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Wongutha photo update

January 29, 2011

I have received some more information about the photo I posted.  A visit to my Mum has clarified a few things that I had misunderstood (thanks, Mum), and a larger copy of the photo has enabled her to come up with a few more names.  The large version of the photo is beneath the cut, and it definitely contains images of people who have passed away.

Young men from Wongutha Training Farm at the Esperance Easter Camp

Young men from Wongutha Training Farm at the Esperance Easter Camp

The Wongutha Training College was a residential Agricultural College for young Aboriginal men, who came to the college from various Missions around the State.

There was an Easter Camp every year, run by the Methodist church and possibly some other churches.  It was for girls and boys from Kalgoorlie, Norseman and Esperance and surrounding areas, and the Wongutha Training College boys were included.  On the occasion this photo was taken, they were all dressed up, so it was probably a Sunday camp meeting.

The Summer camp I referred to was at Schenks’ and this is where girls would come one year and boys the next, from Mt Margaret Mission.  My Mum and her sister were invited by the girls to come and play tennis there, and got to know several of the girls their age.

The photo was probably taken in 1959, but may have been taken in early 1960.

Now to identify some of the people:

The woman at the very front, in the middle is Mrs Rae Semple.  Her husband Rev. Lloyd Semple is on the very left of the back row.  The man on the very right of the back row is Rev. Wally Fawell, who officiated at my parents’ wedding, and also that of my brother.  He was also best man at my parents wedding.  I’m not sure how that works, and no one has really been able to explain it to me in a way I understand, but my Dad officiated at the weddings of two of his sisters, and was a witness (?best man) at the one in the header.

Fourth from the left in the back row of this photo (half hidden behind the head in front of him) is Alan McGrath.

Third from the left in the next row down is Ron Williams, and fourth from the left is Herbert Smith.  Herbert had a beautiful singing voice.  He died in a farm accident in late 1960 or early 1961, aged 21 years.

On the very left of the next row down (the front row, except for Mrs Semple) is Alan Bonney.

If you know or can identify any of the other people in the photo, please comment and let me know.  If I have any of the details wrong, please let me know. If you or a family member are in the photo and you would like a copy, I would be happy to send it to you.



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