1916 to 1919 Tenindewa Notes

February 1st 1916

Tenindewa Notes (From our own Correspondent)

The heavy storms of rain and wind on the 19th and 20th insts. did a lot of damage to standing crops around here. Some have been beaten to the ground. Messrs.’ Stafford, Oldham and Johnson have suffered a good deal and will lose a lot of crop. This is most disheartening after the severe handling this district received of late years- All the dams are full, and the creek is running strongly, and water carting has ceased. The latter is a blessing.
To show the way harvesting machines waste wheat, one has only to look at the fine green crops of wheat above ground now, perhaps this wheat will make self-sown crops for next season, if more rain comes at intervals. The late rain has made the ground very boggy, and harvesting has been stopped for a day or two since, and even now extra horses have had to be used, and they catch it hard (sic). Fortunately, most of the farmers had finished harvesting when the rain came, so they are safe. It takes a lot of rain to damage wheat when in the bags or heaps.
The State School has re-opened after the vacation and the attendance is a record one. viz 18. We have a nice little school on the town site which, by the by, some people want to move remove to a new site. Perhaps those who want to move the town site will pay the Government the cost of surveying the new one, as the Government want all their funds now.
The Railway Department is still a bit slow lifting trucks of wheat. They might take a hint, otherwise full details will be forthcoming. The delivery of goods at the sidings also leaves cause for great complaint.
Mr. Johnson, the Minister for Lands was at Geraldton recently. I wish he would enlighten the farmers what they are to receive from their crops. Say for instance a farmer has 1000 bags of wheat, and owes enough debts to swamp the whole, how much will the farmer get for his graft and hardship. Farmers cannot even afford sex or nightshirts now, and fresh meat is a luxury. Is it worthwhile to pay battling to pay one’s debts? If farmers don’t get a fair deal out of this crop many will not put any more [crops] in.

The official records for Tenindewa (08120) show that it received 65 mm on the 21st and 22nd of January 1916 and 44 mm on the 13th and 14th of February 1916. On the back of receiving 500 mm for 1915 no wonder the “creek was running”

18th February 1916

Tenindewa Notes (From our Correspondent)

For the last few weeks bush fires have been raging and though they tried their utmost to burn somebody out, I have not heard of anybody suffering to any great extent, the greatest damage being a few acres of stubble and an odd jam post—a mere bagatelle to other places.
The Rumble boys again to the fore. Besides slapping into the wheat pool a considerable quantity of wheat, and stacking over one hundred tons of hay this year, they topped the last months sales with merino ewes bred on their own farm here. Without boom Mr. Editor, these are two good colts and as far is one is not twenty years of age, the future looks promising for them.
We met Mullewa at cricket and trounced the life out of them, Alex Cooper being the shining light with the bat while Billy Gee (no relation to R.M.) gained the bowling average. His five wickets for 8 runs was a splendid performance. Great credit to Tenindewa for winning, as two of their best cricketers —Oldham and Rumble —were absent and substituted had to be grubbed up. one being a college student from Bindu, named Carter, proving his worth for inclusion in interstate matches.
Co-operative Store business a little topsy-turvy, but I think it will fall on its feet and quickly march in the right direction.
Bindu dam wants to be cleared, but by the look of the atmosphere the contractor will be lucky if he is not stopped through rain refilling the dam.
Likely to be a big boxing match here shortly, Not having particulars, will leave for next report.
(It is known that Leo Critch cleared the Bindu Dam site)

March 25th March 1916

Tenindewa Notes (From our own Correspondent)

Farmers in almost all cases have finished stripping, and wheat carting, so the wheat scheme should have a very large heap of money in hand in their wheat stacks. The farmers are anxious for a divi [sic] from the I.A.B. who own most farmers. I do not think there will be a large quantity of wheat grown this coming season. Most farmers are very dissatisfied at the treatment of the Board, and their methods of dealing with correspondence is absolutely the worst I have seen or heard of. [Board of the I.A.B.] Fancy three acknowledgements for interim receipts received by the one man in three separate envelopes and three stamps all the same postdate. This means two envelopes and two stamps wasted beside time etc. in a well-regulated office such a thing should not be possible.
Mr. Norman Fry has just returned from a trip East where he has been spending a six-week holiday. He is looking very well and enjoyed himself and no doubt has brought some new farming ideas back with him from the wise men of the East.
Farmers around here are considering the advisability of going in for pig-raising and in fact a few have started. This is not to be a sideline but an idea to feed all produce grown on the farm to the stock, at the expense of marketing wheat is too great to leave much profit and the price is too uncertain. If the produce was feed to pigs it would be necessary to have a bacon curing establishment in some central place in the district. Perhaps Geraldton round Bluff Point would be a good place, although nearer the stockyards would be better and by a combination of farmers the price to butchers could be fixed. I think there is a very big future ahead for this industry. More about this later.
There has been a number of thunderstorms with strong wind around here lately and they are doing considerable damage. Some time ago a few hundred acres of wheat was blown down and Messrs. Stafford and Oldham lost fairly heavily and now another storm has visited farmers and Mr. Oldham had his house unroofed and he is still looking for some of the iron, and Mr. Stafford has had his haystack damaged, and a 6000-gallon (30,000 litre) tank lifted bodily and carried through the air some 300 yards (300 meters) into the bush amongst a lot of York gum. When it landed it was a flat as a pancake and it was ruined. Another tank half the size was lifted over two fences and the outbuildings also suffered.
(Note; The Oldham residence was some 5 kilometers west of the Tenindewa Siding on the south side of the creek. The Stafford (main) residence was some 10 kilometers west of the Tenindewa siding on the west side of the creek)

June 1st 1916

Tenindewa Notes (From our own Correspondent)

We have had real nice rains, some heavy showers but mostly nice soaking in rains, and wheat fields are beginning to put on a green appearance.
A few farmers are about to finish seeding, but many will not finish till the end of June. There will not be a lot of wheat sown this year, through various causes, late taking off of last harvest, shortage of labour, shortage of horses etc.
In many quarters dissatisfaction is felt at the farmers returns being received for wheat, and farmers are trying to have a flour mill erected at Mullewa. Surly it is time. Mullewa is well situated being a junction of three lines, Wongan Hills, Cue and Geraldton and the best wheat for gristing is sown in these parts, the flour should command the market. The matter is being taken up with the Government, with a view to having their assistance.
Some children do not attend the State School regularly, and they can be seen playing around their homes when they should be at school. It is time the authorities took a hand in the matter. It is hard enough to keep the school up to the required number in these districts [even] when they all attend.

August 2nd 1916

Tenindewa (From our Correspondent)
Geraldton Express

We are enjoying ideal weather. The cold snap that we experienced during the last few weeks has passed off after destroying all traces of rust or other fungus growth. It held all vegetation in check during the process, and when its mission was fulfilled, it was replaced by a glorious downpour, followed by warm showery weather during the last week. The crops and grass are making wonderful growth and although it is too early yet to predict a bountiful harvest, at all events, circumstances point in that direction.
Dalgety’s new sale yards at Mullewa with the regular sales of stock, are proving to be a great boon to the district. Farmers are now able to dispose of surplus stock on the open market at their very door, and if their values are not realized, they can return them to their paddocks and with little or no loss of time. They can also program their requirements in the way of stock, at market rates, and with very little inconvenience and with very little travelling expense. The sale held on Friday must have been gratifying to all parties concerned. The yards were practically full from end to end, and every line, except for a few rams, were disposed of at figures that were very satisfactory to the sellers and buyers alike. More than 300 cattle and 3000 sheep were yarded. The bulk of the sheep found a home for the present on Mr. Routledge and Willis’ Menang estate, where they have succulent grass state feed up to their bellies. They also secured a fair percentage of cattle, which will be depastured on the same estate.
Some of the settlers convened what was described as an “indignation” meeting at the siding on Sunday last, with the object of discussing the Roads Board’s proposal to raise a loan of 200 pounds [$400.00] for the purpose of of doing very necessary work on the three main roads leading into this [Tenindewa] centre. Some lengthy, spirited, and very able speeches were made, which would, in the ordinary way, have extended well into next week had they been delivered in rotation, but a rather novel plan was adopted, which allowed three or more speakers to address the meeting simultaneously (a plan which, by the way, your Municipal Council might experiment with). This method allowed members to give vent to their wrath, and considerably shortened the proceedings, and was probably the means of preventing much blood-shed. When the indignation, wrath and turmoil had spent its force, the following resolution was carried with one dissent.—“that this meeting of ratepayers of the West Ward of Mullewa Roads Board do herby approve of the proposal of the said Board to borrow the sum of 200 [$400.00] pounds, and we respectfully recommend that the sum of 50 pounds [$100.00] be spent on the Bindu Road; 75 pounds [$150.00] on Tenindewa Road, and 75 pounds [$150.00] on the Wollya Road.”
The local member of the Board was conspicuous by his absence, but he wrote apologizing, and explained that he certainly would have been present at the meeting had he known the meeting was to be held.

August 3rd 1916

Tenindewa Notes (From our own Correspondent)

Splendid rains have again fallen, and the crops are looking very well and only a bit backward. Feed is scarce and very slow coming along, and stock in general might be in better condition.
Talking of stock I journeyed to the Mullewa stock sale on Friday last and there was a nice lot of stock, and a large number of buyers, and if Mullewa wants to keep these yards and the buyers, they need to wake up and get more accommodation. I heard of buyers camping in sheds, railway carriages, and all sorts of places. These buyers are a pretty tough lot and can stand roughing it with the next, still I suppose they prefer some comfort. Dalgety’s yards are well arranged and they deserve patronage and should be a boon to the district later on. The train service to Perth is rather early, hence the auctioneer has to hurry through the sale too much. The Mullewa Roads Board should take this up.
The Mullewa Roads Board is borrowing money to spend on the road leading to Hunters farm which has already had a lot of money spent on it and a meeting of ratepayers is to be held tomorrow (Sunday) to oppose it. There are other things which need attention, and are fairly entitled to be seen to, before the one mentioned.
Complaints are heard of the Wolya Dam Catchment being polluted by stock. This could be easily altered for a few pounds by shifting a few chain (a chain is twenty meters) of fencing. Roads Board please note.

September 12th 1916

Tenindewa Notes (From our own Correspondent)

A fortnight ago it was freezing, and it took overcoats to keep one warm. Now alas, it is 95 degrees Fahrenheit (35 degrees Celsius) in the shade, and cocky is looking for a cool place, although he is not short of a job.
Mr. Conner has paid his promised visit to these parts and farmers were greatly impressed by what he gave in his lectures. They recognized in him a practical man and capable.
His recommendations re. stud stock is all right, but why they charge settlers three pound and three shillings ($6.30) and freight for a weaner pig I cannot understand. Surely this is not encouraging pig raising. Farmers cannot make ends meet so I do not think many pigs will come this way.
Crops are looking well so far but rain is badly needed again. Most crops are in ear, and if they are to fill well, we must have rain quickly.
Tenindewa is holding a day’s sports on Saturday the 16th inst, also entertainment at night. This would be a chance for the recruiting officer, as there are some fine stamps of young men around these parts who should be fighting the Germans. May conscription soon come. Our boys [at the front] need all the help they can get.
What is wrong with a death benefit fund for farmers, on similar lines to that in the Railway Department. Surly it could be run by the Farmers and Settlers Association.
Another thing that would save farmers pounds is a crop insurance carried out by the I.A.B and I am sure if each farmer paid 90 shillings ($1.00) per year it would be enough for a general policy covering all farms. I do not think many hundreds [of pounds] are paid annually for burned crops. At present it costs about 10 pounds ($20.00) annually for two months insurance and that is only for fire. The I.A.B. have inspectors in each district, so the insurance should be easily arranged.
Can anyone say if the Midland Railway are reducing rail-rates the same as the Government lines, as some farmers may prefer to get their manures over that line.

September 21st 1916

Tenindewa Notes (From our own Correspondent)

Beautifully hot weather, a day that could make a thirst, and the Farmers Association of Mullewa and Tenindewa opened up at Tenindewa for their annual picnic. Fully a hundred people attended from far and wide, and all appeared to thoroughly enjoy themselves with the good things of the earth. There were horse races for the farmer who fancied his horse could gallop, and some interesting finishes were witnessed. Then there was the Married Ladies’ race, which was well worth going miles to see. The pace and finished style of these married athletes would take some beating. They did not exhibit any frill but settled down early in the race to get to the winning post quickly. One poor competitor tried to roll to the winning post, but as the double gees were about, this state was not considered as a means of progress. Then came the Single Ladies race. This was interesting and there was plenty of style in this event with a fair bit of dash of speed. The young men each had their favourite. Then came the kiddies. They were a good lot and enjoyed themselves immensely and the competitions were very keen. Plenty of fruit and sweets were distributed amongst the kiddies, and a tank of boiling water was available all day (it’s a thirsty place).
Messrs. Stokes and Fry and many others helped make the thing a success. I was forgetting there was a good dance at the local school which finished in the early hours of the morning.
Crops are only middling. We have had a month’s hot weather and last week was between 90 and 100 degrees daily (34 to 38 degrees Celsius) with inland winds. There has been plenty of appearances of rain, but it did not fall here. Some crops are burning up and their chances are hopeless. The late crops are suffering the most. A good many will have fair hay crops, but i think the weather is too dry to fill the wheat. A number of farmers will commence hay cutting in a few days. Shearing is just starting with most, and a few have cut out.

September 26th 1916

Geraldton Guardian (War Items)
“Not the worst game”

Private Lew. H. Stafford, of Tenindewa, writing from France on August 13th says; “So far I have managed to dodge the German shells. I cannot give you any news of my movements, but I can say that the soldering caper is not the worst game in the world. I have not had one off for sickness or otherwise since I joined, and I am now about two stone heavier. I often meet boys from Geraldton and they all, without exception, look very well. France is a very pretty place, and the people show the greatest hospitality towards us. I am in the artillery now, I left the light horse while in Egypt , and at the present moment I would like to be back with them again.”

[Private Lewis Stafford was killed in action on the 8th of October 1917 at Zonnebeke, Belgium]

October 12th 1916

Tenindewa Notes (From our own Correspondent) (from October the 5th)

Nice rains fell here yesterday, and with it we had some very heavy wind. The rain will do the late crops the world of good, although some are too far gone I think. The wind had blown a fair quantity down, but more could be saved by a reaper thresher. It is wonderful how the crops stood the long, dry, hot spell. There are some very nice looking crops around but how they will yield is hard to say and probably the grain will be a bit pinched. Most farmers have finished hay cutting, and a few have commenced to stack. The heavy rain will damage the hay crop a bit.
Tenindewa is holding a special affair on Saturday week in aid of a patriotic fund. I believe the committee of the lads sports have a current fund in hand for a similar purpose.
This district wants a “State Farm” but I think it is a question that can wait until the war is finished with, as funds should be conserved to the utmost.

Note; According to BOM records, almost 40 mm of rain fell between the 4th and 6th of October at Tenindewa in 1916.

December 14th 1916

Tenindewa Notes (From our own Correspondent)

Taking off the wheat crops around these parts, in a good many cases is just about finished, and the others are making good headway. They all find in the yield the effects of a dry September, and probably the average will be about 10 bushels per acre [.7 of a tonne per hectare] for 1916. Now how will 10 bushels pay the bill:

Ploughing 8 shillings per acre
Drilling 2 shillings per acre
Seed 3 shillings and sixpence per acre
Manure 2 shillings and sixpence per acre
Harvesting 7 shillings per acre
Bags 2 shillings and 9 pence per acre (for a 10-bushel crop)
Carting 1 shillings and 6 pence per acre (for a 10-bushel crop) (3 miles to siding) ***********
1 pound 7 shillings and 3 pence=Total [direct costs]

1 pound 15 shillings = Gross Returns (10 bushels X 3 shillings and 6 pence per bushel)
2 shillings and 9 pence per acre= Nett returns
3 miles to siding gives a clue to where the author’s farm might have been *************

January 12th 1917

Western Mail

The first meeting of the Tenindewa Sports Club was held on New Years Day, and with the weather delightfully cool for the time of year, there was a large gathering, including many visitors from Mullewa. A lengthy programme of horse races and foot events was gone through and the gathering proved most enjoyable.

March 23rd 1917

Tenindewa Notes (From our Correspondent)
Midlands Advertiser

Rabbits are very plentiful just now around here and promise to run a hard double with the ring neck parrot the friend (?) of the farmer [sic]. A large dingo was caught recently by Mr. Norman Fry, one of our settlers in the district. The same dingo is accredited with getting away with 40 to 50 sheep from one selection alone.
The rains are timely as water was badly needed in many parts of the district. All tanks, dams and wells are now full to the brim and farmers can confidently look forward to another prosperous season.
A young fellow up this way was paying his addresses to the daughter of a neighboring farmer, a canny old Scot.
The latter bought his meat from the former.
The last time he took up the usual quantity–half a sheep– on the Saturday evening he stayed to tea, rain came on, and he said he thought “it ud be too fur to go home un a night like this” so he remained.
Sunday passed and then Monday and still he showed no sign of leaving.
On Monday evening the Scotsman said quietly to the visitor “Eh mon, do you no be thinkin’ the grass will ha’ be grown o’er the path the way ye come up ere?

April 13th 1917

Tenindewa Notes (from our Correspondent)
Midlands Advertiser
Many of our farmers are doing a growl at the Government and various other persons and things, but for all that our little towns going ahead, judging by the appearance of the siding. In the sheds are packed wheat in very large quantities awaiting transshipment. The orchards are well represented too, as our wheat farmers are patronizing the apple growers in a splendid, the price of fruit at the moment permitting us the luxury of really good fruit on our breakfast tables.
A pleasant gathering took place on Sunday week at the residence of Mr. John Woods, of Rivermere, to bid au revoir to one of our settlers Mr. Clark who is returning to England to remain for a short time to remain with family, and then, we understand going to the front. All joined in wishing “Clarkie” God speed, as he has proved himself a good neighbour and a white man [sic].
Since writing the above we have had glories rains, and it does one’s heart good to see the smile oo the face of
Farmer John
Grumblin’ and growlin’ ain’t a bit of use
So says Farmer John, merry Farmer John
The man as frets his heart away, an lets his gall run loose,
Is simple raisin’ weed, says Farmer John

The crops won’t be no better if we growl till judgment day
The proper thing to do is just to bravely work away,
For never yet a cloud but hid a bright and cheerie ray,
So let’s be up a doin,’ says merry Farmer John

May 31st 1917

Mullewa News (From our own Correspondent)

Things generally in Mullewa have been very quiet lately, but we hope that now the seeding is almost complete and with the prospect of an early and good season that affairs will again brighten.
Very few head of stock have been coming in, but drover Clarkson has just arrived with about 2500, which are in good condition. It is expected that good consignments will be arriving, and that the sales will again be started.
Our only hotel has recently changed hands. Mr. Bowes, our old and respected townsman, has relinquished in favor of Mr. Pearsall, who comes with the reputation of being a live and popular boniface. We bid him welcome, although we shall miss our genial and familiar, Joe.
The patriotic bazaar has at last been drawn to a close, and the success attained reflects much credit on the committee and the residents who responded with great effort. Much credit is due to the assistant secretary, and the committee warmly commended him for his service. The nett result was 112 pounds [$224.00] which is to be equally divided between the Victoria District Patriotic Fund, and the Repatriation Fund. All the stalls run by the ladies, were exceedingly well managed, and they must feel extremely gratified at the success after their strenuous efforts. The Ugly Man competition was won by Mr. Bowers, Mr. McArthur being the second ugliest. Altogether 43 pounds [$86.00] was received in votes. From private information, I understood that the good folk of Tenindewa have from one gathering collected another 7 pounds [$14.00] It is pleasing to note that although times are hard and money scarce sacrifices are made to bring about such results as the foregoing.
A letter from the Base Records, England, to Mrs. F. W. Smith, of our town brought proud news last Thursday, i.e. the information that her son Frank had received the Military Cross for conspicuous gallantry in action. This young hero fought through Gallipoli till the evacuation, being once slightly wounded. He was then transferred to France, and promoted to second lieutenant. I understand that he has since received his captaincy. Mrs. Smith is to be congratulated on rearing such a noble son and indeed the congratulations need not cease just yet, as she has two other sons, one of whom has done his duty, and returned ill. The third is either in France or on his way there and with the example of a hero brother, will no doubt achieve a similar result. Young Frank, writing to his mother, deplores the cruelty of war. He has been two years and nine months on active service, and only had two weeks rest during the whole time, but nevertheless he sees his duty, and does it. I had the honors of seeing his photo, and he is indeed one of the fine specimens of manhood which will make the annuls of Australia ring for generations to come.

June 2nd 1917

Tenindewa Notes (From our own Correspondent)

Things farming have been very brisk this way, and there is a very large area under wheat again, and almost all have finished seeding operations. We have had a great number of frosts this month, with ice on the troughs outside and some farming people predicting a bad season. Since the frosts we have had light rains, and some of the crops are up and looking well. Mr. Fry’s crop is the most forward seen so far. It is Fairbank.
Stock are looking well, and lambing is going on. Horses are a bit on the warn side and are spelling after their hard toil. I wonder why farmers do not go in for some of the smaller kind of tractors, instead of using horses? Perhaps it is owing to their not being advertised. If the agents had any rush left they would give trials.
I.A.B. farmers are finding themselves in much difficulty in obtaining replies to important matters at present, as under the old regime, and the accounts for 1915, are not yet rendered to farmers complete, and although the I.A.B have received two sixpenny dividends from the Wheat Pool, for 1915, they have not even advised farmers, and what they have done with it goodness only knows. The outside creditor appears to receive very little consideration. Half a crown per bushel has been paid for 1916-17 crop, and none of this has been paid to outside creditors yet.
If the wheat scheme had been handed over to two or three outside trading firms, I am bold enough to say things would have been different. The I.A.B. is running the farmers further into debt, and interest upon interest charged. They have their officers running over the country day after day paying cheques to farmers, whereas these could be sent to them, or paid to their credits at Banks, in the majority of cases. If they visited the farms once in three months it would be enough in 90% of the cases, as the farmers are soon summed up. This all comes out of the farmers, and also the cost of an army of officials in Perth., half of whom should be in the firing line, because girls could not do worse than have done, and would probably do a lot better.
Some time ago a Royal Commission toured the country in style and examined numerous cockies to find out why farming did not pay, and to suggest better methods and improve legislation Has this been put in W.P.B. (The commission is still taking evidence –Ed.)
Local farmers are wondering when the bacon factory is to be started in Geraldton, as they have practically no market for pigs, and are going out of them as a consequence. By the press I notice the Minister for Industries talks nicely on the bacon curing and butter factories, but some would like him to do a bit and give the talking a rest. Works not words are wanted.

July 28th 1917

Floods at Tenindewa A Narrow Escape
Geraldton Guardian

Whilst approaching the Kockatea creek crossing on the Geraldton-Mullewa main road, at Tenindewa, on Wednesday morning, in a buggy drawn by two horses, Mr. Richard Dunkin, a local farmer, and Mr. E Constantine, of the "Guardian," had an exciting experience. The creek was in flood, and the travelers suddenly found themselves being carried down stream. Before travelling far, however the buggy fouled a submerged barb wire fence which arrested it progress. The horses had, fortunately swam over the object but were now anchored and facing a strong current. Mr. Dunkin, in attempting to release the terrified animals, was kicked on [sic] the head, and went under several times, but came to the surface a few yards down the stream and scrambled into a tree, from which he was rescued from which he was rescued by his companion by the reins. The unfortunate horses managed to keep their noses above water until released from the harness, and eventually, regained the bank in an exhausted condition. After a brief spell from their excursions the water logged travelers set about extricating themselves from their predicament. Fortunately the Misses Staffords heard their calls for assistance and gave the alarm at the house half a mile away. Mr. and Mrs. Stafford, jnr. soon appeared on the scene, and after several fruitless efforts to float a line downstream, Mr. Stafford, though unable to swim, pluckily waded up to his waist and threw the line across, by means of which the marooned travellers gained the opposite bank. Mr. Dunkin sustained a severe cut on his head and was completely exhausted, but soon recovered under the skillful and kindly attention of the various members of the Stafford family. His companion escaped with a thorough drenching and the loss of his travelling bag and contents. By the next day the water had subsided several feet, and Mr. Stafford snr. pluckily rode across and recovered from the buggy the travellers coats, etc. The buggy and most of the harness was hauled out of the stream yesterday morning. 
[This incident would have had to take place approximately 10 kilometers north east of Tenindewa where the creek still crosses the now Tenindewa - Yuna Road and adjacent to where the main Stafford homestead was. Mr. Dunkin snr. eventually married a Miss Eva Stafford] 

September 18th 1917

Tenindewa Notes (From an occasional Correspondent)
Geraldton Guardian
In spite of the complete absence of rain this month throughout our district the crops are looking nice and green except a few paddocks where Septoria has made its appearance. Farmers indeed have something to battle against — too much rain or none at all, together with such diseases as rust, septoria etc.
Mr. H. K. Haley, the Country Party-Nationalist candidate addressed the electorate here on Monday evening. He intends, if returned, to advocate a reduction of number and salaries by half.
The heavy rain that fell some time ago made the roads into young rivers in some places, and certain death traps to anyone travelling at night. The Road Board, instead of making a motor track over twenty miles of sandplain, have their work cut out in getting them in repair for the coming harvest which is not far hence.

September 27th 1917

Tenindewa Notes (From our own Correspondent)

The recent rains improved the late crops a good deal, and there is now a chance of fair yields. Septoria and red rust have appeared in some crops, but it is hoped they will not do too much damage. The rains during the last few days have delayed shearing and hay cutting.
Political matters are in the foreground, although there is not a very marked interest in them. All the would-be legislators have been here, but they have only gone over the same old ground. If someone would start the ball rolling with the State economy, such as cutting out the Upper House, reducing the Lower House to half its present members, sacking the Governor-General and such thing like things, the politician would be acceptable. Australia has a Governor General and he should be enough to fill the all-Australia bill. Mr. Maley appears to be the favourite in the running here, and Mr. Hosken has a following. I have not heard much about the others. The road to Bindu is in disgraceful condition and absolutely dangerous. I saw two horses standing on there heads this evening while crossing a creek. The Road Board is not worrying about it, although their attention has been repeatedly drawn to it. Someone will get hurt and then no doubt a claim will be made.
There is an epidemic of measles around here, but so far all cases are doing well.
I believe the Greenough Show is to the fore again. Good luck to them.
Mr. Stafford, after many trials has struck good stock water.

December 13th 1917

Tenindewa Notes (From our own Correspondent)

We are having splendid harvesting weather and all the farmers are busy collecting the golden grain. The yields are not very satisfactory owning to too much wet weather during the growing period and a dry finish. Still the bags are filling and there will be a lot of wheat from this district.
(Jan .5 Feb 1.0 Mar 80 April 8 May 34 June 124 July 100 Aug 68 Sept 61 Oct 22 Nov 0 Dec 13) Total 512
The Co-operative is going ahead and the building will be erected in a week or two on a nice piece of land on a site right alongside the railway Goods Shed. The land was kindly given by Mr. N Fry.
The Society has had a good start but lost a number of their customers owning to the delays of the railways in forwarding goods, some of which took a fortnight to come from Perth and then allowed to lay at Mullewa for days and [dashing the expectation of] people waiting for those goods.
This unnecessary delay by the railways is losing the society customers and the railway department freight which I thought Commissioner Short wanted. If the railway department would look after the freight they have they would not have to increase fright rates so much. They want shaking up a bit. The postal authorities in their wisdom have cut Tenindewa out of the mail and now we can only send mail to Geraldton on Mondays and Wednesdays because they will have to pay more than sweating wages. The last post mistress received the large sum of eight pounds per annum ($16.00) and had to meet the mail five days a week and do the same thing to sent mail away. The letters posted numbered 500 per week besides papers etc. We will not receive a Geraldton paper now from Tuesday to Saturday. The settlers have petitioned the Federal Authorities.
The General Meeting of the Co-operative Society was held last Sunday to elect five directors. The following were elected: Messes Valentine, Woods, Stafford, Johnson and Curtis. Mr. N Fry was elected secretary.
However, there is satisfaction in knowing that growing wheat finds plenty of work and gives a healthy appetite. I think farmers with wheat only [in their enterprise] will want nursing a good while unless normal seasons return.
The Tenindewa Sports Club intend holding a full-blown race meeting on New Year’s Day, also other sports —to make a full day of it. They are having a booth (publican’s) also. I think this is a step in the wrong direction. Have a day of sport by all means, but such things as betting and beer spoil all sport, as they spoiled cycling and foot racing years ago.
Tenindewa is well situated for the lamb trade and pig raising and both of these stock do remarkably well here, and if the I.A.B. were to set farmers up in a small way, say a couple of breeding sows and 50 ewes, the farmers would soon make headway and free themselves of debt, but if the I.A.B. do not do this, then I am afraid they will have a big debt to place to the loss account. The thing wants tackling boldly. No half measures will be of any use. Another Sir John Forrest is badly wanted in W.A. He was game to the core. see the Coolgardie water scheme. Would any of our present legislators have tackled it? To tackle any problem boldly is more than half the battle. This is a scheme which should be supported strongly by all Geraldton businesspeople, to whom a number of farmers owe money. If sufficient push and go were put into this matter [and] I believe it could be arranged, and as things are not too good on the Murchison the necessary stock may be obtained at reasonable rates. They {the local farmers] should breed for the fat lamb trade and bacon curing and in conjunction with this scheme there should be the necessary cool storage and bacon factory in Geraldton. Will those in authority wake up or are they going to leave everything until the war is over. If they do there may be no need of assisting the farmer, then; he [the farmer] will probably be out. [Prophetic words from Leo and many others as it turned out]
A settler received 400 breeding ewes from Yowergabbie [Station] a few days since, and paid 15 pounds 4 shillings, and the Railway Department did not supply even a sheep race to unload them, hence the settler had to lift 200 ewes from the top deck of the of the [rail] truck to the ground, and as there had been a shower [of rain] while the sheep were in the truck you can imagine what a nice job it was. On another occasion the same settler received sheep from Pindar, and the door of one truck was left open and not noticed until it arrived at Mullewa, with the result 471 sheep arrived instead of 500. I do not know how it is, but there some meddling in dealing with it. [The Railways]
Perhaps they have that weary tired feeling, and their customers pay large cheques for the neglect?

July 17th 1918

Extract from Geraldton Express

On Tuesday July 9th the marriage of Miss Mary Malloy (Daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Patrick Malloy of Wyalong NSW) to Leo Joseph Critch (fourth son of Mr. and Mrs. Francis Henry Critch of Shenton Street Geraldton) was celebrated at the Nun’s Chapel adjoining the Presentation Convent, Geraldton.
The bride was given away by Mr. John Kelly sen. (uncle of the bridegroom) and Mr. E. P. Smyth carried out the duties of the best man. The Rev. Father Hawes performed the ceremony. The bride was gowned in a dainty dress of silk, effectively embroidered and studded with seed pearls. The usual wreath and veil were worn, and she carried a bouquet of white flower ferns.
Miss Grace Critch (bridesmaid), sister of the groom, wore a cream silk coat frock and a cream velvet hat to match. Miss Eileen Kelly (bridesmaid), cousin of the bridesmaid, was dressed in a flesh pink silk crystalline frock, relieved with strappings of the same shade, with white hat, trimmed with tiny rosebuds.
The wedding ceremony concluded, the bridal party motored to the residence of the bridegroom’s parents where a cake and wine were partaken of, and the usual toasts (not forgetting absent relatives and friends) were duly proposed and responded to. Many valuable presents were received. The happy couple left for their home at Tenindewa by train the following morning.

July 30th 1918

Tenindewa Notes (From our own Correspondent)

We are having nice weather around here, and the farmers are all smiling. They are people of moods, but they are so used to getting little that they smile good and often at the good gift of a nice season. All the crops are looking well, but the feed is backward.
A fairly large number of farmers intend attending the cold storage meeting on August 9th. They recognize that cool storage and canning works at Geraldton will very soon get them their motor car, whereas growing wheat only, under present conditions is enough to them a wooden suit.
The farmers are beginning to co-operate, and on Saturday night opened their co-operative store with a general rally of all the settlers. Some songs and dancing, card games and such like kept them all busy until the small hours of Sunday morning. It was a really enjoyable time, and the building which is 20 feet [6 metres] by 30 foot [9 metres] was well filled. The main interest of the gathering was to raise funds for the Red Cross to help our boys in France. We had a popular girl competition as the main attraction, and two of our farmers pretty daughters entered for this. Miss N Fry and Miss K Palmer, and the supporters of both were very busy, and at the finish Miss Fry won by a small majority. This part of the programme realized about 22 pounds [$44.00]
Both girls worked very hard and deserve the greatest credit. They are both very popular. Then came the ugly man’s competition, for which Messes. J Ring and N. Fry entered. Mr. Ring won by a fair margin, and he really deserved the title and one on good merit. They both worked hard for victory. It was good fun all through and there was not the least friction. The total result will be almost 40 pounds [$80.00], a fair amount which was raised by the lady in charge of the refreshment stall (a very important part of the show) Mrs. G. Valentine, of Pine Grove.
Mr. Alex Rumble, the hon secretary, deserves great credit for the hard work he put into the show, things generally running as smoothly as a well oiled engine when the engine wishes to run well. All concerned deserve great credit, and it is hoped the store will be used again.
The Road Board are insisting on farmers replacing wire gates across roads by iron or wooden gates 14 feet [3 metres] wide, and have given farmers very short notice to do so under, the threat of removing [the old], at the farmers expense. This Board seems to do things without first considering the cost. A gate like they require costs two pound 10 shillings at the lowest [$5.00] and I think they could easily been left in abeyance until after the war.

Below is the Coop building referred to
When this photo was taken it was part of Peets Transport business in Mullewa acting as the mail room.
Previous to that it was the “Old Hall” and located east of the Store. In that location it also acted as the Post Office and Exchange for a time. But originally, at the time of its building and at the time of the above article it was in Fry’s paddock south of the siding and just south of the Geraldton-Mullewa highway.

Unfortunately the Co-op folded very shortly afterwards (See article June 1922)

October 22nd 1918

Tenindewa Notes (From our own Correspondent)

Things amongst the crops are looking good and one of the best Currawa crops to be grown is at Mr. G. Valentine’s. This wheat is looking well everywhere around here, Oat crops are rather a failure, Mr. Stafford has about the best. Very little fallow being done and I do not think much cropping will be done next season. Most farmers are getting squeezed by the I.A.B. collar as the proceeds of the crops do not pay any of the business people’s claims. It is hopeless trying to grow wheat at a profit under present heavy rules for infertile land. There are too many difficulties and to farm well takes a lot of time and money. The usual 9 shillings a day [$1.00] will not [run] farms, hence crops have to be put in roughly. The farmer is being kicked hard and the rest of the country will know it very soon. With wheat cheap, pigs procurable, sheep at bedrock prices and wool at a fair price (though costing a lot to market) the farmers only hope is a freezing works in Geraldton.

January 31st 1919

Local and general

Fire at Tenindewa:-An outbreak of fire occurred at Tenindewa on Saturday, and before it’s spread could be checked, a portion of Mr. H. Johnson’s crop was destroyed. Another farmer Mr. A Benoit, lost 80 bags of wheat and all his stubble. It is understood that the crops were partly insured.

January 14th 1919

Tenindewa Notes (From our own Correspondent)

Most of the farmers are now carting their golden grain to the siding. (I am reminded to call it “golden grain” after viewing the weight chasers working the shaker at the wheat stack in Marine Terrace)
The yields have been disappointing on the whole and not up to expectations; still I suppose the 4 shillings a bushel will make up for a bit. [$29.00 per tonne]
The weather is hot and dry, and a good thunderstorm will be welcome by many as tanks are rapidly drying up, and water carting is the order of the day.
Mr. H. J. Stafford has struck another good supply of nearly fresh water on his farm. Mr. James Ring has had the misfortune to have his crop destroyed by fire. I understand it was insured. Still after all, a man’s labour taking off, it is a pity to lose it. He is one of our most interesting and progressive farmers along the Bindu Gully.
The youngsters were given a good treat and Christmas tree on Christmas Eve, and they enjoyed it keenly.
Mr. Dick Dunkin, who recently entered double Karno…, has just completed a nice residence on his farm “Bundanoon”
What’s wrong with the freezers?

April 15th 1919

Tenindewa Notes (From our own Correspondent)

Things are dry, decidedly dry, no rain having fallen since last November. Nearly all the farmers are spending most of their time carting water Very few have started ploughing so far, and as there is little fallow there will be a decreased area of crop for the coming season, or a very late seeding. It is a wonder the Public Water Supply do not put a large dam at Wolya water catchment. There is plenty of room for a 5000 yard (5000 cu. meter) tank and they only have a 1400 yard one. [tank means dam in this context]
A number of settlers are boring in hope of striking water; others had to get rid of their sheep, or greatly reduce their numbers. Feed is becoming scarce and most of the scrub around here has been burnt up with bush fires. This has been the hottest season for the last 10 years and their have been more bush fires.
The IAB [Industries Assistance Board] is refusing to assist settlers who will not give a lien over their sheep and wool. This is unfair’ as from the sheep and wool the farmers are paying off old debts as the Board [IAB] never pay any. The IAB have had four years wheat and in the bulk of cases in this district have not paid a penny to creditors. I think it is time the whole IAB was wiped out, and the farmers put through the bankruptcy court if nothing better can be done. Land rents are too much, and a fair number of applications round here for repricing have been sent in, but the Lands Department will not put a fair value on the land. They will not be guided by their repricing officer, so what is the use of paying to be repriced. I know a case where the officer reported poor sandplain to be reduced from 7 shillings to two shillings and sixpence but the Lands Department only brought it down to 5 shillings and ninepence.
Easter Monday will see a good day’s sport here including horse racing, foot racing and a good mixed programme for ladies and gents.
Mr. N. Fry of Kaburnie has been laid up for the last fortnight with an injury to his knee. However he is improving.
The Railway Department should erect a stock loading yard here as there are 18 settlers with sheep and other stock. At present they have to drove to Mullewa or load at the siding under great difficulties. Recently I saw two bogies of sheep loaded without even a portable race and the sender had to lift 160 fat wethers to the top deck from the ground. Members of Parliament might make note of these yards and also increasing the size of the Wolya dam.

May 1st 1919

Tenindewa Notes (From our own Correspondent)

Splendid rains have fallen, and the earth is already covering itself with green mantle, and the farmers are forgetting the long hot dry summer, the monotonous water carting, and the delays to their work. They are full of hope for better times. Ploughing and seeding are in full swing.
The sports on Easter Monday went off well and a most enjoyable day was spent. Nearly everyone won a prize, so all were satisfied.
I.A.B. farmers are disappointed at Premier Colebatch appointing Minister Robertson again the handle the Industries Department. He charges farmers 7% and has let the Freemantle Freezers have money at 5%. Where is the fair play? In this district he squeezing the deserving farmers off the board, hence he is lessening the wheat area. He has cut his District Inspector’s clerk out of Geraldton, hence the District Director has to stay in Geraldton to do the clerk’s work instead of going round amongst farmers monthly. The I.A.B. farmers have to either go for their money or write. [for their money]
I notice in the “Guardian” an article by Captain White extolling the virtues of the old black crow. This I have been convinced off for a long while. They do a lot of good eating up old dead sheep, which die in the scrub and not far from them would be thousands of blowflies. They kill a few lambs, but it is mostly the week ones. Again; I have been protecting the magpies and butcher bird for years in my farm. They eat millions of grasshoppers and grubs. and thus save these plagues from eating the crops out, but there are so many good birds for the farmers and graziers that it would take a long letter to deal with them. These two latter {mentioned] birds also eat carrion and maggots. Then in the dry years the various parrots clean up our fields of the doublegee. They certainly eat some grain but I think they deserve protecting for the good they do.
Have you ever, Mr. Editor camped in the bush near a pool in early spring and listened to the music of the magpie and the butcher bird. If not, it is a treat you had better come up and enjoy this spring, for this next few months life in the bush , where birds are protected, is a pleasure. There are so many things to interest and [to]study.

When Leo Critch refers to Mr. Editor (as above) he is possibly referring to his father, Francis Henry Critch.
Also it is worth understanding that Leo was married August 1918 so he may have been inviting “Mr. Editor” [sic] with the expectation of more inviting arrangements in the 1918 spring rather than that of his bachelor years at Tenindewa

July 29th 1919

Tenindewa Notes (From our own Correspondent)

Everything in the garden, as far as our crops are concerned is lovely. With rain every week, and a little sunshine, things look very nice. The Kockatea Creek has been running a good while, and for a few days was very hard to cross safely. One or two residents narrowly escaped being washed down. Some settlers had to go miles around and over the railway bridge to get to the post office and siding. Stock are looking well and lambs are to be seen in some paddocks.
Mr. Fry has just returned from Victoria, where they are also having plenty of rain.
Our new state school teacher appears to be getting on well with the children. They like going to school–a good sign I think.
There is great dissatisfaction amongst farmers against the I.A.B. who give the single farmer five shillings a day, and instead of that being handed to them monthly, they go to Geraldton for it or write. At one time the inspector came regularly each month. The I.A.B. are not paying any farmers debts from last harvests receipts. This is now the forth year they [the I.A.B.] have appropriated the lot. When will Geraldton business people wake up and demand their share. The I.A B. farmers are going out of pigs, because the I.A.B. take the proceeds. After four years working solid for the Board is it not time farmers were given freedom, so that they can pay their old debts.

August 21st 1919

Tenindewa Notes (From our own Correspondent)

Nice warm days, with frosty nights, are the present weather conditions, and some of the crops are looking all the better for them. The crops on light ground are very poor, and will yield very little, but those on good heavy land look very well. There has been too much rain for the light ground.
A lot of goods are being lost from our railway siding. It is rare that a consignment of groceries are received without shortages, and it is time action was taken in the matter. The favourite articles are tea, matches, jam and tobacco.
A great number of sheep are owned by farmers around here, and it is time we had small trucking yards at the railway siding. At present sheep have to be loaded at Mullewa or under great difficulties at our siding.
I wonder will Premier Mitchell alter the I.A.B. matters. Farmers around here have worked for their tucker for four years now, and want a change. A number of I.A.B. farmers are only receiving five shillings a day. [50 cents] One farmer who slaved and borrowed to get sheep was cut off assistance because he would not give the Board a lien over his wool and sheep. The Board’s contention was that it wanted to protect his creditors, and still the board had four years wheat, and paid none. Now the farmer has to sell his sheep to pay his creditors and to live. Other farmers have sheep, and are still drawing their wages. It looks like making fish of one and flesh of another.

November 25th 1919

Tenindewa Notes (From an occasional Correspondent)

On November 1st the residents of Tenindewa assembled in the Co-operative Hall and organized a social function to be farewell to Mr. and Mrs. Norman Fry and family, who have disposed of their farming property here and are about to leave for Victoria, where they intend to take up their residence. The weather was rather stormy, and as a result many who would have been present were debarred owing to rain and darkness. Even as it was the hall was comfortably filled and dancing, alternating with a few vocal events was kept up until the early hours of the morning.
During the evening light refreshments were supplied and at the interval in the dancing several speakers representing the Cooperative Co. and the local branch of the Farmers and Settlers Association, took the opportunity of wishing Mr. Fry and his family a safe voyage and heaps of good luck and happiness in their new home.
Mr. Valentine, on behalf of the young ladies of the district, presented presented Miss Norma Fry, who conducted the local Post Office for the last two years, with a very pretty ladies handbag as a great token of the esteem in when she was held and Miss Fry suitably thanked the doners in a happy speech, which by the way was her maiden effort.
Some of the speakers referred in no uncertain terms to the good work Mr. Fry had done in the many public positions that he had occupied here, and to the fact that they were loosing one of the pioneers of the district. Mr. Fry deserved credit for bring the first stump jump plough to the district, and reaper and binder, and making the first locally grown chaff as early as 1903.
Mr. Fry thanked those present, as well as the speakers, for the opportunity they had afforded him and his family of personally saying farewell to their many friend and well wishers and the speakers for the kind things that they had said during the evening. He assured them that Tenindewa and its people would always occupy a warm spot in their hearts and if fate should ever lead their steps westward in the future, Tenindewa would be the first port of call.
On Saturday the 15th last, as the family of “Kaburnie” were scanning the papers and making preparations for retiring for the night, the house was stormed by a band of youths and lasses, mostly from Devils Creek, who took possession. Mr. O’Brien acted as spokesman, that owing to the boisterous weather they were unable to be present at the previous gathering and they were not going to be deprived of an opportunity of saying farewell to Mr. and Mrs. Fry and family. Therefore they invited the family and the company to the hall, which was specially arranged and dancing and song were the order of the evening.
Mr. Valentine. on behalf of the company, presented Mrs. Fry with a very pretty cameo broach, and wished her and her family good health and a happy and prosperous future. Mr. Fry responded on her behalf and thanked those present for the pleasant surprise they had given and for the verbal and tangible of good wishes etc. and he assured them that Mrs. Fry would always treasure their gift. The gathering broke up in the early hours of the morning after singing “they are jolly good fellows” and “Auld Lang Syne”.
Mr. Fry and family left or Geraldton by Friday’s train where they will stay for eight or ten days, prior to leaving for Perth. They will leave the State by the “Wandilla” on December the 13th.

December 2nd 1919

Tenindewa Notes (From an occasional Correspondent)
Geraldton Guardian

The hum of harvesters is heard on all sides, but the weather is not ideal for stripping, two thunderstorms in a week, and cloudy skies, make the ears tough. [to strip]
Would that the rain had fallen in September, and then the crops would have looked very different. As it is they promise but a few bags to the acre. The best looking crops are at Indarra–Mr. Troy’s and Mr. Maloney’s. Many of the farmers have cut a lot of their crops for hay. Last year upwards of 14,000 bags left Tenindewa [1170 tonne], but this year their looks like a big falling off.
Mr. Bob Oldham cut fine hay crops; while Mr. Stafford was not far behind. Mr. H. W. Johnson and Mr. A. Benoit each cut a beautiful sample.
The emus and kangaroos have damaged the crops badly, the former especially, going about in twenties and thirties. The Mullewa Road Board generously intimates that we can kill emus, but what is wanted is a premium on their heads. What a chance for Geraldton sportsmen to run up and help us reduce the number.
Many of the farmers have gone in for sheep, for it is recognized that wheat farming alone cannot pay. There are also many who cannot, for want of water and the prohibitive price of fencing wire.
Some farmers who launched out largely in pigs, in view of the bacon factory, have given them up, or are doing so, for despite the high prices paid for pork, the distances from the market, and the price of wheat leave a small margin for profit. Then again if one has pigs one has to stye them and feed [them], for if they run lose they invade the neighbours’ paddock and eat the lambs and poultry.
Now we have a postmaster it is hoped that a more frequent mail service will be obtained. It is annoying to have to wait until Wednesday to read Saturday’s Guardian. However I believe the Stations have only to apply for a more frequent service to get it.
Things are much brighter here than they used to be for there are more young folks, and dances are constantly being held in the Agricultural Hall. These dances give the lasses and lads an enjoyable time, and enable the elders to foregather and compare nots, all tending to relieve the monotony of the bush.
Mr. Norman Fry and family have left us, en route for Victoria. Messrs. Petroff Bros. two returned soldiers, have taken the farm “Kaburnie” and are a pleasant acquisition to the neighborhood.
Mr. F. H. Broderick, another returned soldier, has embarked in sheep farming, way out on the river. Other soldiers are busy clearing about here having surrendered their rifles in favour of an axe, and in one case, at least, in favour of a pen??.
The Government are urging all settlers to clear more land, but what is the use when they will not advance money for fencing.
The local Co-op, are seriously considering the advisability of starting a store, but I advise to go warily, for unless there is sufficient capital in the hand failure is certain. The average cocky is very wary of launching out unless he can see a certain return. The Bacon Factory Co. know how difficult it is to get in their calls; and some of the most strongly in favour of a share are the ones who do not pay up their calls. The directors are ready to move when the cash is up, but talk wont start a business. Money talks.

December 4th 1919

Geraldton Guardian
Tenindewa Cricket Club
Annual Ball

On Saturday evening, November 20th the Tenindewa Cricket Club held their annual ball in aid of the club funds in the Tenindewa Agricultural Hall. The arrangements were splendidly carried out by the committee; the hall was beautifully decorated, and the floor was suburb. The feature of the evening was a prize for the most unselfish gentleman dancer, to be decided by ladies ballot (wallflowers included). The music was very ably supplied by or local orchestra, and all the dancers thoroughly enjoyed themselves. I must mention the able manner in which the M.C. carried out his duties. During the evening the dancing ceased abruptly. A member of the committee stood up, adjusted his monocle, much to the surprise of the natives (who were immediately attacked with convulsions) and announced in a very witty speech that the committee had decided to call a meeting for the purpose of enrolling new members, collecting back debts, overdue subs, etc., and discuss ways and means. Ladies were requested not to talk during the speeches. The captain, on being asked to say a few words to substantiate the secretary’s remarks, was ceased by stage fright and made a bolt for the door. Luckily, a member of the club foresaw the trouble and checked him. A splendid supper was supplied by the ladies, and the waiters and waitresses had a very busy time serving around the many dainties. Everybody thoroughly enjoyed themselves, and all are going to roll up and watch “Our Club” show Mullewa the art of cricket.

December 5th 1919

Tenindewa Notes (From our own Correspondent)

Whether the angles in the heavens were celebrating on Saturday the anniversary of the declaration of the Armistice–some time after the event–or weather war had been declared by one of the twinkling planets or not I cannot say. But such a bombardment or barrage of thunder and electricity has seldom been witnessed in this Bindu district and it will be remembered here by the cocky here for many a day as there crops were being targets for hail stones as big as egg bombs. Two returned soldiers named Bedford and Cox with farmer Mr. T Curtis had a narrow squeak of being killed. They had just left a large York Gum tree under which they were getting shelter when it was struck by lightening and ripped from the top to the bottom. Postle or Donaldson would have not have had the chance of ever catching one of the two within a 5 miles distance.
Emus are still doing a terrible lot of damage to crops. The cocky has a lot to put up with, Mr. Editor. Haven’t they? What with no rain, bad yields, kangaroos, emus, weevils and no ships farming its no beer and skittles. Is it?
There has been agitation for a daily mail service for Tenindewa, and as the monthly subsidy of 2 pounds 7 shillings and 6 pence [almost $5.00] provided by the Government doesn’t buy quince.

December 18th 1919

Tenindewa Notes (From our own Correspondent)

A very heavy storm passed over Tenindewa yesterday, with heavy rain, hail and wind. Inches of rain fell, and the Kockatea Creek was soon running a banker. Much damage has been done to crops, and the grass has been beaten flat on the ground. Farmers were all busy taking off their wheat crops, but owing to the season being a very late one, very little wheat has been stripped, as there has not been much good stripping weather. It is hard to say at present what the losses will be but they are certain to be very heavy. A number of farmers now own sheep, but they cannot extend their operations owing to fencing wire being so dear. The Meat Works Co. should get a hustle on and erect those works in Geraldton. Farmers are looking very anxiously for them, as wheat growing, even at 5 shillings per bushel is no good. It is far better to be a member of parliament at a hundred pounds per half years easy work. If cocky could increase his price per bushel like members do their salaries, it would be nice for “Cocky”.
Why does the State not start an Insurance Co. business, and have pounds to the assisted settler. It would be a more profitable investment to them than meat shops, fish supplies etc. and it would help what is said to be the backbone of the country.
Land rents around this district are being reduced by the Mitchell Government. It is a good thing to have a practical farmer at the head of the Government — much better than a lawyer [presiding] over the I.A.B.

December 25th 1919

Tenindewa Notes (Farewell to Mr. Mrs. Fry)

Geraldton Guardian (From an occasional Correspondent)

On November 1st the residents of Tenindewa District assembled in the Tenindewa Co-operative Hall and organized a social function to bid farewell to Mr. and Mrs. Norman Fry and family, who have disposed of their farming property there, and are about to leave for Victoria, where they intend to take up their residence. The weather was rather stormy, and as a result many who were present were debarred owing to the rain and darkness. Even as it was the hall was comfortably filled, and dancing interspersed with a few vocal renditions was kept up until the early hours of the morning.
During the evening light refreshments were supplied and during the interval in the dancing several speakers representing the Tenindewa Farmers Co-operative co. and the local branch of the farmers and settlers association, took the opportunity of wishing Mr. and Mrs. Fry and family a safe voyage and heaps of good luck and happiness in their new home.
Miss Valentine, on behalf of the young ladies of the district presented Miss Norma Fry, who has conducted the local post office for the last two years, with a very pretty ladies handbag as a polite token of the esteem in which she was held here. Miss Fry suitably thanked the doners in a happy type speech, which by the way was her maiden effort.

December 27th 1919

Tenindewa Notes (From an occasional Correspondent)

Two of the most interesting events of this locality for the week ended, were the Christmas tree, that happened, and the end of the world did not.
There was a rumour that the local school will not be reopened after the holidays owning to the decreasing attendance. Yet at the Christmas tree on Saturday night there were over 40 children, the greater portion being of that age when education is of the most importance. It seems a great pity that parents are so unconcerned about the future welfare of their children that arrangements cannot be made to enable children to be driven to the local school, and thereby keeping the school going, especially as we have an excellent teacher. There was evidence of this, not only in the progress of ordinary education, but in the noticeable mannerly behavior of the children who attend the local school. Great credit is due to the local teacher and her girl friends for the able manner in which the affair on Saturday night was conducted. The local Co-operative Society kindly placed their large Store at their disposal free of charge. This was nicely decorated with greenery, with a liberal display of Christmas flowers. In the centre stood the tree, laden with toys. The presents were thoughtful given in accordance with the ages of the children. The late arrival of Father Christmas caused a little anxiety, which gave way to a rousing reception upon his appearance. In a few words he begged forgiveness, and upon his explaining that he had come by the Bindu Road, and had a lot of trouble with wire gates, this was readily given. I am told a similar event and the total number of children on that occasion numbered a dozen, while on this occasion the number had gone up to 42, so it can be claimed that the place is going ahead.

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