A colourful past

• The winner of the Photographic Gems: 1960-1999 category. Helen Cozens submitted this 1960 photo of her sisters Roslyn and Vivieanne Stoneham in fancy dress.

A quirky photo of two schoolgirls in fancy dress in the 1960s was one of the winners in this year’s Vincent history awards.

The annual competition attracted more than 100 diverse entries including an account of life on Lake Street in the mid 20th century and the story of a house built on Vine Street for a widow in one day.

All the photos and tales submitted will be added to the city’s burgeoning local history collection.

One of the most memorable entries was a photo taken by Helen Cozens’ father in 1960.

Anzac Cottage

It shows her sisters Roslyn dressed up as a bottle of Passiona and Vivieanne dressed up as a TV for a fancy dress event at North Perth Primary School.

The photo was taken at their family home at 48 Cleaver Street in West Perth, just a few years after the TV was introduced into homes in 1956.

Anzac Cottage was built by locals in one day for Anne Chapple’s grandfather Cuthbert John Porter, who was wounded in Gallipoli.

Ms Chapple is now the custodian of the cottage and compiled a winning history of another house built in similar circumstances the year before – Wynne Villa on Vine Street in North Perth.

The community banded together to build the house for young widow Jenenia Wynne and her five young children – all under the age of eight – after the family’s breadwinner Arthur John Wynne died of enteric fever and toxaemia in 1914 at the age of 34.

• Vincent mayor Emma Cole with the 2018 local history award winners. Helen Cozens is at centre. Photo
Steve Grant.

Ms Chapple’s history reads in part:

“With all preparations made, on Saturday, March 27, 1915 an ‘unique gathering of charitably disposed and willing workers” assembled at the block at daybreak to commence work on the building.  The volunteers showed great application and by 10am they had laid the foundation stumps and floor joists along with a base of frames and the framework for the walls.

“The work continued into the afternoon and this saw the Wunderlich stamped metal ceilings installed, window frames in place and over half of the jarrah weather boarding in place.  The timber frame for the roof was also in position, ready for the roofing to be installed.

By sundown, the house was all but completed and the workers were able to view their handiwork with much pride.

At the end of the day, there were still some bits and pieces to be completed, but the home was habitable with Jenenia and her five children able move in to their brand-new house.  A jarrah villa with four rooms, two verandahs and the necessary conveniences as well as the land upon which it stood was now home to the Wynne family.”

Con Christ won the Geoffrey Bolton award for life in Vincent, for his piece Living in Lake Street 1941-1967.

An extract reads:

“This is the story of three boys who grew up in Lake Street, Perth in the 1940s, 1950s and 1960s…

Mum, Dad and Con moved into our house at 131 Lake Street in November, 1941. The house was owned by Dad’s old friends, the Kakulas brothers whom Dad had helped in earlier times when they required assistance but never forgot the help they received.

The list of winners and the full award text are available at library.vincent.wa.gov.au

Just click the “local history award winners” button.


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