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Kalamunda Voices

Kalamunda Voices

Discover a wide range of authentic oral histories about Kalamunda and surrounding districts.
Select the image to read about the lives of pioneers and their descendants as told by Kalamunda residents.
Full transcripts and audio are available for loan at the Kalamunda Library
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Mr Ted Smailes

Interviewed by Linda Fennell October 1991

Ted remembers growing up and working at the Smailes Timber Mill in the early 1900s.  He shares his memories of the changing demands for timber, the use of horses and a a very relaxed and carefree childhood.

Read  Ted's short story

Read Ted's full interview

Listen to Ted's full interview

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Mrs Peggy Honnor (nee Locke) 

Interviewed by Bindi Weir 23 January 1999

Peggy recalls her adoption as a baby, growing up in Kalamunda in the 1930s and the the effects of World War II in the hills area during her teen years.

Read Peggy's short story

Read Peggy's full interview

Listen to Peggy's full interview

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Mrs Evelyn Kitney (nee McCullagh) 

Interviewed by  Gigi Hesterman on 15 April 2015

Evelyn remembers the isolation with very few properties around them in the 1930s. She recalls her life growing up in McCullagh Cottage, and the excitement of the dances and balls when she was a teenager.

Read Evelyn's short story

Read Evelyn's full interview

Listen to Evelyn's full interview

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Mrs Ignatia Paskulich (nee Dobric) 

Interviewed by  Gigi Hesterman on 1 October 2012 

Migration, the loneliness of living in rural WA, a nonprofitable orchard in Piesse Brook, going to school and the dangers of bush burn offs all provide an insight into a migrants life in Kalamunda in the early 1900s.

Read Ignatia’s short story

Read Ignatia's full interview

Listen to Ignatia's full interview

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Mr Edward Wise

Interviewed by Margaret Wansborough, on 4 July 1988 

Edward (Ted) recalls growing up in Kalamunda, his families struggle with illness, tough times in an orphanage, raising goats and his various part time jobs as a boy in the early 1900s. 

Read Ted's short story

Read Ted's full interview

Listen to Ted's full interview

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Mrs Hazel Jarvis (nee Hutchens)

Interviewed by Gretchen Forrest on 17 June, 2009 

Hazel tells about growing up in a small community and the generosity of others. She remembers the trains, the zig zag, swimming at Piesse Brook, driving the buses and a long life of volunteering.

Read Hazel's short story

Read Hazel's full interview

Listen to Hazel's full interview

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Mr James Findlay

Interviewed by Jeanette Achurch, August 2016

James (Jim) Findlay remembers the orchards, Tea Rooms and working at  Kostera’s Garage in the 1940s. He recalls his dad’s war years and the local Indigenous families in Boonooloo Road, Kalamunda.

Read Jim's short story

Read Jim's full interview

Listen to Jim's full interview

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Mrs Rita Hunter (nee Wilson)

Interviewed by Gigi Hesterman in April 2013

Rita Wilson, a seventh generation Australian, recalls Haynes Street and the business owners who were her neighbours. She talks about establishing the Country Women's Association (CWA) in Walliston and running the real estate agency in Kalamunda in the 1940s

Read Rita's short story

Read Rita's full interview

Listen to Rita's full interview

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Mr Edwin Dell

Interviewed by Jeanette Achurch, 16 February 2015

Edwin recalls a difficult childhood with blankets made of jute sacks and mattresses made of bags, filled with old rags. He tells of clearing the land, his time with the YMCA and operating his own orchard and roadside kiosk.

Read Edwin's short story

Read Edwin's full interview

Listen to Edwin's full interview

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Mrs Dorris Craig (nee Stirk)

 Interviewed by an unknown interviewer in 1981

Dorris’ recollections and anecdotes of home life in the early days of Kalamunda are a wonderful insight into how the Stirk family entertained themselves in their leisure time, after the hard work in the orchard was done for the day.

Read  Dorris' story

Read Dorris' full interview.

Listen to Dorris' full interview

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Mrs Fay Curtis (nee Gibbs)

 Interviewed by Gigi Hesterman, 19 October 2011 

Fay recalls life in the timber mills of Pickering Brook and Karragullen in the 1930s, rations during World War II and how they purchased and stored their weekly groceries

Read  Fay's short story

Read Fay's full interview

Listen to Fay's full interview

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Mr John Hope

 Interviewed by Alethea Du Boulay, 24 July 2009

John recalls helping with meat deliveries, playing cricket, the Kalamunda Show and delivering telegrams in the hills

Read  John's short story

Read John's full interview

Listen to John's full interview

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Mrs Clara Hensworth (nee Ward)

 Interviewed by Margaret Wansborough and Agnes Vandervelde in 1991

Migrating domestics, dealing with unwanted attention, living with adversity, the RSL Women’s Auxillary and life in Kalamunda in the 1930s are all included in Clara’s memoir

Read  Clara's short story

Read Clara's full interview

Listen to Clara's full interview

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Mr Athol Farrant

 Interviewed by Donald Dawson in March and April 2002

Athol recalls the Farrant pioneers, communication in the late 1800s, the first caged poultry farm in Western Australia and the local governments pursuit of retaining bush in Kalamunda.

Read  Athol's short story

Read Athol's full interview

Listen to Athol's full interview

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Mrs Roma Ireland (nee Croxton)

 Interviewed by Gigi Hesterman in April 2016

Piesse Brook, Explosion on the Canning Jarrah Company Line, St Brigids in the 1930s, working women in the1940s

Read  Roma's short story

Listen to Roma's full interview

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Mr George Spriggs

Interviewed by Donald Dawson on 29 May 1995

Pickering Brook in the 1920s, Brumbies, Cold Storage, Politics and Hydroponics feature in Mr Spriggs life

Read  George's short story

Read  George's full interview

Listen to George's full interview

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Mrs Doris Mynors (nee Palmer)

 Interviewed by Jeanette Achurch, 1 September 2014


The Pomeroy Brick Cottage, Piesse Brook Primary School, missing uncle changes his name and the use of Coolgardie Safes are all included in Mrs Mynors interview

Read  Doris' short story

Read  Doris' full interview

Listen to Doris' full interview

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Mrs Phyllis Alves (nee Jorgensen)

 Interviewed by Jennifer Lewis (nee Alves),  1984

Mining accident, lost in the bush, teaching in rural WA and life in Carrolup Settlement with the first Australians are highlights of Mrs Alves interview

Read  Phyllis' short story

Read Phyllis' full interview

Listen to Phyllis' full interview

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Mrs Ella Byett (nee Schmitt)

 Interviewed by Bill Shaw on 30 July 1984

A lottery win, migration, murder and flamboyant balls researched across four generations feature in Mrs Byett’s interview

Read  Ella's short story
Read Ella's full interview
Listen to Ella's full interview

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Mr Harry Honnor

 Interviewed by an unidentified interviewer in1967

Mr Honnor remembers his drunken headmaster, mischief, mayhem, labouring in the stone pits and turning stone to gravel for roads.

Read  Harry's short story
Read Harry's full interview
Listen to Harry's full interview

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Mr James Crabb

 Interviewed by Donald Dawson on 27 February 1996

Jim and Ada Crabb were well known and respected community members in Kalamunda, best remembered for their determination and courage to make their small business succeed against the odds.

Read  Jimmy's short story
Read Jimmy's full interview
Listen to Jimmy's full interview


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Mr Lyle Portwine

 Interviewed by Gigi Hesterman on 2 May 2012

Puddlers, Bakers, Jockeys, horse drawn deliveries and a sense of community are all included in Mr Portwine’s interview.

Read  Lyle's short story 
Read  Lyle's full interview
Listen to Lyle's full interview

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Mr Rex Hutchison

 Interviewed by Donald Dawson on Monday 29 May 1995

Isolation, Brumbies, clearing the land, fires, storms and the orchard industry feature in Mr Hutchison’s interview.

Read  Rex's story
Read Rex's full interview
Listen to Rex's full interview

Share Your Stories and memories of Kalamunda and surrounding districts. 

If you, or someone you know, grew up in Kalamunda or surrounding districts and are interested in sharing your memories please contact the Kalamunda History Village on (08) 9293 1371 or complete the form below. 
Interviews are conducted by trained interviewers who will ask questions about significant events. These are summarised and added to our local history collection.

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Volunteer assistance with this program is always welcomed.

If you have an interest in local history and like meeting people we would love to here from you. As a volunteer interviewer you will be provided with full training by the Bill Shaw Oral History Group. For more information please contact the Kalamunda History Village on (08) 9293 1371 or complete the form below. 

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