Back to Pickering Brook 25th year Festival New November 2019

President Beverley Giumelli at Official Openning

The Pickering Brook Heritage Group was formed in 1994 and celebrated 25 years of preserving local history on Sunday 10th November 2019. It took the form of a “Back to Pickering Brook Festival” and the release of our first ever book entitled “The History of Pickering Brook and surrounding areas”.

A day of entertainment was arranged which included the Italian Ladies Choir, Violin Players, Bell Ringers, Bush Poets and Family Band. Also 2 bus tour trips of the area were conducted by Mac beard complete with his “very” descriptive commentary interrupted with additional – or was it conflicting – information by his two sisters, Jenny and Lyn.

Compere Becky Lamont kept the day moving along as she announced the various performers or events that were about to happen.

The exciting day was well planned by a Sub-Committee who met every 2 weeks up until towards the end, met weekly. Credit must be given to these members for the effort they put into the planning. They were; Beverley Giumelli, John & Le Gregory, Trish Tompson, Ray Furfaro and Gordon Freegard.

Official Opening

The Pickering Brook Heritage Group’s President Beverley Giumelli officially opened the day and welcomed the many visitors on the day. It was estimated that about 2000 local, current and past residents attended the day.
The launch of the book and speech was given by Dr. Mathew Trinca, son of 94 year old Jose Trinca (nee Sala Tenna) who was born at Barton’s Mill. Jose attended the day with her sister Joan Della Franca (nee Sala Tenna). Mathew is the Director of the National Museum of Australia in Canberra, and flew over to Western Australia especially to launch our book “The history of Pickering Brook and surrounding areas”. He reminisced about his early days of visiting Pickering Brook and his fathers keeness to attend the local Bocce Pitch. He explained how important history is and that we must preserve and save it, for future generations to understand and acknowledge the past.

Launch Of Book

To officially celebrate the Pickering Brook Heritage Group’s 25 years of preserving the local history, it was decided the publish a book of that history. This tremendous job was given to Committee Member Gordon Freegard.

Gordon has operated the Group’s Website for 11 years and had access to a huge amount of records and images that had been sourced in gathering details for the website. However what do you put in a book and what do you leave out. This was very difficult but a selection that carefully reflects the history of our area was selected to be included.

To complete this project more than 300 hours were spent in researching, compiling and writing. Containing 218 pages with 330 plus photos it is a very comprehensive history covering the sawmills, the railways, the immigration, the soldier settlement scheme and the hardship the early settlers endured. Another four days were spent adding an index of 750 names, which has been very welcomed as locals find they are mentioned in the book.

Generous funding was provided by the City of Kalamunda, the History Foundation of Western Australia and the Hills Orchard Improvement Group.

Presentations were made on the day to Dr. Mathew Trinca – Speaker, Mrs. David Godbold – Wife of the founder of the Pickering Brook Heritage Group and the City of Kalamunda – Copies for the 4 District Libraries.

It was very well received on the day with almost 200 copies being sold. It is now available online or through the many outlets listed on the “Home Page” of this website.


Parents & Citizen's Sausage Sizzle

The local School’s P. & C. Association operated a stall selling sausage sizzles, hamburgers and drinks, as a fundraiser on the day.

It proved succesful as they had to quickly source extra supplies after selling out. A nice amount of funding was raised by the hard working volunteers.

Vintage Car Club Display

The Vintage Car Club presented a fabulous display of about 20 vehicles in the shaded tree area adjoining the Heritage Park. We were very privileged to have such selection on the day.

The day was thoroughly enjoyed by its members who were all keen to attend future similar events.

Craft Stalls

Twenty-one Craft Stalls were arranged on the double tennis court area. Thanks goes to Le Gregory who was in charge of this area. She attend many venues prior to our event, to book a varied selection of stalls for the day.

A great range was other to the public and generally all were pleased with the outcome. Most Stall holders wish to attend any future similar events.

A popular attraction for the children was a stall where they were able to paint and decorate little wooden display shelves that for the cost of 2 dollars they come then take their masterpiece home with them.

Kanyana Animal Rehabilitation Display

The Kanyana Animal Rehabilitation Centre displayed some of there rescued animals. These attracted a large crowd of children who thoroughly enjoyed the experience of handling some of their animals. It was a very popular display.

Log Chop & Sleeper Hewing

We were very fortunate to have the Reynolds Family demonstrate some of the skills used by axemen that were employed in the timber industry in its heyday. They consisted of 82 year old Bob, joined by his son Brett and his two boys, 15 year old Eaton and 12 year old Austin.

A large crowd was enthralled by the demonstrations of log chopping and sawing. They invited some crowd members to join them and try their hand a log sawing.

But the highlight was Bob’s execution of sleeper hewing. This is the rare art of using a broad axe to carve a railway sleeper out of a round log. Unfortunately it is dying art and Bob is one of very few people that still knows the art. Bob explained the process and how they soaked the bark in water to get the red dye in which they immersed a string-line. This was then pulled out the length of the log then flicked to produce a straight line on which to cut with the broad axe. Today wooden sleepers are no longer used. Most railway sleeper are now made out of conrete.

The art of axe throwing is demonstrated by 12 year old Austin Reyolds hitting a bullseye.

This was a very successful event, well organised and executed by a devoted team of volunteers, or as Beverley calls them “The Dads Army”. They should all be very proud that they were able to conduct such a memorable day, that some said could not be done. The memories of this day will stay in the minds of the many past and present residents that attended the day, for years to come.

It is not possible to individually thank all the helpers but special thanks must go to the volunteers the provided the morning and afternoon teas, sandwiches and cakes. They worked tirelessly all day and provided an important service for the day. And a very special thanks to Carol Della Franca for designing and making our bright yellow vests that were worn on the day to make our volunteer staff easy to identify and find on the day. Also thanks must go the Beard Family for providing the bus for the tours, which was a popular highlight of the day. It was even suggested that these tours should become a regular tourist attraction as they were thoroughly enjoyed by those that participated.

The day finished with many relaxing, eating pizzas while listening to the band play on into the evening with a final cry out loud – “WHEN IS THE NEXT ONE???”

References:      Article:          Pickering Brook Heritage Group

                       Photos:        1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32,
                                          33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 37, 39, 40, 41, 44            John Linton
                                         7, 42, 43         Christine Groom
                                         10                  Rosemary & Maurice Earle
                                         45, 46, 47, 48, 49, 50, 51, 52, 53, 54, 55, 56                     Peter Watson,