out West Leederville way to end abruptly in bush that seems some miles distant. Their destination is nearly always the same-Perry’s Hill by lime kiln and quarry, distant from the terminus of Cambridge-street some three odd miles. What is this place of boyish fascination like? Let us spend one of these glorious autumn mornings in investigation and, at the same time, enjoy a constitutional under ideal conditions, with a cloudless sky of the most appealing ultramarine and a soft wind that makes the trees around you so many whispering friends.


Above: Ph0885-01 Building at Old Lane Kilns Reabold Hill about 1916 Wally Flood in foreground Joseph Perry's home stead (SLWA b3036687_22). Photo taken by Fred Flood (1881-1965).

Above: Ph0885-01 Building at Old Lime Kilns Reabold Hill about 1916 Wally Flood in foreground Joseph Perry’s homestead (SLWA b3036687_22). Photo taken by Fred Flood (1881-1965). Courtesy State Library of Western Australia (b3036687_22).


On leaving Cambridge – street you are confronted with typical coastal bushland. You will hardly be pleased at the aspect, but like the props and cloths of a stage picture it is only the forerunner of better things-you are assured of that, and are not discouraged. Years ago, when the lime-kilns were in operation, a modest narrow-gauge tramway ran through the bushland to Subiaco. Rail and sleepers have vanished, but the formation is there, tolerably sound, for your easy tramp. It, soon greets the eye as you cross the scrubby paddocks, and then in that easy fashion that comes of utilising light grades and avoiding awkward hills and mounds, it proceeds through the crowding banksia, now adorned with those masses of florets so like pine-apples at a distance, that pour out on the morning air a most seductive perfume which calls the bush bee to enter upon a feast of nectar-a feast that sometimes tempts even the bush-loving lad to emulate. Banksia abounds, but it has not the country to itself. There is plenty of jarrah of a kind, also white gum, some of them so large as to have acquired quite a hoary appearance, and the score and one other trees that make up the lonely but ever-fascinating bush.


Deep in the bush you catch the sound of busy birds, chattering fraternally to one another in their own delightful way, and passing on, rounding some shaded bend you disturb a “magie” or two prodding their black bills into the sand for same succulent morsel. The scrub has long since crowded its way down to the formation, and here and there even over it, with the result that pleasing vistas are put before you at frequent intervals. When slabs of limestone, that seem to have done duty as sleepers, begin to obtrude upon your attention you rightly conclude you are nearing your destination, and that the three odd miles are behind you. The formation takes a sharp deviation northward just as you come upon the ruins of some old shed or shanty. You let the formation take its course, and you go by way of the old shanty. Beyond it, glowing with its chrome yellow and light drab-coloured stone walls in the brilliant sunlight stands a quaint ruin of what was once an extensive series of stables and sheds, windowless, almost roofless, the shingles having suffered severely since the building was left to the mercies of wind and rain, but acquiring with its dilapidation and decay that picturesque charm that marks it as the right thing in the right place for a scenic study. Its vast yard enclosed by a once sturdy wall that is crumbling away, suggest nothing so much as a stockade, and the idea is accentuated by the ruins of what might well have been a watchtower: but the only invaders of the silent scene are gossiping magpies and the cattle that wander around from a farm nesting in the trees over on the opposite banks.

W. C. T. 1913, 'At Perry's Hill: By Lime-Kiln and Quarry', Western Mail, Friday 20 June 1913, pp. 24-25

W. C. T. 1913, ‘At Perry’s Hill: By Lime-Kiln and Quarry’, Western Mail, Friday 20 June 1913, pp. 24-25

Near the south-western corner of the compound stands all that is left of some sort of a dwelling house-it may have been an office. Of the same chromish hue as the disintegrating stables it is a lovable ruin, its shrivelled verandah being quite a poem of wreckage and neglect. Set as they are on the gentle slope of an easy hill, with a verdant, well-watered creek at their feet, they form a picture, the composition of which is all too rare in the bushlands about the city. Yon have only to sit for a little while on some fallen tree and take a few glances around you to understand why the lads of Leederville and Subiaco have so long cherished the place.


The lime-kilns are here at your hand – deserted and cold these many years, and the unbridled scrub and drifting soil from the hill tops is gradually encumbering the tire-ways. Trees have fallen and other debris adds to the ruin of the scene. One kiln bears a tablet which announces that it was erected only so long ago as 1897. lt is interesting mainly on account of the quaintly carved figures. They are of the style associated with the I8th century. Learning as you do that there is so much lime around the place you wonder why these cavernous kilns were abandoned, and you find on investigation that the University authorities had something to do with it, that the leases ran out, and for the public weal have not been renewed. It is as well, however, that they did have an existence and so gave the country round Perry’s Hill these always pleasant associations. They are gradually falling to ruin now, gaping open to wind and weather, and haply little dangerous since evening shadows sees the few ramblers on their homeward journey.


Thence the hill begins its steep ascent, with numerous well-defined tracks which speak of busy climbers anxious to solve the riddle of the hill’s cut look. Every few paces upward reveals a delightful aspect, some fresh point of interest adds to the constant round of pleasures that come with each pause to note what Nature is spreading before you. You would fain linger on this ledge or that scarp or this limey projection and drink in the delights of the ever-widening landscape, but there is always a higher point to lure you on and you rest not till you have reached it, and then you cannot refrain from exclaiming your surprise and wonder at the scene spread before you. Westward lies the indigo waters of the Indian Ocean, not a mile below you over the sand-dunes and scrub, so calm that morning as to be innocent of the merest fleck of a wave. Yonder, illuminated, and every point distinct, floats Rottnest like a great boat at anchor in some peaceful bay. On the wide expanse of water nothing but a dab of white on the roads where a smack is engaged in fishing. Southward, through the gaps in the hills, stretch out the moles at Fremantle, and beyond, in greyish tone, lies Garden Island, with a soft blur beyond telling you where the mainland dies down to the vanishing horizon. Sweeping then in a grand circle comes the heights of Fremantle, Cottesloe, and Claremont, pleasantly varied with red-tiled roofs set among the wooded hills. Along the line of vision comes a glimpse of the river, and passing on, enshrined in its pretty grounds, the Hospital for the Insane, the most conspicuous object in the vast landscape, as if it were some castle or keep dominating the country. Moving on the city comes into the panorama, and beyond it always willing to do their duty in building up our local scenes-the ranges. Round the eye still travels, across a series of undulating heavily timbered mounds till it ends at the little settlement called North Beach for want of a more particular designation. As your eye wanders back over the route you have taken and you recall the oft-repeated hopes of the city for a direct line to the Indian Ocean you cannot help thinking how easy is the way, and how indisputably interesting that graceful valley is that lies beneath you. This bird’s eye view gives an emphatic denial to the assertion that a railway thence would be unreasonably costly. With the ocean and its countless benefits so near at hand, one must bemoan the fact that the city is yet so far away from it.

Returning from the veritable “eagle’s nest,” where

Beneath an ampler sky a region wide

Is opened round him-hamlet, tower, and town,

And blue-topped hills,

and taking a northerly descent brings you upon the old quarries, vast, wildering, unprotected gaps penetrating into the hillside, whence have been removed countless cubic yards of stone, but now, like the adjacent kilns, silent, deserted, the song of saw, the ring of pick and the rumble of the tram no longer disturbing the silence of the place. At the head of the big quarry there is a broad deep wall, quite 60 feet deep, dazzling in the brilliant sunshine. The quarry sides are quaintly attractive, being of broken, scarred face, and recalling the buttresses and columns of some ancient castle or keep. The dusting of earth over the lines of the saws has given them the appearance of stone walls, and the effect is peculiarly pleasing. There are other quarries, but one lingers here with the preference that comes of being well pleased. It is all very delightful, and it must often be one’s rendezvous.


Text of the newspaper article:  W. C. T. 1913, ‘At Perry’s Hill: By Lime-Kiln and Quarry’, Western Mail, Friday 20 June 1913, pp. 24-25


Available now from the Library: Borrow the new Quarry Amphitheatre 30th Anniversary special oral history compilation and hear the complete story of the 1913 tour of the old quarry site in the article above plus much more, including stories of an attempted robbery of the Quarrymen’s pay and memories of childhood fun and games amongst the old quarry ruins and lastly the rise of the old Quarry site into the Quarry Amphitheatre.



Who’s Who in Cambridge History – W. E. Bold

Monday Memories@Cambridge Library sees us discovering some facts about William Ernest Bold, the man for whom Bold Park was named after.

  1. William Ernest Bold was born on 6 May 1873 at Birkdale near Southport, Lancashire, England. Birkdale Street, Floreat was named for his birthplace.
  1. Bold studied first as an electrical engineer and later shorthand, becoming a clerk and migrating to Western Australia in 1896.
  1. Bold became acting Town Clerk in late 1896 and appointed to the position in 1900.
  1. Bold recommended the purchase of the Limekilns Estate in 1917. It was bought, and its 1300-acres (526 ha) being adjacent to the Endowment Lands that were already owned by the Perth City Council, would later become the suburbs of Floreat and City Beach.
  1. Bold was an avid supporter of the Garden City Movement in town planning
  1. Bold is generally acknowledged to be the founding father of town planning in Western Australia.
  1. He was Town Clerk of the City of Perth from 1900-1944, a record for the position at the time.
  1. Bold was church organist at many of the churches he attended over his lifetime.

Read more about William Ernest Bold in the Australian Dictionary or Biography:


Image: Ph0355-01 William Ernest Bold, Town Clerk PCC, 1902 (Courtesy State Library of Western Australia: 3242B_102)

Monday Memories – An ace in the front yard at mum’s

Monday Memories@Cambridge Library takes us back to late 1940s City Beach and going out in the sunshine to hit the ball around the tennis court at 36 Branksome Gardens. The Bott family had built a tennis court in the front of their new house. A group of local ladies regularly paid to play there – this group later formed the City Beach Tennis Club, which still exists to this day.


Image: Ph0197-02 No 36 Branksome Gardens, front garden, late 1940s (Courtesy of Noel Bott)

Monday Memories – First American style plaza shopping mall in Western Australia

Monday Memories@Cambridge Library takes us back to 1967 and the early days of shopping malls in Australia at our own Floreat Forum.

Image: Ph0503-04 Floreat Forum Shopping Centre, 1967. [Courtesy State Library of Western Australia – BA1119/2547, 342599PD.] View of open-air interior courtyard and stairway to upper level. Shops include Chalet Coffee Lounge (on far left), Heritage, Edments, Woolworths Supermarket, Weirs Butchery, and Dewsnap Cakes (on far right).


Floreat Forum Shopping Centre, 1967 (Courtesy of the State Library of Western Australia)

Monday Memories – A rubbish tip at Lake Monger?

Yes it is true, there were once areas of the lake’s edge used as a rubbish tip.

City of Perth Municipal Year Book, 1938 reported on progress made at Lake Monger.

The City of Perth Municipal Year Book, 1938, noted that when Perth City Council assumed control of Lake Monger and its environs in 1917, there was no public land adjacent to the lake, and even portions of the lake itself had been sub-divided and sold. It reported that “Since that time the Council has purchased over 120 acres of land bordering upon the lake, a plan of development has been prepared and adopted, providing for an inner and an outer drive with extensive recreation grounds, children’s playgrounds, and park lands, whilst a portion of the higher land is to be sub-divided for residence purposes.

The swampy land at the eastern end of the Lake is now being reclaimed by the deposit of City refuse and the dredging of silt from the Lake, with a top dressing of sand. “An important section of the development scheme was completed during 1934, by the construction of the drive along the south shore of the Lake, thus linking up Vincent Street with Grantham Street, Wembley Park. The new road has become a popular drive for motorists, particularly since the extension of Grantham Street to the City Beach Boulevard, which opens up a fine scenic drive from the eastern end of the City via Vincent and Grantham Streets and the Boulevard to the ocean and City Beach.”

Work carried out at Lake Monger during the 1944-45 financial year included covering and grassing over of a section of the rubbish tip on the east side of the lake; also construction of concrete cricket pitch.

The Lord Mayor’s Report, 1944-45, notes: “During the year the area which was recently filled in with rubbish on the northern side of Bourke Street, adjacent to Lake Monger, has been covered with sand to a depth of 1 ft. and the area planted with grass. The work of filling in and grassing the land bounded by Bourke, Courtney and Melrose Streets and Lake Drive is now nearing completion. “In addition to the top dressing of these areas, sand was also carted for the daily covering of the Council’s rubbish tip. For these works 41,5000 cubic yards of sand were conveyed from City Beach and the Gill Street Reserve. “Authority has now been given for a strip, approximately three chains in width, on the northern side of Bourke Street, from the western end of Muriel Street to the area recently filled in, to be levelled off and planted with grass. “In order to prevent the unauthorised dumping of rubbish at the Council’s tip a fence has been erected on the northern side of Bourke Street.”

In the Lord Mayor’s Report 1944-45, the City Engineer elaborates: “Excellent progress has been made in the work of covering the Lake Monger Rubbish Tip with sand obtained first from City Beach and more recently from the Gill Street Reserve. “In accordance with the plan prepared by this department and adopted by the Council in July 1944, the area bounded by Bourke, Courtney, Melrose streets and Lake Monger Drive has been filled in with sand and this work has been extended northwards of Bourke Street and has moved continuously forward. “The control of the Lake Monger tip was handed over to this department on 28/6/45 and up to the end of the financial year a total of 14,500 cubic yards of sand from City Beach and 27,000 cubic yards of sand from Gill Street Reserve has been deposited as filling and as covering for the rubbish, etc., dumped in the tip.

The indiscriminate dumping of rubbish has been practically eliminated and the amenities have been vastly improved. “From the 28th June to the end of the financial year private lorries deposited 3,047 loads of rubbish at the tip and Council lorries and drays deposited 4,574 loads, making a total of 7,621 loads equalling 8,400 tons.” Itemised expenditure included: ~ construction of a concrete cricket pitch at Lake Monger Reserve £45.19.7 ~ extension of the fence along the boundary of Lake Monger Reserve from Bourke Street to Lake Street ~ 1/5th of cost of covering tip with sand from City Beach £502.8.8 ~ sand filling and levelling £3,823.0.7 ~ planting of grass north of Bourke Street £142.10.5.

Work in this vane continued on through the years until many swampy acres surrounding the lake were resumed for parkland and other uses.

Ph0453-01 Lake Monger rubbish tip being filled, 12 Jun 1963. [SLWA 3061B_1374]

Image Above: Ph0453-01 Lake Monger rubbish tip being filled, 12 June 1963. [Courtesy of the State Library of Western Australia 3061B_1374]