1921 to 1922 Tenindewa Notes

January 19th 1921

Tenindewa Notes (From our Correspondent)
As the Engine Drivers Ass. forgot to provide a letter carrier for this district before they went “Bolshevik” I could not find a way to post my notes.
Pooling wheat is just on the verge of finishing here, and from what I can gather, though nothing sensational eventuated, the average yield has been very fair. Locally the member for Mt. Magnet in Mr. M. F. Troy’s crops would compare with any in WA. From 60 acres of the variety Nabawah he stripped 528 bags, approximately 9 bags to the acre. (1.85 tonne/hectare) and from 300 acres (120 hectares) of crop he harvested 1,921 bags (160 tonne) a little over 6 bags to the acre (1.2 tonne/hectare).

[Note; The WA Department of Agriculture added two 1920 varieties, Federation and Nabawa(h), to their 2022 Variety Trials at Tenindewa as a curiosity]

As I said before, nothing sensational but will always do me and to my mind reflects great credit on Mr. Dan Clifford, Mr. Troy’s able manager.
The wild dogs have been playing havoc with the sheep around here; not dingoes but mongrel kangaroo dogs gone wild. Messes Wood, Duncan, Stafford and Troy lost a lot of sheep through these pests. The killing and mangling of sheep became so great at Mr. Troy’s that he had to engage a special man to trap the dogs. Unfortunately for the old dogger, who has been dingoing around these districts for years and safeguarding many a farmers sheep, it is going to prove a costly hunt for him, for after having driven some 20 miles (32 Kilometers) to come to the assistance of Mr. Troy, his horse bolted into a 3000 yard dam, and after smashing the sulky to pieces, committed suicide by drowning itself before assistance was forthcoming. As this is a serious loss for the old man, and his only means of conveyance across country on the scent of the dingo, surely the farmers will see the old chap is not a loser. I should say Mr. Troy is offering him 5 pounds ($10.00) a piece for the scalps of the two ravaging dogs at large. Hope he is successful at catching them.
The Christmas Tree for the children was a great success, and great praise and credit were deservedly given Miss Paton, the young school mistress, for her efforts in connection with same.
The New Years sports were held in Mr. W. H. Stokes paddock and proved, as anticipated, a great success. As the dance following at night was well patronized a fair sum is on hand for the building of an Agricultural Hall, and as subscriptions have been freely promised, a start no doubt will be shortly made.
I notice my “opponent” the “Guardian” correspondent in “his” notes recently said Tenindewa must rally to the poll on election day and vote solidly for Mr. Maley, who is one of the “Cunning Party”. [probably a jibe at the “Country Party”] Is this not audacity, for Tenindewa is a straight-out Labour constituency, as shown by last election. Inasmuch as the electors, unlike the politicians, don’t box the compass, you can rest assured Mr. P. Moy will have a majority here.
A further proof of urgent need of a store here was the late strike. Picture farmers miles back having to, either drive to Mullewa or to Geraldton for provisions when a store could have supplied them.

With Premier “Mitch” things will shortly hum;
In a few months time Election Stakes are run.
Our three good men, Willock, Hickey, Moore,
Will show you what they’re battling for,
And when Paddy Moy wins the election fight,
There’ll be a hot time in Geraldton that night.

Jan. 17

February 11th 1921

Mullewa Cricket

Tenindewa V Mullewa

The fixture for Sunday last was between Tenindewa and Mullewa and was played at Mullewa in the presence of a great number of spectators.
Mullewa fielded and dismissed their opponents for the small total of 28. Haley secured 6 for 16 and McGowan 4 for 12 these being the only two bowlers tried.
Mullewa made 95 in their innings, Bill Pettit being the top scorer with 20 and played good cricket. M’Keegan a young player who had to face Bob Oldham gave a good display in making 16 not out. The lad will considerably improve the Mullewa team. J Toomey also batted well for 12. These were the only players to reach double figures. Mullewa have lost the services of one of their best players in Bert Bowlett, he having the misfortune to meet with an injury to his arm, which will put him out of action for the season. The fielding for Mullewa was very keen [with] not a catch being missed and no byes being recorded [which] is a credit to Pettit our wicketkeeper as he had to stop Mac’s fast ones. He was on Kola and says that accounts for his good display.
Bob Oldham [was] right out of form yesterday, but only being recently married we were not expecting too much from him, but he will be up with the best of them before the season is over. I noticed captain Young and a good many of his followers from the Creek at the match, picking out the week points so that they will be right on the spot next time they meet either team.
The following are the scores
Rumble c and b McGowan 6
Cooper b Hayley 3
Gee c Branson b McGowan 1
Broilrick c McGowan b Haley 1
Butler c Keegan b Haley 1
Napier b Haley 0
Stokes b McGowan 8
Beard b Haley 6
Warren c Toomey b Haley 1
Spencer not out 0
Sundries 2
Total 28
Bowling –Hayley 6 for 16 McGowan 4 for 12

Bicinson b Rumble 7
Price run out 5
Pettit c Warren b Gee 20
Beaumont b Rumble 4
McGowan c Price b Rumble 4
Haley l.b.w. b Oldham 9
Toomey c Stokes b Gee 12
Podger b Rumble 6
Keegan l.b.w. 16
Hayear c Gee b Rumble 0
Pech c Gee b Rumble 1
Sundries 11
Total 95
Bowling–Rumble 6 for 26. Gee 2 for 14, Oldham 1 for 22, Warren 0 for 10

February 26th 1921

Tenindewa Notes (From our own Correspondent)

Today (Feb 19) has been the worst in my experience in my at Tenindewa. It commenced to blow a north-east gale last night, and it continued all day, with a very low barometer and dust everywhere. The sky is red as far as the eye can see. The fallow paddocks are suffering very much, and I reckon my paddock has gone to the neighbors’. There were only a few light showers yesterday and last night. No doubt there will be some houses to mend.
Wheat carting has already finished, and yields in most cases are satisfactory and the grain of good quality. About 20,000 bags [1900 tonne] went to Tenindewa and Indarra sidings, and Ardingly (a few miles away) scored many trucks of golden grain.
In view of the early start of the bacon factory, a few farmers are talking of going into dairying. Mr. Stafford has bought some nice dairy beef heifers and mated them to a Jersey bull. For a good many months in the year large quantities of cream could be sent from here and adjacent sidings, natural food being abundant from July to December.
Much sympathy has been expressed with Mr. George Valentine in his recent painful accident. It is hoped by all the Mr. Valentine will soon be alright.
I hear another good residence is being built. Mr. George Valentine is preparing bricks to erect a commodious residence. Good luck to him; he is a real toiler, and deserves all his success.
The public conveniences at Wollya water reserve are in very bad order. The mill is out of order, and there is no troughing at either well, and the water catchment is in a filthy state, caused by straying stock, and as the Mullewa Road Board will not attend to these things it is up to the Public Works Department to see to it. I understand a petition is being prepared to forward to the Public Works Department.
Mr. Percy Palmer, who was the contractor for wheat loading this season, has almost finished his work. It was carried out very well and with very few hitches, truck supplies being very good also, but the lifting of trucks when loaded, by the Railway Department could easily have been improved. It is very hard to get the Railway Department to lift anything left at sidings, such as a few bags of wheat, and other small consignments. Their excuse is “no con. note” these often to be supplied three times.
The Methodist minister held Devine service at Tenindewa last Sunday, but only about fifteen attended, the day being a terribly hot one.

June 14th 1921

Tenindewa Notes (From our own Correspondent)
Geraldton Guardian

The rain here for May has been very heavy, and the land is in a very boggy state. Farmers, of course, are somewhat backward with their cropping; some can stop altogether, as their land cannot stand such heavy rain. The feed is very low, making slow or no progress at all. The Kockatea Creek has been running about 7 feet deep [2 metres] for the past three weeks, and those who have to cross it experience some difficulty in doing so. The roads are getting cut about terrible, and when winter clears, repair work will be staring the Road board in all directions.
Last Saturday evening a social and dance, to raise funds for the newly formed tennis club took place here. Quite a nice crowd came along, and till the early hours of the morning enjoyed themselves immensely. The waltzing competition brought out half a dozen couples, and as it was the hat trick, no one seems to know who really did win.
Mrs. Peet and Mrs. Davis filled the position as pianists nicely. Mr. Peet presented the club with a silver mounted cigarette holder and gold broach. This brought in a tidy sum.
The bachelors are talking of giving a dance shortly, and from what I can gather, the ladies are in for a gay time.

August 25th 1921

Tenindewa Notes (No Correspondent mentioned but written very much in a similar style to that of “Our Own Correspondent”)

Though we have had rain every month, the crops generally are nothing exceptional, Messrs. Petroff Bros. (returned diggers) owning the only crops I have seen of any consequence around here. Their field of Yandilla King is a picture of health and stability. We in West Australia have often said “given rainfall W.A. would be the best producing country in Australia” bur sad to relate when we get it our good land becomes so boggy that it is impossible to seed it, and that to mind [sic] accounts for many poor crops seen about this year. Mr. W. H. Stokes left here today loaded up with carpenters’ tools to pull down the store he has purchased at Sandstone and to train same to Tenindewa to be re-erected. The recreation ground was granted us by the Lands Department and last Sunday a busy bee soon made jam tree scrub etc. disappear, and as the ground is to be fenced all round by the summer time, everything will be in apple pie order for cricket, lawn tennis [sic] picnics and other sports to be held in it. The Co-operative Society held a meeting just recently and decided to refuse the tender of Messrs. Petroff Bros. for the purchase of the old building. Why these wise people refused the tender goodness knows, for it will cost 30 or 40 pounds [$60 to $80] to shift and re-erect, and the price of the iron steadily dropping. In my opinion they were foolish, as 62 pounds [$120.00] is an exceptionally good offer.

Note; The Co-operative Building was originally in Mr. Norman Fry’s paddock just across the road and not far from the Stockyards. Petroff Bros. owned that farm for a very short time before it was owned by Mr. Harry Ullrich. The Co-operative Store eventually was purchased by the Tenindewa Sports Club and relocated to the north side of Griffiths Road and for a few years became the Community Hall

September 24th 1921

Tenindewa News (From an occasional Correspondent)
Geraldton Guardian

Harvest prospects look now much brighter than they did a few weeks ago, as we have had one and a half inches of rain [40 mm] in two falls. The crops have recovered wonderfully from the dry spell, which was beginning to make them wither.
Messrs. Butler Bros, have the best crop in the district —100 acres of Fairbank and Comeback variety. This is about 5 feet in height [1.52 mm]. They have just commenced to put the binder into it, and expect two tons of hay. [per acre] Others are also commencing to bind. Feed is in abundance, and all stock are in good condition.
Sheep are being shorn, and the wool clip is good.
A fair number have turned their attention to dairying and pig raising, and hope when our Geraldton receiver gets into motion they will be rewarded for their enterprise.
The new [Tenindewa] recreation ground is almost cleared. The Cricket Club intend putting in a concrete pitch for the coming season.

October 25th 1921

Tenindewa News (From an occasional Correspondent)
Geraldton Guardian

The annual Spinsters’ Ball which was held on Saturday evening was a huge success. The hall was daintily decorated with wild flowers, and the floor was in excellent condition. Under the directions of Mr. Napier, M.C., everything went well with a lively swing. The programme and arrangements were all carried out by the Spinsters, and every-body seemed to thoroughly enjoy themselves. The music, which was suppled by Mesdames Peet, and Davis and Mr. Gibson, was everything that could be desired, and the following musical items were greatly appreciated;–Mrs. Davis “A Tear a Kiss a Smile”; Mr. Peet, “Every Little While” and encored–“You Know What I Mean”; Miss McIntyre, “Furnished Room to Let”; Mr. J. Stone, song and dance.
A very dainty supper was supplied by the ladies, and the men thoroughly enjoyed the cakes and being waited on. Needless to remark, they did justice the supper. The only hitch in the evening was the shyness of a lot of the young bachelors in the early part of the evening, but I’m glad to say they overcame their weakness, and kept the ladies dancing, with the result that the floor was very nicely filled. The usual thanks were given and nicely responded to, and great credit is due to Mrs. Cameron, the spinsters secretary, and the committee. Some very pretty dresses were worn, amongst them being; Miss Brinkley [sic], ivory lace; Miss E, Palmer, pink silk; Miss N. Palmer, pale blue crepe de chene; Miss N. Napier, pale blue silk; Miss O. Stone, Floral silk; Miss I. Stafford, pale silk georgette; Miss D. Stafford, Lemon ninon; Miss G. Napier, floral Togo; Miss Jessie Cameron, deep cream georgette; Miss J. Eves, pale pink crepe de chene; Mrs. Shaw, sand taffeta; Mrs. Townsend, floral lace; Mrs. Napier, white silk; Mrs. C.J. Stafford, apricot ninon; Mrs. Peet, floral ninon; Mrs. Davis, crem crepe de chene; Mrs. Dunkin, white silk; Mrs. Oldham, white silk and lace; Mrs. Palmer, grey crepe de chene; Mrs. Natrass, saxe blue crepe de chene; and Mrs. Smith, cream net.
The Tenindewa Tennis court was officially opened on the afternoon of the 23rd of October by the club’s president, Mr. Nat. Rumble who made a very nice speech and hit the first ball over the net. After a very earnest day’s working bee, the members got the court ready and marked out, a few lively games were played, the members showing a lot of real good form. In spite of a lot of obstacles, the Tennis Club is now a going concern, and the enthusiasm shown augers well for the success of the venture. Great credit id due to Mr. Napier, the hon. secretary and the committee and members, for their untiring energy, and especially the ladies, who greatly lightened the men’s burdens by providing tasty afternoon and morning teas. A large crowd was present at the opening, and the balls were knocked about till dark.

December 1921)

From Tenindewa
“My dear Aunt Mary______As it is such a long time since I last wrote to you I thought i would sit down and start because if I do not start now I never will. I am writing to ask you if you would send me a calendar for next year (1922), a blue button and a collecting card, as I think I could collect for you around here. I hope all the little children are getting on well. We have a lovely cricket pitch here now and a lovely tennis court. We have had some awfully hot weather here lately, but today is nice and cool.
The three aeroplanes that landed in Geraldton on Sunday, December 4, on Monday they started their mail service but they had an accident an hour after they had left Geraldton. I suppose you heard about it? It was an awful accident wasn’t it? 
Well I will close, with and love and best wishes to all the little children. Hoping this will find you okay as it leaves us the same. I am your loving niece, OLIVE STONE”

Note; Miss Olive Stone became Mrs. Alex Butler

“The Air Accident” refers to the fateful crash at Murchison House Station, Kalbarri of one of Sir Norman Brierley’s  planes on their inaugural run which eventually culminated in Australia’s first Commercial Air Service.

December 27th 1921

Tenindewa Notes (An occasional Correspondent)
Geraldton Guardian

Two of the most interesting events of this locality for the week just ended, were the Christmas tree , that happened, and the end of the world that did not.
There is a rumour that the local school will not be re-opened after the holidays owning to a decrease in 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 that arrangements cannot be made to enable the children to be drive to school, and thereby keep the school going, especially as we have an excellent teacher. The was evidence of this, not only in the progress of ordinary education, but in the noticeably mannerly behavior of the children that attended the school. Great credit is due to the 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 and 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 thoughtfully given in accordance with the different 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 explaining he had come by the Bindu Road, and had a lot of trouble with wire gates, this was readily given. [sic]
I am told that a similar event was held just four years ago, 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.

January 10th 1922

Tenindewa notes (From our own Correspondent)

Thank goodness the dry year of 1922 has gone, and now Mr. Clement Wragge * is dead, he has taken all his forecasts for further drought with him, so we can start this year, even if we do have a dry spell, without anyone saying “Another drought…Wragge says so“.
(For the readers information; Tenindewa had 200mm of rain for the year in 1922 and a 150mm for the growing season ie May to September incl.)

The best Christmas Tree ever held was this year and organized and carried through by Mrs. Joe Stafford. It was held at the proper time i.e. Christmas Eve with the children’s presents being well selected and of equal value, thus giving no cause whatsoever for dissatisfaction or complaint. As Mrs. Stafford took particular care that no adult partook of any refreshments provided for the children, the kiddies thoroughly enjoyed themselves.

The Voluntary Wheat Pool, no responsibility, has not been a means of putting too many plums in Mr. Joe O’Brien’s Christmas-duff. [A flour pudding] As Joe is the receiver of wheat for the “pool” at Tenindewa, he is now tired of saying grace ie “for what I am about to receive etc.” and so is turning it up [ie ceasing operations]. When speaking to him re. the loading of wheat, he remarked that “Jack Major wore out the hind part of three pair of trousers waiting for wheat to come in last year, and I have worn out my boots running around the farms where there is [might be] any wheat to load.”

It is an ill wind that blows anybody any good. The drought that we have just experienced (and which is still on) has made most farmers pick up a boring plant and prospect for water, with the result that many have been successful. Messrs. Oldham, Stokes, Rumble and Stafford all have struck good stock water, the first named farmer watering 500 sheep beside his working horses, from a well on his sandplain country. For those poor unfortunate individuals who have tried and failed, it is extremely hard to pull water 80ft (25 meters), after waiting their turn from the only source in Tenindewa, were there is a mill over which if repaired would save time and money to many in the district. I hope our member (of parliament) will read this, for it is an urgent necessity.

Sorry to learn from Mr. Cid Eves, that his brother Ernie Eves of Walkaway has just returned from Perth after undergoing an urgent operation, necessitating the attendance of three prominent physicians. Though very weak I am glad to say he is well on the mend.
Ernie Eves it was who carted all or most of, that high grade ore for Mr. Dorrie Doolette * of Bullfinch fame.

Mr. Dan Clifford, late manager for M.F. Troy MLA * died last week. A hard and game old toiler was Dan.

I nearly turned up my toes myself the other day, fair dinkum, only for being hard in the brainbox, I believe I would have gone. Three days before Christmas I was carting from Troy’s dam, when going downhill the shafts of the cart snapped off, throwing me out and the tank of water on top of me. Further than pulverizing my hat, bruising and swelling my head to four time its ordinary size, dislocating 5 ribs and putting me in bed for two weeks, I am not much the worse off.

*Google “Dorrie Doolette” for the story in itself
* Clement Wragge was the first weather forecaster in Australia. He was disrespectfully know as “Inclement Wragge”. He died in Auckland on the 10th of December 1923.

*M. F. Troy is featured on this website under “People”.

January 17 1922

Geraldton Guardian (From our own Correspondent)
Tenindewa Notes

Harvesting operations are about finished all round and yields generally have been unsatisfactory, mainly owing to excessive wet during seeding and scarcity of rain after. Emus, ‘roos, and rabbits have had their part too, and have to be reckoned with, and when the Lands Department, I.A.B., and Roads Board get their little pull there will be very little for Mr. Farmer.
Matters socially are going some, with dances every fortnight and an occasional day’s sport. Everyong seems to enjoy the recreation, even the old dodgers, and people from miles out. A fancy dress dance is on the card for Saturday night.
A few new settlers are still coming along to try their luck on the land. A Russian, his wife and family, have just settled at Bindu, and also an Englishman and his wife. I think they will both do well,as they are grafters. That is the main requirement for a cockie—plenty of graft and dont think too much.
Mr. Major, of Geraldton, is recieving wheat here for the Pool, and he attending to the business very well. Still there are plenty of loud complaints re. dockages, and some farmers are feeding the pigs instead of standing the reduction. [accepting the dockage] When will the day of free selling come again? Farmers are tiered of this everlasting humbug of wheat-pool and I.A.B.
The school teacher (Miss Cameron) is away on holidays, and is enjoying herself immensely at the seaside.

Note; Its probably coincidental but Miss Cameron eventually married a (most mysterious) Russian?

May 10th 1922

Tenindewa Notes (From our Correspondent)

No; this correspondent of yours did not die, as you surmised, but has been lying dormant. No great news of vital importance since I last wrote, with the exception that our pioneer, though young, farmer, Mr. W. H. Stokes, not being able to stand the strain of single life a minute longer, went and got married, so he did. It beats my comprehension how it actually happens, that when a young lady or man, well known in the district, gets married, they always hold the festival away from the friends who will surround them all their lives after. Is it a slight on them, or a compliment to them.
It wont be a case of the early bird getting the fat worm, or the early sower getting the far grain, if the rain keeps off much longer, for those hard working chaps who have made every post a wining one to get an early crop are looking very gloomy, when seeing their seed shooting with no moisture to further its progress.
We have heard speakers of both sides for the election campaign, and judging by the reception given our member, the Hon. Jas Hickey, he must win one handed kneeling, for he did get an enthusiastic reception, and when Jim Bedford, in moving a vote of confidence, said, referring to the member: “He needs no recommendations or letters of sympathy from Lloyd George, Trotsky, Lenin, de Valera, Jimmy Michell, or that other notability, Billy Hughes, for actions speak louder than words,” he struck the right cord, for to gain political honours by the publication of a private letter is more than playing the two spades, absolutely the lowest card in the pack. A pity the holder of such letters didn’t go home with his pal, Sir James Mitchell. He may have got a job with all his references there, but not here. We want merit and ability and we have it in James Hickey.
Some uncouth, sneaking individual has been going around our district pilfering. A young man named George Cumming had a cheque stolen from the farmer’s house where he was employed, and I, myself, had my hen roost tickled up to the tune of 20 white Leghorns. May the eggs, when he eats them be charged with explosives.

June 8th 1922

Football Notes

Devils Creek v. Tenindewa

Devils Creek presented a gay appearance on Sunday 4th of June. The occasion being the initial opening of the new sports ground and first meeting of the season of other clubs. A number of visitors from Mullewa made the trip, horsemen, buggies sulkies and motor cars made quite a procession. Of course Devil’s Creek were there man, women and child.
Afternoon tea was handed round by Mrs. Keeffe and her daughters and was greatly appreciated by players and spectators.
Hospitality is always lavishly bestowed on visitors when visiting Butterabbey. The Creek Club are to be congratulated on the splendid playing ground, perfectly level and nicely situated ; a bit on the soft side perhaps. but players not being afraid of gravel rash etc. put in a bit more dash and played with greater confidence. With a few showers of rain, the ground will be the best in the district.|
The game was a good one and at times very fast, the Devils Creek passing was excellent and the combined play and kicking was first class.
The “Tinnies” lack condition, but practice and training will soon overcome that fault. Their captain, Bob Stafford, is quite competent of putting them in the right way and if the “Tinnie” boys take heed of him and play the game, the opposing clubs will not have it their own way.
Charlie Meadowcroft had charge of the whistle and gave much satisfaction.
For Creek C. Carruthers played an exceptionally good game. J. Keeffe (Capt) E. Driscoll, C, Meadowcroft, Evans and Boylan played well.
Tenindewa’s best represented Bob Stafford, (Capt) C. Keeffe, Johnson and Townsend,
The final scores were
Devils Creek 8 goals 14 points
Tenindewa 2 goals 2 points
The match between Mullewa Rovers and Devils Creek should be an exciting one.

June 29th 1922

Tenindewa Notes (From our own Correspondent)

The Tenindewa Cooperative Store is being would up–not enough cockies to keep it going. The building used by the Co-op has been sold to the Sports Club, who intend removing it to a townsite from Mr. Petroff’s place [over the road]. The building is a fair size and gives young people a good place to amuse themselves at dancing and other games……mostly other games (See entry June 1926 below)
Farmers have finished seeding, or nearly so. The season so far has been a bad one, the ground being too hard at the start from want of rain. Most crops are up but there has been little growth and far too many frosts. Feed is scarce although stock look fairly well, especially cattle that can reach the good top feed.
The Bindu settlers are badly in need of a school. There are a number of children growing up around there and without even the least education. Surely the Government could close a few schools around Perth and place a few more in the way back places. Farmers have enough troubles and hardships without making a rod for their children’s backs through no education. The backbone of the country is having a poor time.
Emus and kangaroos are very numerous and are already on the crops doing damage. There is far too much shelter for such vermin owing to large belts of scrubland, sandplain mostly.
The I.A.B. has cut farmers down to 5 bob (slang for 50 cents) a day now, still we do not hear any Labour members crying out for a living wage for the backbone. But anything is good enough for cocky, he is fair game all round.
Wedding bells will shortly be ringing in our part. I know of two couples about to take the game on. Good luck to them I say.
Motor cars seem to be cutting the Railways out of a lot of fares now a days. Over 20 cars passed here last month. People appear to be tiring of high fares and poor service. It is mooted around here that a settler is taking his team to Geraldton every second month to bring stores for the district. At present the Railway is giving very poor service and goods are being over-carried or not sent on thus causing great loss and inconvenience.

6th July 1922

General News (Mullewa Mail)

We are indeed sorry to report the death of a child of Mr. Stafford Jnr. of Tenindewa. [Charles John] The little one has been ailing for some time but contracted a severe cold recently, which unfortunately terminated fatally. Much sympathy is extended to the bereaved parents.

July 24th 1922

Tenindewa (From our Correspondent)

Though this season looks far from a promising one, yet to comply with the everlasting wail of the Government to the farmer, “Produce! Produce! Produce!” most of the single “cockies” around this way have got married, and in consequence the Rev. Hobbs, of Mullewa, has been a busy parson, splicing and tieing knots for the young couples. The latest recruits from here to the marriage battle are Mr. Mervyn Kember and Miss Jean Eves. There wedding fixed for August 1, at Tenindewa. As both these young people are very popular —nothing of the snobbish, shabby, genteel would be circle demeanor about them. [sic] Theirs’ will be some wedding. Mrs. S. Eves, mother of the bride to be, provides the spread, and , as this lady is one of Tenindewa’s most energetic workers for whatever good object the function is held, we are all looking forward to August the first. particularly as invitations have been sent all around, irrespective of title, rank, creed or colour.
Another popular farmer, to wed, Mr. W. T. Curtis, takes unto himself, on the 29th of this month, a partner from Lion Mill. We wish him luck, as it is too far for us to walk to see him do it.
What do you think Mr. Editor? Thanks to the efforts of Messrs. Hickey and Moore (Labour Members), we will shortly have a school at Bindu, and as everyone is anxious to board the teacher, supposing her to be some sweet dainty damsel about 19, we will come a great thud if the Education Department deposits an old frowsy-faced individual of 90 here. [Sic]
We note with satisfaction the remarks passed by the Council re, immigrants. I myself, took pity on three, blew their bags out with tucker, paraded them after an introduction to the Kelly axe to a light bit of cutting down. Leaving them for an hour, I found on my return a note tacked up, bidding me good bye. I wonder how they would have fared with this farmer, I just read of, who, when a returned soldier, carrying his swag, called in and asked him for work, replied “I wasn’t wanting anyone, but as ye are a returned man and fought for us, I’ll give yer a start,” enumerating for a day’s work, items that would take two men a week to do, causing the Digger to remark, “Don’t you milk those cows twice a day, too”
“Not now” said the cocky, “we used to, but it took too long, so we milk em twice a night”. Needless to say, the Digger signed off.
Nothing startling about the appearance of the crops in our district, Mr. Cooper’s, of Tenindewa, is easily the best so far, though of course, with a few more drinks others may stagger up, as the rain we have had only oiled the joints, of the dying wheat, and prolonged the agony of growing.
Mr. Editor, have they caught Thomas yet? I am wondering what provisions he had, as the losses along this line attributed to him couldn’t be carried by the German army–champions of pilferers–let alone one poor unfortunate hunted fugitive! [sic!]

August 5th 1922

Tenindewa Notes (From our own Correspondent)

Wedding bells have rung out once more, and the first wedding was celebrated at Tenindewa today, Miss Jean Eves being united to Mr. M. J. Kember, both of Tenindewa. The bride and her maids were beautifully attired and looking lovely, the bridegroom suitably attired looking all over a man. The Tenindewa hall, where the ceremony took place, was decorated very nicely and a large white bell was overhanging the bride. A number of ladies arranged decorations and the Misses Staffords were prominent in the work. The whole countryside turned out to see the happy couple united–old men, young men, old ladies, young ones, and all the kiddies. The hall was crowded, over 100 being present. The bride was the recipient of many valuable presents, and the residents handed her over a nice cheque also. The happy couple left by today’s (Tuesday’s) train on their honeymoon, and all hands wished them every happiness. The ceremony was performed by the Rev. Mr. Freeman, Methodist Minister

August 31st 1922

Mullewa Mail …..Football
Devil’s Creek V Tenindewa

An easy win for Tenindewa was the result of the match on Sunday. This team has improved remarkably during the season and must be a source of satisfaction to those s[ports who joined them when they looked a forlorn hope. They are within kicking distance of the premiership of the association. Should the Rovers beat the Creek next Sunday then Tenindewa heads the list.
The Creek of course have been exceptionally unfortunate in losing players while the others have improved .
Rovers are a very strong team if they all turned up, but that is so seldom that the penalty is they are last on the list.
Reverting back to Sunday’s match. The game was fairly rough at times and the umpire let several flagrant breachers pass. For Tenindewa Townsend played a fine game and Oldham, Johnston, Eves, Stone and Stafford (who was handicapped with a strained hand) and Charlie Keeffe all kept the ball rolling in the right direction. The Creek players fought hard to evert defeat, but some players were not up to their usual form. Clarrie Meadowcroft came in with some fine flashes, as also did Sonny Whitehurst, Jack Keeffe and Carruthers. Jack is a solid player and Carruthers makes a few errors. McGuinness and O’Brien were also prominent.
The final scores were}
Tenindewa 5 goals 3 points
Creek 2 goals 2 points.

September 8th 1922

Tenindewa Notes (From our Correspondent)

Not being a printer, therefore not on strike, I must apologize for being so long winded with my notes to the “Express” but having a budget of news this time I hope it will make amends for my absent mindedness.
The much-looked for wedding was duly celebrated here, it being the first occasion of such an event in Tenindewa. Mr. and Mrs. Kember were presented with a Bible by the adherents of the Methodist Church. All Tenindewa turned up to witness the ceremony, and as nearly everyone brought a wedding present, you can judge the gifts were numerous, amongst them being 15 cheques — a nice kickoff for the young couple.
Journeyed out to the sale at Menang last week. Met many old friends there, strolling about. I noticed that the Hon. Tom Moore, MLC, like a good Aussie officer, was one of the boys with all. Our old friend Mr. H. Pass, looking as gay as ever, was listening with interest to Mr. Frank McGuinness’ deputation to the Hon. T. Moore in to why Ardingly siding should be shifted further long to meet the requirements of the Devil’s Creek settlers, pricking his ears smartly when Mr. McGuinness mentioned he would be willing to give 50 pounds [$100.00] towards the cost of so doing.
Concerning the clearing up sale of Menang homestead , I never, in my life, saw such a lot of ramshackle stuff–nothing in first class order, even the horses being of the Shetland pony variety, with draught horse legs, and i am game enough to say had there been no beer there and any other auctioneer than Mr. Tuck of the Graziers Co-operative, old Hoopla, of Geraldton would have had the lot for anything from two bob upwards. The station itself is one of the best propositions ever bought for closer settlement, the land is beautiful, and will grow anything, with natural feed abundant for stock. The Government made no South-West bloomer there, and as Mr. Frank McGuinness has just put his place, adjoining Menang, and equally as good, on the Repatriation, Diggers who were looking for land should take my advice –hop in lively and grab your whack of this 6000 acres of the very best.
I was guest of Mr. Mc Guinness for a couple days, and he drove me around the Devil’s Creek district, pointing out such farms the Meadowcroft Bros, O’Brien and sons, Keeffe and sons and others who have made this homes in this salmon gum country. Perceiving a new jarrah house, I asked the ownership of same, and was told it belonged to Mr. Frank Keeffe who was recently married.
On Sunday I witnessed a football match, Tenindewa verses Devil’s Creek, with Mr. Charlie Meadowcroft in command of the whistle, and let me here say that Charlie knows when to blow it, and perhaps would not mind teaching your Geraldton umpires how and when to do it. Tenindewa won, but honest “injun” though I barracked for them, if it had not been for the play of Bob Stafford (late of Railways Geraldton) and Charlie Keeffe (from Devils Creek), Tenindewa would have been second. Anyhow, it was a good game, and on the day the best team one.
On Sunday last, by defeating Mullewa by three goals 11 behinds, to 2 goals 8 behinds, Devils Creek won the premiership. Gee, Curruthers, Woodhouse, Jim Keating, Jack Keeffe, and Whitehurst played great games for the winners while Watson, Thomson, Bowtell, Toomey and Slavin were the pick of Mullewa.
Do some Geraldton people good to have a trip up this country when any sports are held, and I am sure they would return acknowledging our ladyfolk are the best going, for Mr. Editor they are all out to make all enjoy themselves and work like bees never missing anyone requiring tea, cake or sandwiches.
In conclusion, I herewith open fire on the statements made by the Minister for Agriculture and Mr. Sutton earlier in the season, that the wheat prospects pointed to a record season, and the yield would be 15 million bushels. A new hat to the Minister if the yield is not nearer five million, but he must leave one at the “Express” for me if it is. I cannot fathom, especially in this district, what he bases his prospects on. To start the season, we had no rain for a month; then it followed by by severe frosts and ice for another month; then scorching hot days without rain, for a further month. Up to date we have had 4 1/2 inches [112 mm]. In 1911, the worst season on record, we had 5 inchs [125mm] at this time. Not a foot [300 mm] of extra water in any dam for 500 miles [860 kilometre]. What bonzer prospects –for a drought. Jump about, Mr. Maley and have a look around before you make statements again to gull the public. Show us the photos of a few six foot [2 metres] crops this season in the Victoria District, and I will post you a hat.

Mullewa rainfall 1922; May 21 mm; June 23 mm; July 18 mm; August 26 mm; September 13 mm; Total 178

October 19th 1922

Tenindewa Notes (From an occasional Correspondent)
Geraldton Guardian

Very little was left undone in providing for the sports and shelter on the Tenindewa Recreation ground last Saturday morning by a large working bee. The afternoon was set aside for sports. Light rain fell during the day, accompanied by a strong gale; in consequence there was not such a large crowd as expected. The committee was kept busy, and a good programme of sports was held. Mesdames Stafford, Eves, and Davis had charge of refreshments and soft drinks, and did a fair trade. The Hall funds will benefit to the extent of close to 10 pounds [$20.00]
A dance was held in the hall at night, and, to the accompaniment of the new piano, (which arrived during the week) a large number of dancers took to the floor. Mrs. Davis and Mr. Griffith and Mr. Palmer contributed a few songs during the evening.
Another dance will take place on October 28th, in aid of the same funds.
A fairly large area is being cut for hay in the district, the average being about one ton to the acre. The wheat crop is fair, considering the very light rainfall, and a few thousand bags should be railed from here.

November 4th 1922

Tenindewa Notes (From our own Correspondent)
Geraldton Guardian

I am in a quandary, because, if a a man says things that are bad, he is a pessimist, if he says things that are good, he is an optimist, and if he says either and he is wrong, he is a liar, so you can take these notes for what they are, as I expect to be called the whole lot. Well to begin with, Tennis club have a piano and they are striving hard with spots, dances, etc. to raise money to pay for it. Some think that the piano is better to dance to than a Jew’s harp, but the harp for me always.
The grasshoppers are a plague, and have cleaned up everything that is green, and now they are starting on York Gums. What teeth they must have. If these wheat experts would only come by and catch them for us…we would gladly do the killing. They can eat all the stockfeed but thank God they cant drink all the stock water; it is not to their taste…[they] want something in it in this warm weather.
Hat-cutting has finished except in one belated instance, and that one behind is excused through wanting machinery parts pretty often. Stripping what is the “golden grain” commence a couple of days since, but there will be no gold in it for the cocky. Crops around here, taking the average for the area sown, will not pay costs, and last year was very bad also.
I never saw the place so dry. Most of the soaks are dry, and the well a diminishing quantity. Some good soaks never know to fail, have failed, all dams are dry and, the two wells at Wollya water reserve, Tenindewa, are out of order. The mill on one [well] has been out of order for twelve months, so what is the use of the Roads Boards? They should be cut out as a pest…like the dingos….and their scalps paid for. There is a water famine here, and unless rain falls within a week the Government will have to provide a water train.

Note; According to Bindu records, Tenindewa had 150 mm YTD at the time this was written.

December 4th 1922

Tenindewa Notes (From our Correspondent)
Geraldton Guardian

Neither wailing, whinging, or whining, yet we cannot get away from the fact that this season for the district is absolutely the worst on record. Certainly there are some fine crops around on fallow, but I haven’t heard of or seen any on new ground. Of course, it tends to show that wheat on fallowed will grow almost without rain, for with a rainfall of 599 points [160 mm] it is marvelous how any crops matured at all. When a district suffers a drought the Government, to add insult to injury, will send an expert to give a lecture on “How to make farming pay,” always having his main plank, “Fallow.” Every farmer is aware that fallow, to him, is like strawberries to pigs. Yet, when one takes up unimproved land, would he fallow the new land and then trust to Providence or Pat Stone to stand him provisions until the following year. Nonsente! [sic] The average farmer may be a wooly sheep, but he is no goat. He is out to make the best of his land. Let the Government send a few Wragges along and tell us when it will rain. That would suit a lot better.
Ever to make money or to bleed the public seems to be the policy of the Government. We have now to buy consignment notes and way bills from the Railway Department, and to make matters worse, sent 30 miles for them.
Surely local gangers could be trusted to issue such. Picture Mrs. Muldoon coming in from Bindu with a load of suckling pigs and find after travelling 16 miles, she has to go to Mullewa for a Consignment Note.
Consequence [is] Muldoon transports the pigs to Mullewa. No need for Consignment Note there. Mr. Hasel gobbles up the pigs; Mr. Pike takes Muldoon.
Mr. Editor, listen to my suggestions. You know, as well as I do, the Government will will keep the public waiting as long for the Midland Railway as they have kept Mr. Jack Willcock [The Premier] for the Harbour works. Tell the Government not to worry their overtaxed brains trying to buy the Midland-line but sell the Wongan-line. Just place the whole concern in the hands of Mr. J J Simpson, who has the Yankee twang, then off it would fly like an aeroplane, leaving two companies, who would cut each others throats to get business.
We are the people of Tenindewa; we know what is what; and who is who. We have a drought; plenty of stock water under a windmill; been there three years and still that windmill wont go. We have a school teacher on sick leave; school closed for two months; no more teachers in Australia; we have a school granted at Bindu; plenty of “kids” and teachers, no school for the “kids” to be taught in. Government too poor to give us a post office; so a young farmer gave them one, then took his wife out of it. Have a ticket on us, Mr. Editor, it will soon pay a big dividend. The young farmer referred to above , having brains and energy, helped on with solid brass, has combined with his post office a store, and judging by his sales, he is on a good wicket; only hope he will go a strep further, and put on a refreshment room. I am sure he would soon be paid for he outlay
Would you believe it, I can buy groceries here cheaper than in Geraldton, with freight thrown over-board. Don’t think I am inferring that Geraldton storekeepers are making money. No, not they, for any one of them will show you books of bad debts that the good ones have to pay for.
Sorry to say that Mr. Dan Clifford, for many years manager for Mr. Troy, MLA., down on the farm, has had to toss in the towel. Miners complaint is knocking the stuffing out of poor Dan; he has gone to Perth to be cared for.
Mr. Dan Smith, manager for Mr. Pat Maloney at Walkaway, is up at Indarra for a visit. By the way, I must here with announce his engagement to Miss. E. Dodd.

December 21st 1922

Tenindewa Notes (From our own Correspondent)

Tenindewa has been without a school teacher for the past six weeks. The teacher is absent ill, and the Education Department think that much of the country, where the “cockie” toils to find bread for the towns, that they do not trouble to find another teacher. They say the cause is lack of accommodation for female teachers. What is wrong with a male teacher? Could they not put up with a little hardship so as to give the bush kid a chance? No they wont! Its good enough for the “cockie”, his wife and children; they can live rough, work rough, and live practically in the open so as to keep the towns in good comfortable schools and teachers in abundance. We have members of parliamentarians, but they have accomplished nothing to keep the school going. Perhaps they too, will work when it comes to election time. Now, G.C.A. what about you taking a hand to get us a teacher so that out children can receive a little education, instead of running wild as they have been for six weeks? The Government has thousands to spend to put man on the land, cannot they spare a little to put a camp up for the teacher, seeing they are too delicate and high class to live in a farmers house without a special room to themselves? Bindu has been promised a school too, for six months past, but nothing has been done so far, and the children are running wild without any trades or education—our future citizens to carry on this part of the empire.
The good old “cocky” the backbone of our great State, as Sir James Mitchell says, is having a rough spin about these parts. The yield will be probably be a bag to the acre. At this time of the year the “peace and goodwill” stunt is worked for all it is worth. What about working a bit towards the man on the land way back; his only chance is to stick a bit up at the grocers and others, then whip the cat next year to pay it off, with interest promptly shoved on. Go on the land my man; its a fine place for you. Keep your head down and make money for the other fellow. Go from first streak of light to dark, with rough duds, and plenty of bills waiting to be met. Its the life of freedom — from pleasure and leisure — and all known rules of work broken.
Wollya water supply, which supplies the farms around Tenindewa, is still in a bad way. The mill on one well is out of order, and the other has been so, for about two years, and the Road Board will do nothing and the Public Works and Water Supply do the same. The other well has not even a windless on it and it is a nice sight to see farmers pulling up water “hand over hand” from a 50 foot well. The dam is dry and should be cleaned out but nothing is done. If a settler comes with a wagon and tanks for 600 gallons of water, he occupies half a day and the others have to wait or pull hand over hand from the other well. If a settler wants drinking water and gets it from the Railway Department, Geraldton the nearest place, it costs him 2 pounds 17 shillings and 4 pence [$5.75] for 1200 gallons [5400 litres]
In nine months the Southern coal miners in New South Wales have lost 233 days owing to strikes


Leave a Comment