ANTHONY BOYD CRAIG BIO: PEPPERMINT GROVE SERIES

ANTHONY CRAIG

Born in Perth, Western Australia and educated at Hale School in Wembly Downs, Anthony Boyd Craig has led a full and adventurous life.  During his early career, Anthony was employed as a Costing Clerk at H. L. Brisbane & Wunderlich Ltd, the state’s largest clay tile producer, at North Street in the City.

At the tender age of 19 years, Anthony Craig enlisted at No. 4 R.A.A.F. Recruiting Centre, Perth.  The terms of his contract stated “for the duration of the war and for 12 months afterwards.”

Anthony’s elementary training was in a Tigermoth and thus he qualified as a pilot and was awarded the Flying badge in April 1942. Anthony was then sent to the UK where, during 1943, he studied an advanced flying course and was trained to fly Lancaster Bombers.  He remained stationed in the UK until 1945.  Anthony quickly moved through the ranks achieving Pilot Officer in early 1943 and Flight Lieutenant mid 1944.

Anthony requested to be released from his contract with the Air Force after the war.  His request was granted in August, 1945.

Anthony returned to Perth and married Sylvia in 1946 and moved to 22 Irvine Street, Peppermint Grove in 1955. He commenced serving the community of Peppermint Grove in 1956 when he stood for election to Council. Anthony served the Shire for 35 years, 16 of which he was Shire President.

Anthony died in Jolimont at the grand age of 95.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Royal Freshwater Bay Yacht Club and Keane’s Point

In 1891 distinguished colonist Edward Keane purchased land that included what was then known as ‘Butler’s Hump’, now Keane’s Point. By 1894, Edward had built their family home, Cappoquin House which they named after their home town in Ireland.

Although his work as a civil engineer, builder and politician kept him extremely busy, Keane still found time to be an instrumental force in establishing the Freshwater Bay Boating Club at the foot of Irvine Street in December 1896. With government agreement, the Club, now known as The Royal Freshwater Bay Yacht Club, built a jetty out into the Bay with its own club house (look out for the plaque to mark the spot, next time you visit the bay). Keane died in 1904, and twelve years later his wife decided to subdivide their land into residential sites.

The subdivision was suspended when an influential group united to purchase the land to keep it in public hands. In 1920, the land was leased to the Repatriation Department for Permanently Disabled Returned Soldiers, and Cappoquin became Anzac Hostel and accepted 14 patients. By 1928 numbers had reduced to just six patients who were transferred to Lucknow Hospital.

The area subsequently became a popular camping ground before finally being leased, in 1936, to the Royal Freshwater Bay Yacht Club. The club has flourished and it remains a premier home for yachting in Western Australia.

Cappoquin, 1916.

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Freshwater Bay

Freshwater Bay Nyoongar people have maintained a close connection with the Swan River – known to them as Derbal Yerrigan – for more than 40,000 years. This connection forms the basis for much of their cultural and spirituality identity. Freshwater Bay was an important camping place, a source of fresh water from springs, a fishing and trading area, and above all a spiritual place.

 

The Nyoongar word for the bay itself Minderup – means place for alleviating sickness.

Since European settlement Freshwater Bay has been regarded as a healthy place, one for recreation and enjoyment. It was once a popular holiday, camping and picnicking spot for the many thousands brought by steamers and other river craft to enjoy its beauty and the safe swimming: as noted in the West Australian on the 31st of December 1936:

 

Freshwater Bay, which from most angles resembles a great lake, has few peers along the river for sheer beauty. The beautiful homes capping the northern highlands bear witness to the loveliness of the scene. Then down the river, beaches have one great asset and charm not possessed by their northern sisters – the shady and graceful Peppermint tree.

 

It was these native riverside Peppermint trees which inspired the name Peppermint Grove. The majestic Moreton Bay figs were planted here later – in the early twentieth century – and remain important for shade. At one time destroyed for camp fires, the trees are now appreciated and protected.

 

The beach at Peppermint Grove is also home to the black swan, Cygnus atratus, the symbol of the Swan River and after which the Swan River Colony was named. Loss of riverine habitat resulted in a significant reduction in the once abundant swans, but their numbers are slowly increasing

Freshwater Bay Tea Rooms

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In 1904 Andy Johnson, a Swedish sailor, established a business as ‘buyer and seller of all kinds of boats (rowing preferred)’. He lived in a houseboat moored at the foot of Leake Street until 1905 when he built and occupied the boatshed on this site. Once established, he began hiring rowing boats on the shore. He added tea rooms before selling his business in 1919 to James and Nellie McFarlane. Nelly was well known for her fruit cake and tea. Passengers from the boats on the river would stop off for cake and a swim. Nelly would put their false teeth into a paper bag for safe keeping!

Nelly also supported the troops during World War II when the Royal Freshwater Bay Yacht Club was used as HMAS Leeuwin II. She would hold dances and play the piano and the soldiers would have a good sing-a-long.

James and Nellie McFarlane handed the business over to their son and daughter in law in 1949. The business thrived in the 1930s to 1950s but after that time a decline in the popularity of boating saw the facility fall into ‘a derelict state.’

As late as the 1970s there was still no sewerage connection for the living accommodation, and waste waters went directly into the river. A succession of development plans were drawn up in the 1970s. All plans were put on hold when in 1980 the recently renovated boatshed was demolished by fire. Further discussions on larger scale development took place but in 1999 the remaining jetty and landing were demolished.

Freshwater Bay

CPM01504 Freshwater BayNyoongar people have maintained a close connection with the Swan River – known to them as Derbal Yerrigan – for more than 40,000 years. This connection forms the basis for much of their cultural and spirituality identity. Freshwater Bay was an important camping place, a source of fresh water from springs, a fishing and trading area, and above all a spiritual place. The Nyoongar word for the bay itself Minderup – means place for alleviating sickness.

Since European settlement Freshwater Bay has been regarded as a healthy place, one for recreation and enjoyment. It was once a popular holiday, camping and picnicking spot for the many thousands brought by steamers and other river craft to enjoy its beauty and the safe swimming.

It was these native riverside Peppermint trees which inspired the name Peppermint Grove. The majestic Moreton Bay figs were planted here later – in the early twentieth century – and remain important for shade. At one time destroyed for camp fires, the trees are now appreciated and protected.

The beach at Peppermint Grove is also home to the black swan, Cygnus atratus, the symbol of the Swan River and after which the Swan River Colony was named. Loss of riverine habitat resulted in a significant reduction in the once abundant swans, but their numbers are slowly increasing and you may be lucky and see them there today.