1928 to 1947 Tenindewa Notes

February 16th 1928

Tenindewa Notes (From our own Correspondent)
Geraldton Express

Harvest is finished and I don’t think there are many who were not short of their estimated yield.
The Bindu School has commenced operations again but it is very much regretted some of the scholars have not returned from their holidays, which will probably mean the school will be closed down.
Messrs Helan Bros, of Mittajong farm, sustained a bad loss last Sunday week, owing to a bush fire burning their homestead, seed wheat, wheat bags etc. The place was not insured.
[This property was one of two properties formally owned by H.J. Stafford]
Bush fires are going in all directions, and more areas are being got ready for wheat. The cost of production is far too great and must come down if farmers are to make anything out of it.
The Vermin Board have bestirred themselves at last and have ordered cockies to clean up all of the rabbits within 7 days. It took bunny more than 7 days to spread. Some have laid poison and sheep, cats and numerous birds are being destroyed. A number of valuable birds such as plovers, magpies, butcher birds will be destroyed and this will mean other plagues like they have in the Eastern States at times, where birds have been killed off. Further if foxes cannot get rabbits they will play havoc among the lambs in winter.
A good number of residents journeyed by Sunday’s excursion [train] from Mullewa and most of them returned very much refreshed and pleased with the day at the seaside.

Mary Critch (fondly known as May) wife of Leo, passed away in March 1928 in Wyalong NSW which may well explain the void here in posts from “our own correspondent”

12th June 1928

Tenindewa Notes (From our own Correspondent)
Geraldton Guardian

The farmers around here have finished seeding; the others are still at it. A very large area of wheat is in and there are a number of new settlers who have their first crop in. It is to be hoped that they will realize their expectations. I will recollect my first crops and how I figured it all out, number of bushels per acre and price. [eg see 20th November 1915] My estimate was not quite correct and probably as far out as the Colonial Treasurer is generally. Anyhow its nice to build castles in the air. There are a number of farmers around here now who crop 1000 acres [400 hectares] and over–one time they looked upon 300 acres [120 hectares] as a big thing.

The season is so far all that could be desired and has even satisfied the pessimists, rain and sunshine almost daily
There have been a plague of crows around here for sometime. They have their good points but i know one of their bad points is killing lambs. Many lambs around here have been killed and even old weak ewes are tackled by several crows at once and their eyes picked out. They follow the up ewes no matter how often they are shifted to new paddocks. A number have been poisoned but they still come. I thionk all the crows from South Australia and the Murchison are here.
The Tenindewa School has been closed owing to no abode for the teacher. Whey didn’t the Education Department build one.

July 20th 1928

Tenindewa Notes (From our own Correspondent)
Note; Another clue to the author “our own Correspondent”……suggest he has been there since 1909.

Rain galore, and the townspeople are all smiling, because there is a chance of cocky having plenty of spending silver in a few months. The crops around Tenindewa never looked better during the past 19 years to my knowledge, and Tenindewa Siding expects to shift 60,000 bags [5000 tonne] of wheat this coming harvest. Many new settlers have fair sized areas of wheat on and there is not now one vacant block of ground between Tenindewa and the Greenough River (17 miles distant) [28 kilometers]. New settlers have a much better chance than the old pioneers had, with trucks, tractors and no long distance water carting, A few crops I have seen are Messrs. Benoit, Smith and Dunkin and they look all that could be desired. [Mr.J. Smith farmed west of Bindu school]
At a meeting of the Primary Producers Association it was decided to put a cart weighbridge at Tenindewa Siding to weigh the coming harvest and expedite delivery, otherwise there will be so much delay to cockies. It kept the lumpers and others busy last season with 45,000 bags. [3750] tonne
An enjoyable social and dance was held at Bindu school last Saturday and many attended and went away well pleased.

August 2nd 1928

Tenindewa Notes (From our own Correspondent)

Hot, hot as Hades, dogs panting, fowls’ wings spread in moist places, cows under shady trees, while I. the lord of all, working like a gally slave in Ben Hur. This is some what of a picture, but too true; ; thermometer at 80 [30 degrees Celsius] in the cool room, and only August 2nd. Who can tell what the harvest will be? Crops are looking beautiful so far, water is plentiful and stock are lying around in the paddocks a good part of the day quite comfortable.
The wild flowers are showing their pretty heads above the grass and make a very pleasing sight, white, pink and yellow. If we could only take a life like color-photo of these beauties at this time of year it would be very refreshing to look at it in the summer when the thermometer stands at 100 [38 degrees Celsius]
Fallowing is going on all around this district, ready to help the Royal Harvest for 1929.
A buyer of stock from the Midland line has been touring the district and has cleaned up a large number of sheep and cattle. It is coming on our bad time for flies. They are a pest to be reckoned with, and from now on flocks will require almost daily attention. Possibly that is why some parted with sheep in the wool.
It is fairly hard to get blade shearers, and when the work gets mixed up with hay cutting, it is a nuisance.
Mr. R Dunkin was recently elected as a member of the Mullewa Roads Board for the West Ward. He is showing a deal of energy in his duties. There is no pay attached to the job but a fair amount of outlay. I wonder why Board members are not paid like our M.P’s. Its the same thing on a more moderate scale.
Old Ben is very perky over his crops this year and expects to strip over 4000 bags. [340 tonne]

October 18th 1928

Tenindewa Notes (From our own Correspondent)

The weather is warming up and stripping will shortly be in full swing and Tenindewa (the most favored of all places) will supply its full quota of the golden grain. The only thing needed now is 20 shillings a bag for wheat [$24.00 per tonne]. I’m not worrying about the poor man’s loaf; its the taxation and interest charges the wheat has to pay that is worrying me. Last week 32,000 wheat bags arrives at Tenindewa in one lot and many thousands prior to that. I think its the largest we have seen so far. I would call it a record, still it wont hold long; next year will break it. Oats are being stripped and are turning out well and the price is quite fair, about 4 shillings and sixpence a bushel. [$20.00 per tonne]
We can do without more rain as crops will be ready, in a week or ten days in most cases, to strip.
Stock are looking well and feed is plentiful, as also is water, most of the farmers having good wells.
Murchison graziers are looking for paddocks to run their breeders in; evidently things are not too good there.
On Wednesday the largest sheep sale ever held in Mullewa will take place—-25,000 of them—I understand many will come here, and also there are 1000 cattle to be sold on the same day.
Plenty of new harvest machinery is coming here and passing further along, which is good for manufacturers.
Emus and ‘roos [sic] are bad this season and the outside settlers are getting a bit of what the old settlers had to stand. They could be easily cleaned up if the farmers would combine and have a big drive, but alas! farmers are the hardest men alive to get united on anything.
Some crops will hardly be worth stripping owning to damage done by pests.
Good horsemen make the best air-pilots, but expert racing motorists do not excel as airmen.
About 40,000 school boys and girls made holiday trips this year under the School Journey Association. There are now 1,300 schools, scattered all over the British Empire and Continent, in the movement.
Trained rat-catchers who work on ships in London docks must be able to estimate the number or rats in the ship before beginning their work of extermination. The figure is later checked by the number of rats found.
The consumption of tin has increased enormously with the popularity of silk and artificial silk. Ten years ago British silk companies were using 800 tons of tin a year; now they are using 8,000 tons —for weighing and dyeing purposes.

October 24th 1928

Tenindewa Notes (From our Correspondent)

Sir, –Unfortunately, owing to and old war injuries, I have had to be an inmate of the Repatriation Ward of the Perth Hospital—hence no news from me for the “Express” for this great wheat district to which I belong.
Honestly, without doubt, the Victoria District, will easily top the poll for wheat production this year. Forty million bushels (1.200,000 tonne) were predicted as WA’s yield, but to my mind we will be lucky to see half, for though around here we have splendid crops on fallow and with early wheats, those farmers with new land, and those growing wheats as Yandilla King or any of the late varieties will be lucky if they get enough for seed.
It is one of the worst wheat growing seasons known–no rain worth speaking about in September, and I have not see one crop that has not suffered from scorching.
I am not wailing, for all the crying in the world will not alter things, but what is the good of telling a pack of lies when the truth proves the contrary.
Wheat growing and wheat returns are a farmers business, and the bank, a place from which he draws his “wages” once a year (and I am sure everyone likes to know he is rewarded for his worry, etc, that once), but unfortunately I am sorry to say there are many that will miss this year.

What Others Think
Around here we have had visitors from Southern Cross, Gutha, Three Springs and Gingin, and every one of them has agreed that none of their districts could compare with ours.
Mr. McGregor, of Menang, was asked by Mr. Edgar of Gingin, to show him something good in wheat production. “Mac”, only too pleased drove him around 800 acres (320 hectares) which will in places go ten bags (2 tonne per hectare) easily but taking it on the whole, good, bad and indifferent Mr. McGregor will harvest on average 7 bags to the acre (1.5 tonne per hectare)
Messrs. Thomas Bros, Couper and Peet of Ardingly, have also got splendid crops, and the settlers of Devils Creek and Mendal Estate, though of course wanting more rain, will harvest good crops.
Mr. J.J Smith has caused a bit of a stir among “professional” wheat growers by growing a wonderful crop of wheat at his farm in Bindu and defying all the shrewd head to identifying the wheat, which is an early variety which is showing heads of 9 inches long. (20 cms) He bought the seed from Kemp Bros, who claim to have originated it, whether they did or not will soon be known, for Mr. Stokes has been sending samples to the Agricultural Department and as they are putting the acid test on it, we will soon know whether it is mundice [sic] or pure gold grain.
I read in the papers where the P.P.A. were agitating for Italians. Just what I expected. They would just be the right sort to leave to protect their (not mine) wives and children should the outbreak of another war occur. Splendid propaganda for them for the next election, and here’s one who wont forget it.

The Elections–And an Opponent for Mr. Kennedy
Talking about elections, my old friend Mr. H. J. Stafford is going to step into the ring an try and box Mr. M.J. Kennedy out of the constituency. “Staff” is going to nominate as a C.P. (Country Party).
I am not going to say good luck to him, for though he is a friend of mine, the present government will do me, for I consider it is the best and most progressive we have ever had.
Put Squandering Jimmy back in power, and being so optimistic, he might float a loan of six millions and turn the Geraldton Harbor into a skating rink, and though, like the group settlements, this might take 100 years, as I wont live that long, I will stick to *Morrie Kennedy for my politics.
Note; *Maurice Kennedy was the member for Greenough from 1924 to 1930

A Fine new House
You have often heard of that old rhyme “This is the house that Jack built”. Well, you will want to see the house that Nat built at Tenindewa–absolutely out on its own. Its a mansion built of cement bricks, and costing in the neighborhood of 2000 pounds ($4,000) for Mr. Nat Rumble, who is to be married shortly believes that now he he has caught his canary, he should cage it worthily. Furthermore, it plainly shows that he has implicit faith in Tenindewa.

Show train Service
Here is a boost from here for you Geraldton people to share amongst you. Why, at show time don’t you cater for us county folk to attend the Geraldton Show. We don’t all own cars, and at this particular time your train service is up to mud, for it meant stopping in two days in Geraldton to enjoy a one day show. Many of us farmers with families would be only too pleased to attend if there were special trains run, such as at sea side excursions, railway picnics, etc. Mr. A Meadowcroft, read, mark, learn, chew and digest this.

November 1st 1928

Tenindewa Notes (From our own Correspondent)

(This is a most important article in getting an understanding of who the writer/s was/were and who he wasn’t)
1 As he openly disagrees with the former article, it clearly shows that “Our Own Correspondent” and “Our Correspondent” are definitely not, one and the same person
2 The highlighted piece below goes a long way to telling us who the writer is.

I noticed in the Tenindewa “express” correspondents’ notes, recently remarks about Tenindewa crops, which are not quite correct.
He says ; “Around here we have splendid crops on fallow, and with early wheat; those farmers with new land and those growing such wheat as Yandilla King, or any late variety, will be lucky if they get wheat for seed.
I would suggest this correspondent has a good look at Mr. Dawkins’ crop, of Benn, and Mr. Benoit’s crop of Yandilla King, and he will then alter his opinion, and this season around here, is far better than last season, and the crops are full of wheat.
If he could have a look at Mr. Major’s crop, Mr. W. Brenkley’s and go further out [to[, Messrs. Broderick and Adams, he would see some good results. Also regarding new ground, the writer can show one of the best crops in the district (not exceeding fallow) on new ground. Moreover, I can show some wheat grown on new land as late as June 21, and it is well headed and full of wheat, and will grow [sic] well.
This particular part is specially favorable for wheat, and other grain growing. It is not too close to the coast to be affected by rust, and not too far inland, to get storms too early. We are sure of reasonable rains, and the land is nice red loam, in most cases, which takes moisture freely and gives it off to the plants. I am a pioneer farmer on [sic] this area and have learned a little during the past 20 years and have much more to learn. Wheat is a wonderful plant, and a wonderful study. Tenindewa is as good a place as the next place to grow average crops of sound wheat, and this year will be a record for our siding, so I hope those responsible for the handling of the same will be prepared.

November 15th 1928

Tenindewa Notes (from our own Correspondent)

The golden grain is being gathered rapidly, and is turning out much better than expected, and a long way ahead of last year. Some of the yields are Mr. R. V. Oldham, about nine bags; Mr. H J Stafford, on new ground, over seven bags, with that good wheat Merredin. Others around are panning out equally as well. The Cockies are that busy they have not even time to attend church or a race meeting, not even time to have a bit [sic] on the Melbourne CupMy estimate of 60,000 bags of wheat [5000 tonne] for Tenindewa this harvest, I think will be exceeded. So perhaps the cockies after they have paid their debts, will “have a bit of spending silver” and may even buy a second hand motor car.
The buying agents are all busy trying to get big stacks for Geraldton, but as the price is pretty low, farmers are not selling freely.
They say the Bindu State School is being closed owing to non-attendance of scholars. It is a great pity, for once it is closed it will be hard to reopen.
A few residents patronized the special excursion train on Sunday last, and visited Geraldton

January 3rd 1929

Tenindewa Notes (From our own Correspondent)
This is possibly the last article written for the “Express” and about Tenindewa by Leo Critch.

The farmers are nearly all finished harvesting and the results are good judging by their pleasant dials. A few stragglers have to finish yet; I suppose some must be last.
The Bindu school held its Christmas tree and it was a great success. About 20 pounds was collected and every child received a gift. The teacher and others worked hard and deserve credit.
Large stacks of wheat are at Tenindewa and Indarra. The Railway Department appear to have difficulty in supplying trucks to shift it. I should think it would pay to keep special trains running day and night at 3 pence per bushel freight [$1.20 per tonne], with no handling or sheetage [sic]. Apparently there is delay in Geraldton discharging trucks. It would be interesting to trace the movement of a few trucks for a fortnight to see if delay cannot be averted. I know trucks lie in Tenindewa siding for days. *
Farmers are not selling [wheat] freely as they consider the prices too low.
Feed and water are plentiful and stock are looking good

* Clearly the author lives in proximity to the siding. Leo Critch’s shack was about 1.5 kilometres north west of the siding. (As the crow flies)

March 1st 1940

Tenindewa Notes

The Township is quiet at present owing to a number of residents being away on a well-earned holiday.

The heartfelt sympathy of the district is extended to Mr. H. J. Stafford of Tenindewa in the sad loss of his wife. Mrs. Stafford played a big part in the social life of the early days of the district and made a large circle of friends both at Tenindewa and Geraldton.

CBH Ltd are roofing the bulk head at the siding, and when complete will be quite impressive

The remaining young folk, who have either not yet taken the opportunity to take holidays or have returned endeavor to amuse themselves by holding dances at Mr. Groom’s home. [Formally Fry’s house]

Sunday trips to Noondamurra Pool are quite popular during this warm weather. The pool can be very well recommended as an excellent place for picnics, as it is a nice place for swimming, fishing with very good drinking water at hand.

June 7th 1940

Tenindewa Notes

It is with great regret that we report the death of of Mrs. E Johnson, wife of Mr. H. W. Johnson of Bindu. Mrs. Johnson underwent an operation recently, but slowly faded away, her death taking place at Geraldton this morning. The Johnson’s were among the earliest settlers to take up land in the Tenindewa district., where they reared their family. Mrs. Johnson was well and favorably known for her hospitality and kind gestures.
The countryside it beginning to look green once again and it is the hope of everyone that the which threatens will result in a good soaking rain so badly needed.
The local tennis club will play a Mullewa team at Mullewa on Sunday next and an enjoyable day’s tennis is anticipated.

June 12th 1942

Tenindewa Notes (No hint of a Correspondent)

Holidaying in Tenindewa is Mr. H. J Stafford who is visiting members of his family, looks the picture of health in spite of his 77 years and seems as young as ever. Mr. Stafford retired from active farming pursuits in this district three years ago and has retired to his little orchard property in the hills near Mundaring.
Dave Bell paid a brief visit to see his parents, prior to him being drafted with the armed forces in the defense of Australia.
Other members of the forces on leave are Private Dick Dunkin, who is helping his dad with the seeding operation and Corporal Robbie Weir, who is doing some good work down Eradu way. Did someone say the wedding bells were being polished up?
Many fond farewells and good wishes have been extended to Mr. and Mrs. George Elliott, who having retired and are taking up residence in or close to Perth, so are near to the family. Mr. Elliott was the local Australian Bank inspector who was well and favorably received by all. The district regrets having to part with such genial people. (Their many friends in the Mullewa district also extend very best wishes to Mr. and Mrs. Elliott.)

March 19th 1947

Tenindewa Notes (from our Correspondent)
The Mullewa Magnet & Perenjori Morawa Advertiser

Unfortunately, I have to record the death of Mr. Patrick. Butler, a resident of this district, who passed away last week.
The late Mr. Butler lived here for the last 7 years and it can be trolly said that he did not make one bad friend. He was liked and respected and genuine expressions of sorrow were the order of conversations among friends when the sad news of his death became public.
Only a month before that we sustained the loss of another of our old friends, the late Mr. Percy Palmer, who had lived here for a good number of years and was respected by all.

At the time of writing we are enjoying nice cool weather and quite a number of farmers have commenced to prepare for the coming seeding, super arriving with every goods train, and being promptly unloaded, enabling the Railways to hurry the trucks back to the works for reloading. Without super supplies, farming land here would be valueless, and we will someday realize just how much we are depending on the other fellow, for after all the working man is a producer equally as much as the farmer, and that the real enemy of the farmer is a the non-worker, who stirs up strife and misunderstanding between the two sections of the producers and indirectly is the cause of most of the unpleasantness now existing between two prominent political parties.

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