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.
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.
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 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.
The weekend’s action and events were recorded thus in The West Australian…
“CITY BEACH CARNIVAL,
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.
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
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….
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: http://www.floreatwembleyparish.org.au/parish/history/
A photocopy of the “Souvenir” is in the Local Studies Collection and included here:
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.
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:
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.
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:
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.
Monday Memories@Cambridge Library sees us discovering some facts about William Ernest Bold, the man for whom Bold Park was named after.
- William Ernest Bold was born on 6 May 1873 at Birkdale near Southport, Lancashire, England. Birkdale Street, Floreat was named for his birthplace.
- Bold studied first as an electrical engineer and later shorthand, becoming a clerk and migrating to Western Australia in 1896.
- Bold became acting Town Clerk in late 1896 and appointed to the position in 1900.
- 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.
- Bold was an avid supporter of the Garden City Movement in town planning
- Bold is generally acknowledged to be the founding father of town planning in Western Australia.
- He was Town Clerk of the City of Perth from 1900-1944, a record for the position at the time.
- 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: http://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/bold-william-ernest-5282
Image: Ph0355-01 William Ernest Bold, Town Clerk PCC, 1902 (Courtesy State Library of Western Australia: 3242B_102)
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@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).
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.
Image Above: Ph0453-01 Lake Monger rubbish tip being filled, 12 June 1963. [Courtesy of the State Library of Western Australia 3061B_1374]