Tenindewa’s local correspondent

Francis Henry Critch was a loyal employee of the Geraldton “Express” for over 40 years.
He held the positions of Foreman, Printer and Manager in that time. He had come to the “Express” from the Fremantle Express.
One of his sons, Leo, was one of the first settlers in the Tenindewa area, 78 kilometers east of Geraldton, in the early 1900s and during the span of about 30 years he moonlighted for the Express under the pseudonym of (Our Own Correspondent)

The following are from a plethora of articles he contributed during that time

Note; All Tenindewa Rainfall data for the years 1908 to the current time is available on one of the following BOM site location numbers …Tenindewa Store (08120) Tenindewa North (08128) Tenindewa South West (08237)
Go to BOM…Go to Past weather…Go to Data and Graphs…Enter one of the location numbers eg 08120

June 6th 1911

Tenindewa Notes (From our own Correspondent)

Seeding operations are just completed, and a fall of rain would be very welcome as the season has been unusually dry up to the present. In fact we have only had two inches of rain (50 mm) in the last 9 months, and some settlers are compelled to cart water. The early sown crops are looking nice, although the season, slow in starting, favors a late sown crop. It is the experience of the writer, extending over 13* years, that the season slow in starting usually continues favorably, rains falling when most needed, namely in the months of September and October, although no sowing should be attempted after the 24th of May (the date mentioned by Mr. Norman Fry at the last Producers Conference) and particularly after heavy rain. Some three years ago this gentleman cropped 80 acres (32 hectares). The 20 sown in the dry state cut one ton per acre (2.5 tonne per hectare) the balance sown after heavy rain, cut only 6 hundredweight per acre…..a difference of 14 hundredweight.
[20 cwt (Hundredweight) to the ton]

*Possibly meaning that, that (13 years) is the extent of local rainfall records. Mullewa’s records started about then and Leo Critch would only have been 21 when this was written. Indeed Tenindewa’s entire wheat growing history would have extended back only about 3 years at best in 1911.

Its a great pity what great disappointment and misery may be indirectly caused by giving misleading and highly colored statements to persons who, they well know, will have them printed, about what can be done with little capital on the land. Of course it is a cheap advertisement for the person supplying the information. The pressman knows no better, and being anxious for news of that kind, is imposed upon. I read an account quoted by Mr. Catton Grasby in the “Western Mail” of what a settler did here at Tenindewa with 100 pounds ($200.00). Mr. Grasby either had his leg pulled or he was imposed upon, because the par was was absolutely incorrect in details and rottenly misleading in general. I consider as an experienced battling settler that such persons should be dealt with by the law. Common manly principals do not always prevail. Success is often due to unusually good luck, and the efforts of genuine settlers are frequently belittled by comparison.

June 11th 1911

Tenindewa Talk (To the Editor)
A Remonstrance

Sir, During the last few weeks several editions of scurrilous and vindictive diatribe, have appeared in the columns of the “Express” under the heading of the “Tenindewa Talk”. Sometimes by “Our Own Correspondent” and at other times under a nom-de-plume; which ostensibly represent one and the same person. I would suggest that in future your correspondent subscribe himself as “the Skunk” as it seems impossible for him to detail the items of interest without pouring out a volume of his slimly spleen over one or other of his neighbors, one who has great progress at his calling, than he himself has. He evidently imagines that the high road to success and fame lies in back-biting his neighbors and endeavoring to injure them in the eyes of the public through them, ie the medium of your columns. No doubt it is gratifying to the author to see his drivel come out in print, and at the same time it does no harm, as anyone who knows the parties concerned can readily detect the germ of envy lurking between every line of his invective harangue. In your issue of June the 16th he refers to some information that was published in the “Western Mail” by Mr. Catton Grasbey, of what a settler did here at Tenindewa with a 100 pounds ($200.00) Agricultural advance, and he describes the information as being “absolutely incorrect in detail and rottenly misleading in general”. Well Mr. Editor, I supplied that information to Mr. Grasbey and, I am the settler referred to, and further I vouch for the accuracy of that information. I challenge your correspondent to reveal his identity or to show any details of that statement that was incorrect or misleading. If he will, for an instant, remove those blinkers of jealousy and hate from his stilled senses, he will readily see that after all, I did nothing wonderful, but merely exercised a little foresight, energy and intellect–three faculties your correspondent has never been endowed—Yours etc.
Norman Fry “Kaburnie” June 29th 1911

Norman & Marjorie Fry

July 3rd 1911

Tenindewa Notes (Our own own Correspondent)

Since last writing, we have had 50 points of rain (12.5 mm) which of course was very welcome as many crops were feeling the effects of the dry weather, while others never looked better at this time of the year, notably those of Messes Dunkin, Valentine and Critch Brothers., whose crop is about 18 inches (46 cms) high. Messes Tullock and Oldham, some new settlers have a nice field of 150 acres (60 hectares) under wheat. These settlers had the good fortune to strike fresh water on their holding at 17 feet (5 meters). It was located by the mysterious divining rod. It would be a great boon to settlers if more proved water existed, as this difficulty has been a great drawback to the district.
The local Progress Association is doing good work. Through their efforts Tenindewa is to have a telephone, a special grant for roads has been obtained, and a townsite is to be surveyed as soon as soon as a site is decided upon. This body has been asked to choose from three suggested by the Lands Department. One is a quagmire the other is a sand-drift and the third is proposal to resume a splendid piece of land for this purpose. The owner, I believe in a public spirit is not opposed to the resumption, and the taking of the fencing, and a bit of clearing, and a small iron house, at the owners valuation. The Government would not be asked for more than 30 pounds ($60.00), an amount two town blocks would realize, because Tenindewa will be a distributing centre of some importance with 120.000 acres (30,000 hectares) of good agricultural land, and being the junction of 5 main roads.
It is sincerely to be hoped that Mr. H J Stafford, a local settler, will decide to stand as a candidate in the interests of the people’s party at the coming elections. The average farmer is a worker, and should vote with the Labour Party every time. And should the Labour Party be asked to form Ministry after the elections, Mr. Stafford’s 38 years railway experience would go a long way in making him a first class Minister for Railways. Reforms are badly needed in this department. For instance, hundreds of “cord’ of firewood lay around this center, while at least one hundred empties [rail trucks] pass weekly to Geraldton, which is a town threatened with a firewood famine. Its not the freight that prevents settlers from selling wood at a profit, but silly, unreasonable loading regulations to the disadvantage of all concerned.
In my last notes I referred to a “par” in the Western Mail merely to illustrate a point of public concern, because I honestly think the bright side of the settlers lot is too often held up as an example, while the ordinary state of affairs is hardly mentioned. I stated facts which still remain [facts] and I defy Mr. Fry to substantiate his insinuations that they were made use of for any other than a good purpose. There was no occasion for him to trot out a lot of meaningless second hand rubbish in his efforts to live up to his reputation at my expense. Even if the par I referred to was true it was still misleading. This season he got his clearing done at 12 shilling and sixpence per acre ($3.00 per hectare) Now anybody in a position to judge knows clearing to be worth 30 shillings per acre ($7.50 per hectare) in Tenindewa. The Agricultural Bank allows one pound per acre as a rule ($5.00 per hectare), but one settler was only allowed 13 shillings and 4 pence per acre ($3.50 per hectare). It is impossible to get work done at trustees valuation without sweating labour, and that accounts for so many contactors failing. I know there are instances of farmers doing remarkably well with little capital, but they had good plant and of course can get unlimited credit. It was possible a year or two ago, on account of a glut in the labour market to sweat the workers and show a fair profit on an Agricultural Bank loan, but it is not a desirable basis of success. Mr. Fry does not miss the opportunity to boast that he has been richly endowed by nature. Intellect is a gift, and he should not dispose others who have been less fortunate in this direction, but [they] perhaps have some good points he himself does not possess. He should also remember that the year he did so well [was] the year rainfall was 9 inches above average (250mm) and average is about twelve and a half inches (350 mm). Now had it been 9 inches below [average] it would have taken a lot of energy, intellect and foresight to balance the difference. While the former two are gifts, more or less, the last, I think is acquired and it is this is the very one that Mr. Fry fails in because only last year he shipped wheat to Europe and it netted 2 shillings and 10 pence per bushel ($3.60 per tonne) while local buyers were offering 1 shilling per bushel. So he cannot claim credit for special ability in this direction.

16th July 1911

Tenindewa Talk (From our own Corresponent)

The usual monthly meeting of the Tenindewa Progress Association was held on Sunday week at Wollya Wells;
Present: Messes H. J. Stafford (in the chair) Oldham, Critch, Dunkin, Valentine, Stafford (2) and the secretary.

Mr. Oldham proposed and Mr. Critch seconded, that Mr. Norman Fry become a member. Carried
Minutes of previous meeting read and confirmed.
Outward correspondence read, which included a letter from The Member advising [a] successful result of application for road grant.
From Postal Department re. Telephone and from District Surveyor re. townsite.
The meeting was informed, in an off-handed manner, that the Geraldton Road Board wished information, concerning the 100 pound ($200.00) special grant.
Mr. Stokes proposed and Mr. Fry seconded that the Geraldton Road Board be asked to supervise the outlay immediately.
Mr. Stokes moved that the money be expended upon certain works for which it was not asked. No seconder.
Mr. Fry moved as an amendment that the 100 pounds ($200.00) be spent on the salt bush flat between his house and the Government Well. Seconded Mr. Valentine and carried.
The Secretary, at this stage explained for Mr. Fry’s information, as he had not been a member of the Association before that day, that the money was asked for a particular purpose and granted, and should be spent accordingly. The money was applied for to open a road leading to twenty thousand acres (8,094 hectares) of surveyed land, and as it passed a fenced property the Act compelled the fencing of the road, and if the money was spent on any other work without the sanction of Minister for Works there would be trouble and it would not be in the “Transvaal”. However, the amendment succeeded and the meeting formed into an Inspection Committee to inspect the water track and report. Messes Critch, Stokes and J Stafford withdrew as a protest.
A townsite was next dealt with. A Sand-drift of Crown lands two miles from the siding was considered out of the question
Mr. Stokes moved that the Government be asked to resume North-East corner of Lot two for a site. No Seconder
He then moved an amendment that the townsite be surveyed on Reserve 145 as close as possible to the siding. Seconded by Mr. C Stafford and carried.
The Secretary was instructed to write to the member re. the level crossing for Messes Oldham and Tullock; to Postal Department re. the early erection of telephone apparatus; and to the Lands and Railway Departments re. letters unanswered.
The meeting was then declared closed.
A muster of the Tenindewa Dreadnoughts Football team was held on Sunday last, when a scratch match with nine men a side was played. Captain Gee’s team beat captain Buck’s team by eleven goals to five. Among the spectators was fair sprinkling of young ladies which no doubt accounts for the absence of bad language.
I fail to see why a friendly game of football on a Sunday in a centre where there is no place of worship should be looked upon as a sin. I think if no greater sin was committed there would be a fair assemblage in the happy hunting grounds later on.
Something like an inch of rain fell here this week and, there is every appearance of more approaching. The farmers smile for the time-being will stand the acid test, as a good season will give them what they are entitled too.
Almost everyone was touched by the sad news that Mr. Harold Woodley was accidently killed in a boxing tournament last week. Harold was well known and he was also well liked by everyone who came in contact with him during the two years he worked here. People who patronize prize fights and tournaments are to blame as much as the promoters as it is a class of sport that should be condemned. There does not seem much sportsmanship in going to see two trained men knocking one another about, when there is no reason why they shouldn’t be the best of friends, Its against common sense and, if its not against the law, it is not so bad in the case of two settlers, for instance, who have a real grievance and have heart enough to meet each other and settle things by rough and tumble, and after the bout (and as a rule they never hurt each other) they get along on the best of terms. A fight of this kind has a logical commencement and often a logical result.
Mr. Sid Hosken seems to be a new brand of politician, and should be given a trial. It is time a sample of his class was on the market. In my opinion it is desirable that there should be a third party. As things are now its quite evident some of the members, or or even all of them are mere voting machines and support or oppose a measure according to the dictates of their leaders.
Farmers will very soon be asked to pay their laborer’s a higher rate of wages, and be compelled to work regulated hours. Farmers should welcome these changes, because a better stamp of men will follow the farm work, and it will not be so difficult to obtain suitable men as has been the case hitherto.

1911 rainfall Tenindewa (Fry’s House) Kaburnie
Jan..7.6 Feb..0.0 Mar..0.0 April..23 May..16.8 June..38.1 July..45.3 Aug..16.3 Sept..6.9 Oct..5 Nov..0.0 Dec..0.0
Total 138.3mm or 533 points

August 16th 1911

Tenindewa Talk (From our own Correspondent)

The following is a copy of the minutes of the Tenindewa Progress Association monthly meeting, supplied and signed by the secretary of that body, held on Sunday evening , the 5th instant.
Present–Mr H.J.Stafford (chairman), Messrs. Critch, Meadowcroft, Dunkin, Valentine, Stafford, Fry, Oldham, Tulloch. Hackett, Eves and the secretary.
The minutes of the previous meeting were read and confirmed. Inward and outward correspondence was read.
After discussion it was decided to erect a 8ft X 10ft (2.5 meters by 3 meters) iron room for a telephone office, and 9 pounds ($18.00) was collected at the meeting to cover the costs.
Moved by Mr. Dunkin and seconded by Mr. Oldham that the Postal Department be informed.
Moved Mr. Fry and seconded Mr. Oldham that the Railway Department be written to asking them to run a return passenger train from Mullewa to Geraldton on Saturdays.
The Secretary was instructed to the Mullewa Progress Association asking for their cooperation on the matter.
Moved by Mr. Stokes and seconded by Mr. J Stafford that the lands Department be asked to set aside 40 acres (17 hectares) on reserve 945 as a recreation reserve. Carried.
Moved by Mr. Fry that the following resolution be forwarded to the Minister for Works:– That this Association views with no small amount of anxiety and concern the delay that is taking place with regard to the formation of the Mullewa Road Board and respectfully suggests that you [the Minister] will use your personal efforts towards having the Board put in working order without further delay.
Moved Mr. Valentine and seconded by Mr. Oldham that a copy of the minutes be forwarded to the local paper for publication.
There is a movement at foot to start a rifle club, as there are a large number of “shooters” here, who are at present members of the Eradu Club, and consequently have to go over 20 miles (32 kilometers) to practice.
The “Tenindewa Dreadnoughts,” the local footballers are training somewhat, in anticipation of the forthcoming match with the Geraldton Shop Assistance on the 23rd instant.
Quite a stir was caused amongst “Jimmy Grants” * working hereabouts by a letter appearing in your columns on Friday last, signed “Ex-Victorian” casting a reflection on immigrants, English in particular. Some of the immigrants I have spoken to expressed themselves in language quite unfit for publication, and if Mr. “Ex-Victorian” ever makes his appearance in this locality I would advise him to conceal his identity. (* note the rhyming slang)
Wild Turkeys are very plentiful and are unusually quiet. Being protected during the mating season. In fact it is quite a common sight to see wild turkeys and settler’s [turkeys] feeding together.
A kangaroo drive, as suggested by a settler, has not yet materialized bit I think if the mover was again to bring the proposal to the surface , something would eventuate, seeing such a great interest is taken in rifle shooting here, and what would be a better pastime [be displayed] in the shape of guerilla warfare, than say a party of the Tenindewa Royal Standback Rifles, with H.J. Stafford in command, surrounding and ambushing a mob of grey kangaroos out on our back sandplain some fine Sunday afternoon.

August 19th 1911

Tenindewa notes (From our own Correspondent)

Rain, rain every day, water lying everywhere, and the crops looking splendid. It is a real feast for the eyes to see the nice green fields of wheat. Some crops are just coming into ear and the hay crop is assured. A real good wheat and hay crop would be the best thing to ease the money market. With a bumper harvest there would be plenty of work in the agricultural areas for the immigrants. Work has been almost at a standstill during the last year or so.

The Railway Department are hard at work here making way for the coming wheat harvest. They are lengthening the siding, also the ramp and generally making things better. One of the important matters they are overlooking, and that is the provision for loading and unloading sheep. A number of settlers have sheep and no doubt before long they will all have them. The only convenience for loading sheep at present is an old broken down sheep race. A cheap yard could be easily made and a great boon. It is hoped the Railway Department will please note this and the writer contends that the Geraldton Chamber of Commerce should pay some attention to such matters at sidings and at places outside of Geraldton because it is the out-country that will make Geraldton.
A new State School is wanted here badly. The present one is rather rough and in a very flat position hence very wet. In a rising district like this the Education Department could not go far wrong by erecting a small school. I understand a site has been selected in the reserve in the townsite

September 11th 1911

Tenindewa Notes (from our own Correspondent)

The “flu” has been raging around here for the last week, and its severity may be guessed where I state that it prevented the local Dreadnoughts from journeying to Mullewa last Sunday to take part in the local football scramble [carnival]
Mr. L I Nanson addressed a meeting of electors last Friday. The gathering was not as large as might have been, but the inconvenience of the hour no doubt accounted for such a small attendance. Mr. Nanson endeavored to show in the course of his speech that his opponent was not qualified because he was not a figure-head of one party or another but, that fact especially, qualifies Mr. Hoskin to represent a community of farmers. Should he be returned he will be elected on his merits and elected by the people, to serve the people, not the Liberal or Labour Parties whose political champions are more or less mere voting machines, and allow their opinions to be twisted and turned in any direction as long as the 1300 pounds ($2600.00) is in sight. It is about time farmers woke up and sent a farmer to represent them and their interests in Parliament, and I think Hoskin should get the thanks of every elector in the Greenough Electorate.
Unfortunately the season has not been up to expectations, and as its getting late, there is little hope of betterment. Crops however are looking well, and every farmer will get a fair return. Some of the crops are over the most dangerous stage, and no amount of hot weather will harm while others —-well six inches (150mm) of rain would do no harm. Farmers will have to fallow, and the Agriculture Department should encourage this method of agriculture by making an advance of say, 10 shillings per acre ($2.50 per hectare) to every farmer with less than 300 acres (120 hectares) of cleared land who fallow 150 [acres] or over.
The said advance could be repaid over eighteen months and every eighteen months with 5% added. The 60,000 pounds $120,000.00 the Government intends to spend on Parliament House would do for a portion of the capital required.
We have had only 5 inch’s (125 mm) of rain for the year. Settlers are carting water. The Government tank is just about dry, and the Minister for Lands has the opportunity of his life now to really do something for the ground down settlers who help to swell that rent roll of the department of which he is the head serang. Mr. Mitchell’s management has been more or less a success during the past period of good seasons and good prices. Now that we are up against a dry season he will be given a fair trial, and it is to be hoped that he will, not be found, wanting.
I have noticed several letters and remarks re. the proposed “Bachelor Tax.” The object of such a tax I gather, is to induce or compel men to marry, but if such a proposal became law, it would penalize the wrong party, I say tax the girls of marriageable age, of course exemptions for special cases. Young men “off the shelf” could act as tax collectors and the result can be guessed. Girls are mostly to blame, because they are in the minority and have a wiser choice. This accounts for the high estimation in which they hold themselves. Sensible young men don’t marry until they strike a margin in some girl worth marrying. Bargains being scarce, this accounts for so many young men remaining single. One writer, signing himself “Bachelor” mentioned how many jilted lovers drown their sorrows by drinking, but he must have mistaken the circumstances for in reality he must have been celebrating the good fortune of being refused, and therefore making jolly, on account of missing his doom by such a narrow shave.
The local Roads Board will soon be in working order. The election of the first members takes place on the 23rd. Settlers should try and return members in sympathy with the ward system, and in touch with the agricultural portion of the roads Board districts. Squatters [Station folk] should be strictly barred from having any say whatsoever, and to prevent this farmers ought not to vote for them if they have another choice.

August 17th 1912

Tenindewa Notes (From our own Correspondent)

Crops are not looking so well this past fortnight owing to a very dry month, practically no rain having fallen up to the time of writing. (August 17th). The forward crops are suffering a good deal. Some farmers are going to commence hay cutting this week, and there is some nice stuff to cut around Tenindewa and Mullewa. I think there will be more hay than wheat this season, and the price for chaff should be good owing to a scarcity of feed Murchison way. Talking of feed, some of the best feed paddocks seen for a long while are around Tenindewa, some of Messes Stafford and Sons. One paddock has feed over a foot high (32 cm) for hundreds of acres. It is a treat to look at.
The days are getting warm and water bags are being attended to, and sometimes something stronger by way of a change.
The Tenindewa Dreadnoughts gave the Mullewa Tigers a good doing at football on Sunday last. Several players from both sides put in some good play, and the umpire got through very well. Only his sight needed more range and his running trim was not too good, hence he was rather too far off at times to be sure of his game. Note (Very possible the author was the umpire?)
The Agricultural Hall at Mullewa is almost finished, and it is to be opened with great ceremony on the 11th of September, when included in the show is a cricket match between Tenindewa and Mullewa, which should prove to be interesting, especially the afternoon tea which the ladies are providing. The Tenindewa fellows are good on tea, nothing stronger Mr. Editor.
The Mullewa District Farmers Association is going strong and is likely to prove a good live body, and of much use to the district. They held their second meeting last Saturday and enrolled a number of fresh members. Their regular meeting day is the first Saturday after the full moon.
New settlers are coming around again. Evidently they are the right sort, and not easily frightened with the bad season. Mr. Brinkly [Brenkley] and his three sons, and Mr. Johnson, of Northampton, have settled on Kockatea Gully, below Mr. Stafford and son’s holding. The former [Brenkley] are Englishmen.
The Government water boring water parties (two in number) are still active around the district. One party is at the State Forrest and the other at Bindoo.
Land speculators should be dealt with promptly, as good land is shut up, which would be quickly taken and improved if in other hands. It would be as well if Mr. Bath would look to such matters as good settlers are looking for land.
Mr. Thomas Henry Bath Labour MLA Minister for Lands

Back: John William Brenkley, Sarah Alice Brenkley, Herbert Brenkley. Seated: John Brenkley, Walter Brenkley, Mary Brenkley. Photo possibly taken before Walter left for Australia.

September 10th 1912

Tenindewa Notes (From our own Correspondent)

Since my last notes lovely rains have fallen, and farmers are shaking hands with themselves. It is wonderful how the rains improve the crops and the farmers spirits. Such a lot depends on the rains. Even in the farmers family, most promises made are “when the crop comes off,” and if it don’t happen to come off, what disappointment in the family circle, especially the young members. I think the wheat crop is now practically assured, and some good hay crops also will be cut.
Railway facilities are much behind the requirements here, and with a good harvest things will be worse than middling, as the siding is far too short to deal fairly with a good season. There is no accommodation for stock loading, although there are hundreds of sheep kept by farmers, and some have good crops of lambs too. Already several lots of sheep (fats) have been dispatched from here, and a few thousand landed. So why will not this indifferent department of the State get a move on. Everything has to be battled for and fairly drawn out of them. If they were up to date they would keep ahead of requirements. Our Member should note this and impress this matter on the Government. Another requirement is a Saturday morning train from Mullewa to Geraldton, and one back the same day. A carriage on the goods train would do, and would not be expensive. All the other districts from Geraldton have the convenience, but we are the most neglected end of the north.
What shall we do with our harvest? Where shall we market our wheat, chaff, and lambs are matters that are worrying the minds of farmers? Bags and railage will cost farmers about nine and a half pence (10 cents) per bag for wheat and for chaff bags alone per ton 16 shillings ($1.60) counting 30 to the ton, without freight to market for the chaff. Why can we not have daily or tri-weekly suctions of chaff etc., in the railway yards at Geraldton, with storage at minimum rates. Nine and a half pence (!0 cents) per bag dead loss dead loss to farmers for wheat should make the Government waken up to the need for bulk-handling. Now then Farmers Association move on. You have plenty to battle for. You cannot pass your extra expenses on like others, and you have the world to compete with in your main production product, wheat.
Further why dont the Government introduce the “through bill of lading” now they have their steamers running on this coast. They subsidized the old Julia Percy. If they would do this it would be a good help and to the Murchison people.

A “through bill of lading” is a legal document that allows for the transportation of goods both within domestic boarders and through international shipment. The “through bill of lading” is often required for the exporting of goods, as it serves as a cargo receipt, a carriage contract, as well as the title sometimes for the products.//// With thanks to Google

January 4th 1913

Tenindewa Notes (From our own Correspondent)

Another year just started Mr. Editor, and I believe in the number 13. I predict a bumper season for 1913. I am not going on sun spots or those kind of things but just on a guess which is nearly as comforting.
Harvest is nearly over in the district, except in a few cases where delay has been caused by machinery breakages, and this being a very bad season for stripping, too moist and not enough drying wind. Averages are small for wheat yields. I think about 9 or 10 bushels (.6 to .7 of a tonne per hectare) will be the average. All over great preparations are being made for a big cropping this year, and fallow and large areas are the order of the day. Who will be the first farmer to have 1000 acres in for one season. I think a prize should be offered by the Agricultural Association. Quantity of wheat is what most farmers are after. Quality of putting it in is all right, but does it pay to spend time on it? I think not in this area. A dry farmer here who wrote and spoke on this subject not long since, put the whole of his past seasons crop in with a spring tooth cultivator, and as far as I can see, he fared as well as any. Our district is a light soil even in the York Gum country.
Complaints still come from farmers of short weights and shortage in bags from buyers. Why don’t the farmers insist on the buyers taking delivery at the sidings. They have the matter in their own hands. I recollect a case of thirty-three bags of wheat being sent to Geraldton and the farmer lost six and a half bushels in weight, and when he complained they said, “oh that was the railways weights”. I’ll bet if it was six and a half bushels over what it should have been, they [the merchant] would not have taken the weights.
When is the government going to help farmers by exporting their wheat, making manure, and importing bags. At present it is the opinion of some farmers, that it is no good growing wheat or hay under the present conditions, as they have to content against dear manure, with uncertain delivery, dear bags, and slow delivery, and a small price for wheat, and loses in numbers of bags and weight.
The State school is almost an accomplished fact now here, and operations will commence this month. I understand Miss. Eva Stafford’ late of teacher at Geraldton High School, has been offered the position of teacher. She was a prominent pupil of Mr. Grogan’s who was head master of the State School Geraldton, and she then went through a course at the Methodist Ladies College, Claremont. The school is badly wanted and a good deal of thanks for obtaining same are due to Mr. N Fry.

January 14th 1913

Tenindewa Notes (From our own Correspondent)

Christmas passed off quietly, with a good many grafting taking off crops.
The 300 yard Government Dam near Mr. Valentine and Dunkin’s place is nearly completed, the contractor being H.J. Saunders, and he is making a real good job of it.
I wonder who is responsible for the Wollya Reserve. Horses and other stock are running regularly on it, and a man and his family and a team of horses, have been camped there for months. The Mullewa Roads Board should wake up to this.
Old Wollya well wants putting in order as the dry season is here and farmers will want stock water.
Stacks of wheat are allowed to lie too long in the siding here before the Railway Department shift them. This poor tiered Department keeps up a long Christmas, and no lengthened siding has yet been provided, although it has been promised.

January 18th 1913

Tenindewa Notes (from our own Correspondent)

Tenindewa has about finished harvest for this season. The results are a little below satisfactory, but the crops will still help the settlers to liquidate some of last years liabilities. Two bad seasons in succession should be rewarded by a bumper in 1913. Conditions in the weather line appear to be changing. I have not seen the barometer so low for a long while as it has been for the past few months. It has been lower than anytime in the last two years.
There has been very little hot weather here so far this summer, but still the water carts are plying freely to Wolya Dam.
Speaking of the dam reminds me of that tired body called the Mullewa Roads Board. They have time to have a notice placed at the dam instructing the ratepayers that they must not use the dam water for sheep or cattle, and appointing the two largest users of water from this dam to be in charge of same. Why should a settler not water his goat and kid as well as a cow and a calf and a few sheep? Now is a settler to pay his rates to find water for horses alone? He may only care about breeding sheep. Now the catchment of this dam is not fenced, and the people are allowed camp on the dam for months at a time with their horses, etc., and the catchment is filthy, and contaminating liguid runs into the dam. The Old Wolya Well is out of repair, when a few pounds would fix it up well, but the Roads Board is asleep. Tenindewa pays the bulk of the taxes, still only a few favored ones here can get anything spent on the roads, etc. The outback settler out Bindoo way, cannot get to the siding without trespassing through private property, although the Roads Board has been approached repeatedly about it. but they prefer to spend money on the Mullewa roads which are already hard and do not require any spending on them, and when the heavy rains set in the work they have done will be washed away.
What are the police doing at Mullewa? I was informed there were dozens of drunks lying around Mullewa at Christmas Holidays, and any Saturday night now public things are lively. I understand Mullewa has two “johns” now and the taxpayer has to support them, although if the public house was not there they would not require one.
You should have seen our worthy Hon. Speaker [of the House] handling wheat a few days since. He is quite an artist at it. He is spending a few days holidays round this part where he has a farm.
I went to a farm the other day and saw a cow evidently being milked by novices. The good lady of the house was in the stall; one girl the tail and one girl the leg rope. I did laugh. It is a fine thing for settler to have large families. The poor cow had no chance, and had to give her milk to them.

April 5th 1913

Tenindewa Notes (From our own Correspondent)

Tenindewa is quiet again now, the harvest being finished, and in most cases the money spent.
The Workers Compensation Act is not good for farmers, and farmers are not very anxious to employ labour in consequence. He is far too heavily taxed already through the Customs, Land Tax, Income Tax, Wheel Tax, Fire Arm Tax and Road Tax. From the latter he receives practically nothing. Only one or two farmers round here can get roads made. Other can beg and pray, but without effect.
The Mullewa Roads Board badly wants a change in its composition. It requires some business men on it. They are spending money round Mullewa on roads that were better in their natural state. The country roads are neglected, and the usual cry is “no funds”. Then the expenditure on Roads Board elections could do with investigation, and it would be interesting to know how much elections have cost during the last twelve months. The Roads Board Act needs revising in more ways than one.
The District Farmers Association is not booming and the platform they have adopted is practically the Liberal platform. One plank in their platform insists upon freehold in land. Why could not they have made this optional, so that a man could take it on lease or freehold just as he desired. That would be Liberal then I think. A good many will withdraw out of the Association now, whilst in my opinion they are too stiff in their expenses at the Executive Office.
Very heavy winds have been the rule lately, mainly off the land. A few light showers fell on March 31st, about enough to wet a light silk coat.
Some farmers will commence to seed next week. It may do for some [wheat] varieties, and too early with wheats like Bunyip, Alpha and Fairbank [and that] is as bad as too late. Some farmers are only going to sow small areas this season, and fallow for the next. Others have a fair bit of fallow for this season, and it will be interesting to watch how fallow lands yield here.
The State School has commenced operations, a start being made on Monday last with 13 pupils, a very lucky number Mr. Editor.
April 3rd 1913

Note: The school building spoken of here was supplied by Normal Fry on his land south of the siding.
The Government supplied School in Wolya Reserve behind the Store opened two years later ready for the 1915 School Year

May 1st 1913

Tenindewa Notes (From our own Correspondent)

All the farmers around here are hustling all they know to get a fair lump of Australia under wheat. They are the most generous people in the world, they grow wheat at a loss so as to give the agents a chance of making a living, but the coming season they really expect to make a little on their sowing as Wragge predicts a better season than last. (it would not be hard to strike a better season than last) He also says seasons are to gradually improve, and that he is in communication with the sun and the moon so as to have this done.
The Woollya public dam is dry and settlers are now on new Wollya well and Wollya soak. The latter is good water, but the well is going the same as the old Wollya well, which is really only sheep water. They say sheep water Mr. Editor, because sheep can drink water as salt as the sea or fresh, whereas horses do not like it salty. Speaking of the new Wollya well reminds me, that some settlers here, who call themselves a Progress Association, wanted the Government to spend about 300 pounds ($600.00) last season by placing a windmill on the well, laying water onto the siding, and a 5000 gallon tank (20,000 liters) at each end, although the well had not been tested for quality and quantity, but thanks to other settlers objecting, it was not done and as the water is proving inferior, it plainly proves the Government should be cautious and prove things first.
There is a small craze for cycling around here and the younger settlers are practicing with a view to showing the Geraldton boys how cockies can ride.
Not much interest is being shown in the Federal elections.
A new settler has had a very rough time, what with the cost of machinery. etc., then the dry seasons on top. The last two seasons have done a great deal to choke off settlement, far more than any legislation. The money market being so tight has made matters worse, as storekeepers could not afford in many cases to give long credit. Some storekeepers have and they shall assuredly receive their reward, if not here then above.
I intend dealing, with the last Mullewa Board election in my next article, Mr. Editor, and I assure you it will be very interesting. Very funny people these roads boards, they collect taxes and promise roads.
There is no rain yet.

May 28th 1913

Tenindewa notes (From our own Correspondent)

Things are very lively with the “cocky” round here: he is trying to be in a lot of places at the same time. Talk about a busy man; well he is one. He wants to finish plowing, seeding, vote for members of the Legislative Council, vote for the Roads Board members and between the lot inclines to hustle. In the Council things seemed evenly divided between the farmer and the Labour man.
Now-a-days people won’t vote for what is best for their country, but you hear them say which side we can get the most from. Speaking of elections this Government does the business cheaply. Fancy giving a man a pound ($2.00) to stay in a crib from 8.00 am to 7.00 pm as a presiding officer. Now the Federal Government do things in style, and they give the for the same service 2 pounds ($4.00) to the presiding officer and 15 shillings ($1.50) to the poll clerk. Why the difference between the Federal and the State?
The Roads Board nominations are due on Saturday next and the polling takes place on the following Saturday. An election of a Roads Board is one of the funniest things out. Ballot papers are issued before the nominations are declared, hence the man that gets about early has a lot of votes in before the nominations even close. The Murchison Board are very liberal this time and are allowing settlers to vote who have never had to pay any rates so far and who are not liable for one, for two and three years yet, as the case may be. If this is in accord with the Act, then it is different to the way the Geraldton Board acts. They will not let ratepayers vote who have not paid up their current rates. Another thing, fancy holding an election in the West Ward of the Mullewa District and having no polling place? How’s that for strong? We certainly have two postal vote officers in out of the way localities. The whole election for members of the Mullewa Road Board next Saturday, in my opinion, will be informal and could be upset?
We had a shower of rain the other night, the first since last winter. The ground was wet about an inch under the surface. It came during the night, and you don’t know Mr. Editor what pleasant music it is to weary, work worn, water carters to hear rain falling. Many farmers are sowing their early wheats late this season, they having found it a mistake to sow too early.
Mr. Norman Fry’s new residence of 7 rooms is now complete and tenanted. It is a very pretty building and quite an ornament to Tenindewa. I hear there are more settlers talking of building, so some must be getting on the right side of the ledger.

July 22nd 1913

Tenindewa Notes (From our own Correspondent)

Very nice rains have visited this district, and the crops are looking just the thing, and farmers faces are pleasing to behold. They could easily be tapped for a loan now if they had any money left after two dry years.
Mr.G.L.Sutton, the Wheat Commissioner, gave a very interesting and instructive lecture on wheat growing and treatment of the soil at the school on Wednesday evening. There was the largest attendance at any meeting so far in this place, over thirty being present, many from long distances.
One old lady and her daughter (new arrivals from the Old Country) came in ten mile to hear the lecture, and if they don’t succeed as wheat growers, they should, or rather they deserve to.
Mr. Sutton was favorably impressed with the country here and sees no reason why it should not grow good wheat crops, including Federation. He paid visits to many farms and considering the difficulties settlers have had to contend with for the past two seasons, I think he was satisfied. He also dealt in his lectures with rotation of crops, so as to keep the ground fertile and well stocked with proper elements, pointing out the advantage of sheep on the farm. He said all settlers should have a cow, and Mr. Editor and I should say a calf too. (I bar goats, they are too mischievous)
Its a pity that Mr. Sutton’s visit could not have extended over a day, as some things which farmers would like to talk on and get advice about, must be missed with only one day available for all, and being so scattered, we dont all want to be tied to wheat alone, as it has proved here that lucerne, field peas and sunflowers can be grown here even with years like 1911/1912. One thing I would like to see at the lecture, and that is a portion of time at the end set apart for answers to questions from farmers. This officer’s time is very valuable, and I think it could be used to far greater advantage if he were supplied with a motor car. He could see twice the number of farms in the time, besides giving so much more to farmers. In fact it would be almost as good as having two commissioners. He is without doubt, a most valuable officer, and if wheat production and improved farming do not take place it will not be the Commissioner’s fault.
Since the advent of new blood in the Mullewa Roads Board, more useful work appears to be done. I notice new roads being cut in various parts of the district.

Note; George Lowe Sutton (1872-1964) was born in Lancashire, England. He became a renowned and enduring Australian agricultural scientist and was a great friend of the famous Australian plant breeder, William Farrer, who produced the iconic variety “Federation” which was a massive breakthrough in wheat breeding in Australia at the time of Federation (1901)

August 19th 1913

Tenindewa Notes (From our own Correspondent)

Rain, rain every day, water lying everywhere, and crops looking splendid. It is a real feast for the eyes to see nice green fields of wheat. Some crops are just coming into ear and the hay crop is assured. A real good wheat and hay harvest would be one of the things to ease the money market. With a bumper harvest there would be plenty of work in agricultural areas for the immigrants. Work has been almost at a standstill during the last year or so.
The Railway department here making improvements for the coming wheat harvest. They are lengthening the siding, also the ramp and generally making things better. One important matter they are overlooking is the provision for loading and unloading sheep. A number of settlers have sheep and no doubt before long we will all have them. The only convenience for loading sheep at the moment is an old broken down sheep race. A cheap yard could easily be made, and would be a great boon. It is hoped the Railway department will please note this, and the writer contends the Geraldton Chamber of Commerce should pay some attention to such matters at sidings and places outside Geraldton, because it is the country which will make Geraldton.
A new State School is wanted here badly. The present one is rather rough and in a very flat position hence the wet. In a district like this the Education Department could not go far wrong by erecting a small school. I understand a site has been reserved in the townsite.

September 16th 1913

Tenindewa Notes (from our own Correspondent)

We have had nice rains again, and I think crops are assured round this district. Messes Stafford and Son were to commence cutting some nice Alpha for hay on Monday the 15th. The hay is about five foot (1.52 meters) high, and a nice even crop. The ears on this crop are very large, many exceeding six inches (15.24 cm). I think this will be the earliest part for new seasons chaff in the Victoria District. Alpha seems to do better than any other variety of wheat in the Mullewa area, and a good many are promising that they will Alpha in next year. A farmer from Mullewa the other day remarked he was glad there was one sensible farmer in Tenindewa, because this farmer had nearly all Alpha sown.
The improvements at the railway siding are progressing well, but the waiting shed should be shifted to its new site at once, as at present customers are put to great inconvenience to obtain goods or parcels. They have to go round about 3/4 of a mile (1 kilometer) to the new level crossing or carry them about 50 yards (45 meters) and get them through a 7 wire fence, one barb. They are building a goods shed, which could easily wait till after the waiting shed was removed. There are no signs of the sheep loading yard yet. Surely the Railway Department will not take the men away from here till this very necessary matter is taken in hand.
A funny thing happened at Mr. Sutton’s lecture here recently on wheat growing. He was showing a crop with manure and one without manure, and funny to relate [but] a man with a bald head was sitting in front of the lantern and where he had the fringe of hair just met the “with manure” and his bald patch “without manure”. There was a general laugh and the lecturer asked him to bob his head down.
A new road is badly wanted through Wollya Reserve (945) to the new entrance to the siding level crossing, otherwise farmers at the west end will have an extra mile tacked on to the present distance. The Mullewa Roads Board might note and help.
Farmers around here appreciate the bag and wheat quotes [prices] given in your paper. It is a good help to them.

October 28th 1913

Tenindewa Notes (From our own Correspondent)

Messrs. Stafford and Sons have taken off a very nice hay crop of 50 acres for a yield of 80 tons. The variety was the good old wheat “Alpha”–it should be called the reliable. Hay cutting is general and most have now finished and some very nice stuff has been cut. Crops generally are looking very well and stripping will begin in a few days now as the fields are looking ripe. Grass is very plentiful and there will be a great danger of fires this year so all should be very careful until crops are sold of protected.
We had some visitors to our district lately in the shape of several Bank Managers accompanied by our good friend Mr. Pat Stone. They had a poor impression of things around here prior to their visit, but now, I believe cocky could tap them for a loan after what they saw. They were really surprised at the possibilities of this district, and the good country seen and the amount of good feed going to waste. If banks were not so close with their funds some of it could be earning good interest with no risk in providing sheep for this district. There is room for thousands, and the lamb trade people need not be afraid of a shortage as thousands [of them] could be raised around here yearly.
The State School site has been inspected and it is hoped the new building will be provided for the teacher, It is very badly needed.
Our siding is looking very spic and span and under new paint. We now have a good ramp, nice good shed and waiting room but no provision for trucking our sheep. It would only cost a few pounds and would be a great boon for the settlers. I know one settler that had to lift lift 75 fat sheep on to the top deck [of a stock carriage] and it was no fun. Others drive (herd) their sheep to Mullewa which means anything from 10 to 15 miles. A few old sleepers would provide a small yard but the railways are like the cow’s tail…..always behind. They will do it after we have put up with a lot of inconvenience for a few years
Quite another nice green crop of wheat is growing since the hay was cut, and my word, wouldn’t some lambs eat it and put on fat, and bring in boodle?

December 6th 1913

Tenindewa Notes (from our own Correspondent)

Farmers are very busy harvesting the golden grain, and so far they are satisfied with the yields. nothing under 15 bushels has been bagged, while others are up to 30 bushels. What about squaring accounts this year this year? It looks good enough for farmers to do it, or nearly so. A number of trucks of wheat have already gone to Geraldton, but the Railway Department have apparently the W.A.T.F., and there are trucks of wheat at Tenindewa siding now that were loaded last week, one last Wednesday and one last Saturday. I thought the Railway department kept a record of all trucks daily movement. It strikes me only some have a weekly movement. The Geraldton officials should watch the siding closer, as farmers have engagements to meet and these delays at sidings are most unsatisfactory. No sheep yards have been built here yet. Will Mr. Sam Elliott please take notice as we have no member now.
The Mullewa Roads Board have notified farmers that that they have to erect 14 ft (3.2 meters) gates across public roads, and to put up a notice printed with letters not less than 4 inches long (10.1 centimeters) (“Public Road”) It is just as well to advise the public that they are roads, as in many cases they would not know they were. I suppose the wise men who meet in Perth re. Roads Board Conference are responsible for this printing business and 14 foot gates’ It may be all right in old settled districts, but after two seasons of failure of crops it is on a par with the prosecuting for rates recently. While on this prosecuting for rates, I wonder why the Board doesn’t insist on their secretary (a very capable officer) prosecuting these cases instead of putting the defendants to the expense of a lawyer, as well as secretary’s costs etc.
The roads are getting in a very bad state with wheat carting and perhaps will send the supervisor round to see where a bit of gravel would mend matters and improve all roads a bit, instead of spending all the money on a couple of roads.
Tenindewa has a good shed at the Railway Siding, but it is not equipped with a wheat truck [trolley] or scales. If the superintendent only heard the language of the poor farmer when trying to push trucks at the siding he would send out a pinch bar at once.”
Whenever any land is thrown open around here it is snapped up at once, and still a number of people want land in our neighborhood.

March 5th 1914

Tenindewa Notes (From our own Correspondent)

All the farmers around here are finishing harvest and trucking wheat and most are satisfied. Some came out well whilst others have some arrears to wipe off, but it cannot be expected that one fair year will clean up two bad years. Most are again plowing so as to make the coming year a winning one. Mr. Norman Fry is commencing to build a nice new residence , and I understand Mr. Bert Crothers, of Geraldton, has the contract. This building shows that farmers will do well here if given a chance and have anything like success.
Wollya dam, the source of domestic supply for Tenindewa, is in disgraceful condition.
The catchment is only a manure heap, and the Roads Board of Mullewa had their attentions drawn to it long since, but nothing has been done to fence the catchment in. I noticed the other day refuse floating about the dam whilst the pump was out of order. It takes hors for settlers to get a load of water. I hope our representative will attend to this urgent matter.
Wollya Well also needs attention as the buckets leak badly. Surely some members of the Roads Board could keep an eye on these things, or the supervisor could give them occasional attention.
In my opinion Roads Boards are a failure, and the money could be spent by a Government official. Then it would be spent where wanted and things kept in repair.
What has become of the Mullewa Health Board and their inspector to allow a water catchment to go unfenced, with the result that the water gets polluted to the risk of the health of the settlers. Perhaps the Central Health Board will take a hand in the matter.
The dams are all drying up and water carting is the order of the day. It is dead horse work and stops many an acre of wheat from being put in.
I notice a fair quantity of new farm machinery still arriving, and the settlers must have confidence in the place.
The south side of the railway

played the north side in a cricket match last Sunday and the north proved too strong for the south. The south want a return match, and Farmer Keeffe expects to do great things then with his under-below bowls. It was a really enjoyable match.

September 29th 1914

Tenindewa Notes (From our own Correspondent)

Things around this district are as bad as they can be and few, if any farmers will have any crop to take off. Some may take a little hay, but the majority will have to buy grain to put in the 1915 crop. There will not be one bag of wheat produced east of Northern Gully hence farmers will require seed wheat and manure from now on till the 1915 crops are ready.
Around Tenindewa there are as good a lot of farmers as in any district know to me. No town man knows the way they have battled through the last 4 years. It has been hard toil, early and late gathering crops in, and then on Sunday having to cart water and do odd jobs, and now with this season an absolute failure, it naturally has a great depressing effect, and many of the farmers would prefer fighting the Germans to farming. Still with fair assistance from the Government they will make a good account of themselves for the 1915 crop, and no doubt will make good with those business people who have trusted them.
Some of the farmers are making a little money renting their paddocks to the sheep and cattle owners, and others are getting a few sheep on their own account.
Election matters are very quiet, rarely talked about war. The war has caste its shadow over such small matters.

November 22nd 1915

Tenindewa (From our Correspondent)

Note; Leo Critch cracks mention here but interestingly the “alternative” correspondent has the pen.

Harvesting operations are in full swing on all sides, and one hears some fine yields here and there. Mr. Leo Critch had a field of Toby’s Luck yield him 25 bushels per acre (1.85 tonne per hectare). Mr. Oldham’s Federation is going 24 bushels per acre. Some of the fields have suffered from rust, although I have not heard of one yielding under 10 bushels. The most of the crop was well advanced when the rust made it’s appearance, and many of us thought the yields would not be affected by it. The heads appear to be well filled and the grain fairly plump, but when it dried we found that the heads contained a percentage of shriveled grain, and this in most cases yielded from 2 to 6 bushels per acre (75 to 200 kgs per hectare) In other places the rust appeared to have weakened the straw as well, and a fair amount has been lost by the straw breaking off at the highest joint and letting the heads down on the ground. Septoria has made its appearance in a few patches, but these were promptly turned into hay, so the loss from that source will be very light. Quite a lot of new harvesting machinery has been introduced this year. I notice 5 reaper/threshers and State Harvesters galore. Several trucks [rail wagons] of wheat have already left the district. A few have been sent to the Perth market via. Wongan Hills. This [wheat] fetched 5 shillings and 7 pence per bushel, and after deducting freight and other charges, the owners received a fraction under 4 shillings and 11 pence per bushel net. One hears rumors of wheat buyers travelling through the Eastern Districts (i.e. is along the Eastern and Great Southern railways) offering the farmers 5 shillings and 3 pence to 5 shillings and six pence per bushel for their wheat, but so far I know not a solitary buyer has yet to come this way. Many of us are in quandary as to what to do with the wheat now that we have got it. We are waiting anxiously to see if the King’s head is still on the half-crown. Why is it that the wheat buyers are neglecting us? Is it that the Commonwealth scheme of handling the surplus has scared the wheat shark out of the business? If so lets hope the Victoria District will not be overlooked by those controlling the scheme. I understand there is a limited amount of space allotted to W.A. for December/January shipments. Well, who is going to look out that the Victoria District gets its share of that space? This district is perhaps the earlies in the State, and as 9/10s of our wheat will be available for shipping by the end of the year, we should be allotted the lion’s share of the space that has been allowed to W.A. for the December/January shipments. Who’s business is it to see that we get it?
Our first batch of recruits left here on Tuesday last. Mr. L. Stafford, Mr. C. Millward and another [Bert Jones] have set an example to the slackers of this district, and offered their services to their King and Country. I understand that two or three others are seriously “thinking about it” after the crop comes off.

Note; This last paragraph has a very sad sequel. See the second last paragraph on page 40 of Memories of a Migrant

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 divi 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 north 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 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.

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 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 hand 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.

September 21st 1916

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.

December 5th 1919

Tenindewa Notes (From our own Correspondent)

Whether the angles in the havens 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 quite enough chewing gum for the Post Mistress I suppose it will mean the settlers diving into their trousers pockets to make up the deficiency.
The weather here lately has been very changeable and bad for harvesting. Result…more cursing!!!
I believe there is going to be a great Christmas tree for the kiddies at Tenindewa as the collecting is going good

January 22nd 1920

Tenindewa Notes (From our own Correspondent)

Very hot weather is the order of things around here, but still water and feed are plentiful and stock are good. There are a few nice hay stacks around the farms. Most farms are finished stripping but the results, generally speaking are poor owing to the recent storm. In fact there are heavy losers through it. Messes Jim Valentine and W.H. Stokes lost nearly all their crops, and others lost a fair proportion, as the hail wind and rain were very heavy.
Mr. Stafford lost a splendid draft horse a few days ago. He was tied up, but accidently got down and broke his neck.
The Bindu Road, which is the motor track to Geraldton, is in a very rough and bad state, and the Road Board do not attempt to make it better. Messes valentine and Duncan’s road id also in a disgraceful and dangerous condition.
Owning to ever rising charges for commodities, I am afraid most farmers will have to go into towns, as 5 shillings per bushel for wheat is no good under the present conditions. Framers were better off when wheat was selling at 3 shillings a two pence [per bushel] (5 shillings per bushel equates to $1.50 per bag or $18.00 per tonne)
The timber for our railway stock yards has arrived and we hope to see them erected very soon, as there are a number of stock to be trucked during the next few months.
People are wondering as to what is the method of disposing of timber etc belonging to the wheat pool. In these days of short supplies, this should command a good price.

March 5th 1920

Tenindewa Notes (From our own Correspondent)

Why have I been so silent with my notes, did you say? Well tell the truth Mr. Editor I am fair dinkum disgusted. You know what a nuisance I have been to you and your staff by, month after month per medium of the “Express” agitating and barracking for the corporative people here to start a store.  Why bless your soul sir, that now is a complete washout, a mere speck on the fly paper to what Tenindewa was on the verge of doing to keep up her reputation from slipping backwards. The best asset we have and what took years to get, namely the post office and public telephone, was on Saturday week last to be bundled down, box and dice to Geraldton, for the simple reason the current Postmaster could not see his way clear to pay for the young ladies services, keep, and need for a horse to convey them the six miles, on ten shillings a week, which is the government subsidy, and though the ladies, in order to keep down expenses were going without butter and sugar and living on watercress sandwiches and the horse was getting only sticks across his skinny ribs, it happens it was all to no purpose. It was said “it couldn’t be did any longer” the strain was too great and the frames too frail to carry on.
Happening on the Saturday mentioned in the “City of Tenindewa”, with about twenty or more residents and espying the postmaster in the act of blowing up, I mean pulling down the post office [at which time] we asked him to stay proceedings for an hour when we hurriedly held a meeting.
After a lengthy discussion we decided to put our hands in our pockets and make up a living salary to enable the postmaster to carry on for a month. In the meantime the secretary of the Farmers and Settlers Association was to put the case before the postal authorities, and to try and secure a larger grant. Personally, I think the Government should increase the subsidy, as years back mailmen were paid fair wages to deliver mail to about a dozen settlers.
Surely now that we have about twenty times that number, and the post office a good paying proposition to the Government, it is not fair the “cockies” to be dobbing up when the business of the post office warrants it. A good suggestion was made at the meeting that the Returned Servicemen Association be approached to find out if any disabled returned soldier, not afraid of being starved, would be game enough to take on the duties. Whether anything further has been done in this matter I don’t know.
Mr. Editor after your interview with the Prince of Wales you might consign him up here for a number of blue blooded relations of his, of whom he is not aware, would, I am sure astonish him and as one lady, who has enough blue blood in her to fill an ink bottle, told me she can trace her male ancestors back to when Noah handed one [of her ancestors] a life belt to work out his destiny against the flood, she, to my mind had the blues all right.
You can tell the Prince he needn’t think about tucker. Everyone is prepared to feed him, but should he like to vary it, instead of a valet, he might bring a kangaroo dog and a few rabbit traps and not be troubled about polishing up his pennies as we play ‘two up’ with I.A.B money. (Industries Assistance Board)
We got beaten at cricket on Sunday by Mullewa, but, all the same put a straight out ticket on us for the shield, it’s ours. Devils Creek went down and belted Mingenew cricketers right into the scrub
Oh I nearly forgot to mention that the boxing stunt, which was to be a blood curdling affair, a bare knuckle go a la Tom Sawyers, didn’t come off, as only one of the gladiators turned up at the meeting place. The other is still alive and no blood was spilt though the way the bruiser who put in an appearance shadow-spared his way back home, we all thought there might be some of ours [blood] at stake, so, gave him the whole road to himself.

June 15th 1920

Tenindewa Notes (From our own Correspondent)

Nice rains have fallen around this part of the district, and everything in the garden is looking lovely. The order of the day with the farmer is large areas of wheat, in anticipation of a big price next year.
The grass is making good growth and stock are looking well, and there should be some good wool clips around here at the end of this year, as sheep have had a good season. I notice lambs are fairly plentiful in the paddocks also and look well. This is a fine stock raising district when better methods are used.
The new railway stockyards are finished and are proving a great convenience to the settlers, but better arrangements for dispatching and lifting stock are required.
The school holidays have just finished, and the lads and lassies are back at their books.
It is rumored that Mr. N. Fry, who left to settle in Victoria, will shortly return and settle again in this district. Surely the place has charm! They all come back

August 10th 1920

Tenindewa Notes (From our own Correspondent)

Last Sunday the Tenindewa footballers met the Devils Creek team and got a severe drubbing on their own ground. This is not as it should be. These two teams are now level pegging for the premiership. So Tenindewa have to meet Mullewa next. If they win, which they should do if a full team gets together, they will be premiers.
If rumour is correct wedding bells will soon be ringing for a Tenindewa couple; its nice to see young couples settling down.
Last week Tenindewa experienced four of the heaviest frosts for many years. Everything put on a white coat and ice was plentiful. Some of the crops around here were touched with it, and a good number of potato patches as well.
We have had some lovely rains, and if the season continues showery there should be some of the best crops ever harvested in this part. Most farmers go in for a fair percentage of fallow hence crops are fairly sure.
Some remarkably fine crops are showing in this district. Feed is plentiful, and all stock are looking well. There should be a good wool clip. Lambing is about finished and the youngsters look very nice playing around in the paddocks. The flower season is here, and it is quite a pleasure to be outdoors.

The Young Idea
Upon scholars at a Bath secondary school being ordered to write an essay on school work, one bright youngster worked off the following in his papers; “home lessons are hastening my life towards the tomb”

September 21st 1920

Tenindewa Notes (From our own Correspondent)

The most popular news this time is people are marrying. Our esteemed farmer Mr. R (Bob) Oldham, was married on Tuesday last, at Christ Church, Geraldton, to Miss Gwen Palmer. Many Tenindewa residents visited Geraldton to witness the happy event, and their many good friends wish them every good fortune.

Tenindewa footballers got a licking for the premiership. I think they must have dropped their tail a bit, as Devils Creek won by a good margin, after a fairly robust game.
Crops are looking remarkably good and I tip a bumper harvest if we do not get rust, septoria, smut or a storm. Of course the farmer is never sure of his crop until it is in the bag, and tightly sown up. Things could not look brighter for the farmers than they do.
Messrs. Stafford and Oldham are preparing for the freezing works. They have raised some very fine crossbred lambs this season. It is to be hoped the works will go ahead, as they have been hanging far too long.
On local farmer has tried Wimmera rye grass in his paddocks, and it is doing well. The grass is giving great results in lamb raising in Victoria.
Many residents intend seeing the Geraldton Agricultural Show this year. It is a good decision to have a few days holiday and rest. There is plenty of work in this district, but men are hard to get, Good prices are being offered for clearing.
Farmers are commencing their shearing, and should get splendid clips, as the season has been good all through.

November 17th 1920

Tenindewa Notes (From our own Correspondent)

Harvesting here, as elsewhere, is in full swing, and as I have previously mentioned, the gathering will be bountiful. In some cases the reaper has been introduced to this district, in preference to the harvester, which goes to show we are progressing fast. If the Mitchell Government would only encourage, instead of forbidding, the destruction of the emu, the Hon. Thomas Moore might not have it all his own way next election in this cocky centre.
The knock back of the sale of wool put a damper on the bright outlook there was for high prices earlier in the season. I hear that Messrs. Petroff and Butler Bros. were the only two around this district to fluke top market before it fell like a pricked balloon.
Nine bob a bushel for home consumption wheat ($4.00 per tonne), certainly cannot be sneezed at, but the two and sixpence cash (25 cents) first installment on the pooled wheat is, to my mind, “up to mud”. For my contention is this — by the time the finalizing amount is paid, with the perpetual advancement in the cost of living, this pouny note then will only produce 10 shillings ($1.00) value. For instance: yesterday a farmer received 50 pounds ($100.00) from his 1916 crop of wheat. Ask yourself what the 50 pounds was then worth against its worth today?

Believe the residents of Eradu, on seeing the old pub pulled down and trucked away, are petitioning to the Railway Department for a refreshment station at Eradu– a much needed requirement, and, if they include a trough, so as those poor thirsty horses that are continually dragging their farmers along miles of sandy roads to meet trains, could in conjunction quench their thirsts, Eradu would be worth settling around.
Some talk at Tenindewa of having the townsite shifted, or of reversing position with the cemetery. I could not say whether the same engineer who laid out the “town” of Mullewa had anything to do with our “city”. However, it seems peculiar that our cemetery should be adjacent to the railway line, while the townsite is on the backside of a stony ridge, approached during the winter months through a quog marsh per floating log or per medium of life belt only. [I] Once was told, where commenting on this townsite, that the plans were taken off upside down, and I am wondering if the engineer who drew he plans of Tenindewa wasn’t something similar–upside down himself.
Everyone is waiting for the shareholders annual meeting of the Cooperative Society. I think Mr. Editor, if I remember rightly, you have heard of this society before and as everyone is going to say something at the meeting you may again hear something. [in a later edition]

January 19th 1921

Tenindewa Notes (From our Correspondent)
Note; There is a slight variation here re. the author as against the normal i.e. From our own Correspondent? Whether its a typographical error or a different author is hard to tell? The words and style in the article seem to suggest the latter.

As the engine drivers 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, the average yield has been very fair. Locally the member for Mt. Magnet (Mr. M. F. Troy’s) crops would compare with any in WA. From 60 acres of Nabawah he stripped 528 bags, approximately 9 bags to the acre. (1.85 tonne/hectare) and from 300 acres (120 hectares) in 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, one of the “Cunning 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, dont’ 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

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 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”.

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.

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

September 7th 1923

Tenindewa Notes (From our own Correspondent)

Though the crops look healthy and nice, if the clouds which accumulate in the sky every day, lately, would all tumble to pieces over our farms and saturate the earth, we would be over joyful. If they won’t do this, we wish they would clear to the deuee out of sight. Day after day threatening to rain is worse than none.
Our district of Bindu this season is going to hold its end up not withstanding J.J. Keeffe has a 30 bushel crop. Frank McGuiness is running this close at Devils Creek: eight bags average (1.6 tonne per hectare) over 700 acres (280 hectares) is what Brenkley Bros. expect this year, and, in anticipation of this bumper harvest, Mr. Walter Brenkley has ordered a 500 pounds ($1000.00) tractor. Good on you, Walter. We will show them what our district can produce even though the Government is against the Yuna [Railway] line and everything else to progress the progress of the cockies.
Some people, Mr. Editor, leave all their money etc., to relatives and friends after they turn their toes up. Not so for our farming friend Mr. Glen Malony, of Walkaway. He believes in living to see how he or she, to who he may befriend, carry on. So, in accordance with his belief, he has just presented his son Glen Malony with as nice a freehold farm of 3000 acres (1200 hectares) as anyone would wish to acquire, together with 500 sheep, working horses and machinery. If Glen doesn’t make good, he ort to, for such fathers are not too numerous.
Note; (This property is situated immediately to the west of Indarra on the south side of the line. It was sold to the Smith family in 1868)
I met Mr. T Cooper the other day. He has not been too long back from Victoria. He went there to see his the last of his aged mother and, arrived there just before the good lady died. He told me Mr. “Texas” Green was on the same train across, and he (Mr. Cooper) was surprised at Mr. Green’s intelligence. Not all logs of wood these Labor chaps, though some do come from the jarrah. [country]
I was greatly amused at “Jingo’s” skit not so long ago, on the anti-sleep contest by two Italians going for 98 hours without sleep, but I want to inform my brother scribe that he was wide of the mark, so to enlighten him , and let others know, I must inform him our new Agent General was authorized by Western Australian cockies to organize in every country he touched, one of those anti-sleep contests until a race became perfect and could do without sleep altogether. This becoming a fact, he had then to charter steamers and pack them out here as the right class of immigrants for WA. Compres?
Our branch of the Oddfellows Lodge is still going strong and has done more than anything hitherto to strengthen the friendship and social standing of all. I consider every country place should endeavor to have a lodge of some sort. What is good for the country chap also applies to the bumpkin.

July 19th 1923

Tenindewa Notes (From our own Correspondent)

Rain, more rain and still some is the order of the day and night. It hampered putting in crops around here and a few are still to finish seeding. To show the pure cussedness of the Weather Clerk we had to cart water day after day until late summer and into autumn, which made us very late starting on the crops and since, rain has stopped us. It is common to see plows and other machines bogged in paddocks. Feed is very plentiful and stock are improving.
The Railway Department should be put in the hands of a business man to run, so that the revenue wanted by Sir James Mitchell could be obtained instead of as at present chasing it away.
To illustrate —at least a motor car a day passes along our road to or from Mullewa conveying from two to five people. This has started since the increased fares and owing to the heavy freight charges the settlers around here are trying to arrange a vehicle to go by road once a month to go for stores and take down loading. A thousand gallon tank (4500 litres) from Geraldton to Tenindewa costs in railage 2 pounds ($4.00), empty drapery cases about 4 foot square (1 metre square) costs 4 pounds ($8.00) 1 bag of cement costs 3 shillings and sixpence (35 cents) and so on. Is it any wonder the farmers cannot make a do of things?
The first duty of a railway in a new country like W.A. is to help development. It was never intended that the railways should be a paying concern. The Government receives other revenue which compensates by land settlement etc wherever a line is put. When will the Government see the folly of these excessive fares and freights? The carriages are empty and the people are getting as little as possible by goods train. It costs just as much to run an empty carriage as a full one and the same with a truck. We have thousands of tons of the best fire wood going to waste and burning up in the fields, whereas it should be keeping the many houses in Geraldton warm and comfortable, but here again rail charges are too heavy. It is good traffic and pays well. There is no handling or responsibility for the railways with it and it can be lifted at their convenience. Again if a farmer sends stock away or receives same he is bumped and most of the sale price gone to rail revenue. I got a 60 pound pig (24 kgs) in a create a few weeks since and the freight was 9 shillings and sixpence ($1.00) A thousand gallon tank costing 8 pounds ($16.00) in Perth costs over 6 pounds ($12.00) in freight. Why not shut up the railways and get to the old bullock wagons and hose teams again–they would be nearly as quick, too, and far cheaper.
The new school at Bindu is nearly completed and it will be a good thing for the kiddies there. It is a pity to see nice bright children neglected in education.
Mr. Joe Stone of the Railway Department is being transferred down Bunbury way, after many years of good service here. Joe is always willing to help anything along. They are giving him a proper send off next Saturday. I wish him well in his new job.
The Wollya Water Supply outfit is still in a disgraceful condition and it appears to be useless to write to the Road Board, Public Works Department or our member. I suppose it will be left until we are short of water again. The cry by the Premier and his Minister for Agriculture is “Produce more wheat” and still they will not even spend a few pounds in giving decent facilities for hauling water. All through last summer it was common to see a half dozen teams waiting for water and only two old rickety windlasses with one handle each to use.

May 15th 1924

Tenindewa Notes (From our own Correspondent)

All the “backbone of the country” are busy as possible, putting in more crop. It’s a lovely gamble. They till the ground, scatter the good seed and pay for the fertilizer, and perhaps to not get enough to pay costs. They may get a good crop and thus receive encouragement to have another try. The dry weather is alright for the fallow, but the other ground is most hard to work. Dad is promising a lot from this next crop. Stock are all in good condition and feed is plentiful as there is very little stock in the district to eat it. Most of the farmers sold their sheep to the ring who have scooped so much this year with the “woolies”.
Today is election day (Upper House). Who will win? I tip “Old Joe”. Anyhow he deserves it. It’s a pity two such good men should be opponents. They both deserve a seat in the Council of the State. However, one has to stand down, so I suggest if Joe goes out that he runs Johnnie’s paper while Johnnie attend parliament.
The young men around here have have the boxing crase and a number of would be champions
are spoiling for a fight.
Great dissatisfaction is expressed amongst the I.A.B. settlers [and] at the Mitchell Government for the way they have starved the off their holdings. A few around here have notice sell by June, or foreclose, and some of them are better off than for years, with a good chance of rise. Fancy struggling for fourteen years against drought, war, and high prizes and then being knocked off………….

August 21st 1924

Tenindewa Notes (From our own Correspondent)

Travelers through this part say our crops are looking better than in any other district. This maybe true because they look splendid; never better for years; and if the price soars as is expected, the Cocky will reap some reward; but all those who have a pick at it will see it is not too much. We sold our wheat cheaply last year, still it costs “eight and one half penny” ($0.85) to land a loaf of bread at Tenindewa from Geraldton, and this scribe is going to start backing his own.
Feed and water are plentiful and stock scarce.
Regular dances are held in Tenindewa hall every Saturday night, and are appreciated by the young folk and a few old ones too. The funds are so raised to go to the hall piano.

Another car for here. Mr Nat Rumble has just purchased a new car. His smile is generally broad, but now it is extended. I wish him all sorts of luck. Others are talking about ordering cars, and no farm should be without. A good car and a listening- in set would make life a lot easier in the bush, especially so, if there are not too many lectures on wheat growing and such matters. Cocky gets enough of it without the easy-chair men drilling more into him.

When oh when is that butter factory going to start. It is like most things in Geraldton—hoes for a while and then fizzes out. Why not auction it and give a private a chance? Its been a dismal failure so far.

A number of I.A.B. farmers have received notice to sell out, or be kicked out. This is a good thing for many, as it will give them a clean sheet to start again. And with the experience gained in dealing with the I.A.B. they would not be likely to accept aid from that quarter again. I suppose the next big clean up will be amongst the South West group settlements; and the I.A.B. won’t be in it.

Fancy trying to make money in W.A. growing produce; its the hardest work to sell good butter at one and sixpence/pound ($0.33/ kg) less freight; and there is always so much to be said about stopping the Eastern States from exploiting WA. Get some population and then it may pay to provide butter, vegetables, etc.

November 11th 1924

Tenindewa Notes (From our own Correspondent)

A successful dance was held in the Tenindewa Hall on Saturday evening last. Visitors from Mullewa, Ardingly, Bindu, and Indarra motored over and an enjoyable time was spent. The balloon waltz caused much fun and excitement, the winning couple being, Mr. W Keeffe and Miss Rita O’Connor. Dancing went with a decided swing to music supplied by our Ardingly musician (Mrs. Peet) and the Misses R O’Connor and Kidd. Mr. W Keeffe acted as M.C. After supper music was continued, and it was an early hour before the party broke up. Great credit to Mrs. Eves and committee for the arrangements.
The rector of Merredin (Rev H. R. Hobbs) formally rector of the Parish of Mullewa, has been under the care of Dr. Shelmadine for some weeks. His many friends will be pleased to hear he is about again.

November 24th 1925

Tenindewa Notes (From our own Correspondent)

All the farmers are busy stripping the the “staff of life” and crops are yielding up to as high as 36 bushels per acre (2.42 tonnes per hectare) —–so some of them say. Anyway it will be better to believe their railway tally later on, as cocky is like the man who fishes and the man that kills snakes. Still I know the crops are good and the price is nearly high enough to be payable.
Apparently the railway arrangement for lifting wheat are going to be inadequate, as no trucks were supplied during the last week and stacks are accumulating. This means double handling and there is only one who pays for this and that is the farmer. Old Ben (perhaps Benoît) has the biggest crop, and it is going 36 bushels. Tenindewa is becoming noted for its good crops.
Motor lorries are moving in all directions and the wheat is being expeditiously brought to the sidings, so carting will not be the long, drawn out job of former years. I do not know of any farmer that is carting in the old style.
The road grant was only partly spent when the gang received word to close down at a moment’s notice, hence the work done is of a patchy nature.
Mr. Palmer is still in Perth hospital but I understand is improving.

January 5th 1926

Tenindewa Notes (from our own Correspondent)

As I write there is a big storm all around, north and east. The clouds are as black as ink, the lightening is vivid and thunder rolls like heavy artillery. The wind is blowing some and rain falls heavy, so some of those who have not [got] their crops off will suffer loss.
Christmas day was not kind to the farmer around here, as a very heavy storm occurred with much hail, and Messes Bedford, Brinkley and others out Bindu way suffered loss. A few have finished gathering the golden harvest, but many have a few days work still.
Mr. C. B. Palmer has sold his farm and gone East to start a goat farm. He is a great believer in their value. Messes Kemp Bros. the new owners are to take possession this week and I wish them well.
Tenindewa is supposed to be the Waterloo of all water diviners, and they have failed badly, but now we have a new man amongst us (Mr. C. W. Chapman); he does not divine water but finds it, and he is a pretty good geologist. he found an abundant supply of fresh water for Mr. M. F. Troy and since then has found a good supply of over 2000 gallons ( liters) a day for Mr. Jas. Bedford. Finding water will make a vast difference in this district, and large numbers of stock will now be kept. Mr. Chapman has many engagements to fulfil with settlers around nd in adjacent districts.
Another returned soldier has made good in Mr. Jim Bedford, who has over 2000 bags of wheat this year and has cleared 500 acres since going into the virgin bush in 1921. He is a great worker, and has a very fine property, and now it is well watered.
Messes G Valentine and Mr. R Dunkin are treating themselves to new motor cars, the former an Oakland and the latter a Willys-Knight, and others are to follow suit.
Mr. R. Oldham harvested over 3000 bags (250 tonne) of wheat this year and I think a record for the district.

June 1st 1926

Tenindewa Notes (From our own Correspondent)

There is a very large area of wheat around here seeded this year, and nearly all have finished, there being just a few stragglers to wind up
The rains have been good and feed is plentiful; stock are improving fast. If the season keeps on as it is then a bumper harvest (discounting rust) should be the result.
Mr. Palmer, (sen) is home again but is still unwell. His trip to Perth evidently has not benefitted him much.
Mr. H Johnson has been in Mullewa Hospital with pneumonia, but thanks to his robust nature he is about again and hard at work.
Farmers generally are pleased at the result of the Council election, but would rather have had “old Joe” in power and many think and say Mr. Joe Mills should contest the Greenough seat against Labour.
Tractors are still arriving in this part and every cocky has a motor car and not just a “tin lizzie” either.
Personally, I would have a “lizzie'” every time, if only to support a wonder man like Henry Ford. If more industries would adopt his methods the great revolution would perhaps be staved off. Capital and Labour cannot agree under present methods, even the farmers are adopting “slight co-op” methods. It is a common practice now for farmers to give their employees an area to crop and a portion of the crop.
I know a farmer around here (an oldish man too) who should be sent to the Olympic sports as a jumper. The other day he was standing along side a cow bailed up ready to milk, when another cow objected to his presence and charged him, and he was in such a hurry to get away that he cleared cow and fence in a standing jump. Its wonderful what a man can do if the matter is urgent.
Mrs. Stafford is on a visit here to her son in law (Mr. R. Dunkin)
The hall recently used for dances etc, has been sold and removed much to the regret of the young people.
To-Days Forecast– Still unsettled with further rains over west and south west coastal areas, agricultural districts, and scattered through the Gascoyne and goldfields” Squally north-west to south-west winds, rough coastal weather, Ocean: Heavy north-west to west weather off west and south-west coasts, and across the Bight.

December 14th 1926

Tenindewa Notes (From our own Correspondent)

I must start with the backbone of the country, and say they are progressing well garnering the golden grain, and most of the yields are very satisfactory, and in a few cases over 30 bushels (2 tonne per hectare). Old Ben (probably Benoit) tops the yield as per usual with a 12 bag (2.4 tonne per hectare) crop of Yandilla King. It’s wonderful the yields of a wheat crop. Still its not always really so good when all balanced up. Septoria did not make difference to yields around here. Tenindewa is in a very fine position from a wheat growing point of view. A nice distance from the coast, it thus avoids red rust, and is far enough inland to produce the best grain with sufficient rainfall, and whilst the ground is not that stiff in nature, which requires such good fallow and plenty of rain. Stock are all looking well and there is plenty of feed around.
Mr. Stafford is the latest tractor and truck owner, and has practically cut out the poor old gee-gee. He harvested his crop with that this year and it proved very satisfactory, being much quicker than the horse and the pace [of the harvester] is always even. A few farmers are talking of getting tractors.
The Bindu school Christmas tree for the kiddies comes off next Saturday, and the new teacher (Miss Shires) is hard at work arranging matters and has the able assistance of most of the young men around here,
I heard a good one the other day, Mr. Editor, and I’ll pass it on to you. A farmer here does not like chopping the household firewood, and he does not like to see his wife do it, so he fixes the matter by going way out of sight while she does it. His latest idea, however, is to take his tractor and run over the wood heap several times and this solves the problem without much perspiration.
There is often this talk about this Big Brother movement. Don’t you think it is better to have a Big Sister movement? There are a lot of eligible young men around here wanting a wife and there are none available. I suppose it is the same in other districts. You had better advocate this strongly so at to get a few shipments from from the Old Country and pass some on here.

February 16th 1928

Tenindewa Notes (From our own Correspondent)

Harvest is finished and I dont 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.

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 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 dont 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.

It is very possible that the person involved here under (From our correspondent) is Tom Moore

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.)

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