Scari Joe New February 2020

Daphne Scari (Nee Creyk), Robert (BOB) Scari & Marg Creyk

Information gathered from an interview between Bob Scari and Lesley Choules on 2nd January 2006 and other sources.
Researched and compiled by Gordon Freegard

Joe Scari was born in northern Italy in 1890. At the age of seventeen he came to Australia with his brother Peter. They disembarked in Sydney and then made their way to Brisbane. After working there for a period of time Joe got homesick and returned to Italy about 1908. It is presumed that he worked on the family property.

About 1914 he returned to Australia but this time to Western Australia. He found work as a labourer at Barton’s Mill, Pickering Brook. He did a multitude of jobs including working as a benchman, as stacking timber and helped load the rail trucks with transported the timber down the Zigzag railway to Perth.


Whilst attending a dance at the Carilla Hill at Pickering Brook, he met a young Salagari girl. She was Dominica (Lena), the daughter of Joe Salagari who had a small orchard property south of Barton’s Mill. They fell in love and married in 1921 and settled in together at Barton’s Mill.

Their first born was Joseph Robert in 1924 and then Kathleen was born on 7th September 1926. They then decided to move and live at Canning Mils and lived across the road from very good friends, the Hanburys, but Joe still worked at Barton’s Mill. He traveled back and forwards each day by horse and cart. Their third child, Marco was born on 20th March 1928 while they were living at Canning Mills.

About 1928 they bought an existing orchard property called “Miaweeroona” in Karragullen on what was then called Beverley Road, now Brookton Highway. It was previously owned by a German called Joe Steffan who had served in the German Army during the Franco-Prussian War. It consisted of two separate lots and the other one was bought by Alex Larson who was not married and lived with his mother on that property.

Joe later had more of the land cleared by Archie Anderson from Carmel who had a steam traction engine. After firing it up with wood at Carmel he would take all day to drive this monster machine over to Karragullen. Because Joe knew a bit about steam boilers from working at the mill, he used to fire the boiler up early in the morning, so by the time Archie arrived the engine had full steam ready to start pulling. He grew a range of vegetables and also had seven or eight cows.

Joe worked at Barton’s Mill from 1926 till 1939. When working there he would get up about four o’clock in the morning, milk the cows, collect the vegies and then drive the horse and cart to the mill where he would distribute the milk and vegies before starting work at the mill. Friend Ernesto Carpene worked with Joe in Karragullen and was still there when his wife, Erminia Truccoco, who he had married three and a half years earlier, arrived from Italy into Australia in 1930.

Whilst living on this property another six children were born. Margaret on 16th July 1929, Albert Anthony on 14th November 1931, William on 4th February 1932, Roma on 31st January 1934, Mary on 16th July 1936 and Robert “Bob” on 5th April 1940. Mrs. Scari was a very hard worker who besides looking after the eight children she also helped in the orchard and vegie garden. They were never overly endowed with money but they always had clothes to wear and were never without.

The neighbours were a Mr. Ferguson and his wife, on a road named after him, Ferguson Road. Then there was Francesco (Frank) Di Dio who was born in Roccella Valdemone in Sicily on a five acre property. At the rear was State forest and there was no-one opposite. Just a little south along Ferguson Road was a family called O’Meaghers.

There were two soaks or dams on the property. A drain was dug by hand connecting the top one to the bottom one. The excess water then flowed on through to the Larson’s property and then on to others further down the road. They grew a range of fruit starting the season with early apricots followed by late apricots, then nectarines, peaches and pears, followed by three or four different varieties of apples. Everyone in the family had to help because the father Joe could only work evenings and weekends because his was still working full-time at the mill.

Their fruit was taken to market by Joe Lori who did this for the Scaris right through until they sold the orchard in the 1960’s. Joe Lori still operates a transport business in Kelmscott today (2020) but no longer carries produce as he is now mainly a fuel distributor.


A very active social life evolved, with many of the neighbours getting together around a keg of beer or something. Regular dances were held in the old hall with Alice and Bert Beard from Pickering Brook playing lively music. It was at a dance in Kelmscott that Bob met his future wife, Daphne. He had a couple of dances with a couple of other girls then he had a dance with her. And whilst they were dancing around he said to her “Save the last dance for me ‘cause I’m taking you home tonight.” So the rest is history.

Because none of the kids had pushbikes, Bob and the others walked the three and a half miles to school and back each day. However occasionally, there was an old gentleman who cut firewood in the area, and if they passed by him he would give them a lift to the school.

Sadly in 1932 his eldest brother, Joseph Robert, had been to a Christmas party and was getting a ride home with the O’Meaghers when he jumped off the back of the truck and developed a cyst or abscess in the groin. He developed a temperature and two or three days later he was taken to hospital. Unfortunately it burst and the infection went right through his body and he died at the age of eight.

The family didn’t has a vehicle for many years and relied on the O’Meaghers whenever transport was required. His Dad was a bit lad in his day and apparently one day he went to Perth and came home that night driving a Chandler car which he had bought. This car in its day was equal to a Rolls Royce. Needless to say his wife told him he had to return immediately at eight o’clock the next morning. Records show that in 1926 he bought a Chevolet One Ton Truck from Skipper Bailey Motor Co., Ltd., for two hundred and fifteen pounds ($430).

Some of the family members became very involved in local sports. Marco never played sports at all as he was always busy working driving trucks delivering firewood from Karragullen to Monarch Laundry in North Perth. Kath played hockey in Kelmscott while Margaret didn’t play much at all. Tony and Bill played football for Kelmscott. Roma married early and didn’t play much sport, while Mary was a keen hockey played. Bob also played football for Kelmscott later becoming their trainer and in 1972 was made a life member. Tony and his wife Mary, were also granted life memberships of the Kelmscott Football Club.

Bob’s father, Joe died of throat cancer in 1958 when he was about in his seventieth year. His wife passed away seven years later due to a heart attack brought on by diabetes.

Kathleen Elizabeth married Albert Raymond Francis (Scotty) Curtis from Karragullen in 1948.
Marco married Joan Saxon from Mosman Park in 1951.
Margaret married Kenneth R. Curtis in 1947.
Albert Anthony married Margaret Rae Garrett from Kalamunda in 1955.
William (Bill) married Gloria D. Whittaker from Roleystone in 1953.
Roma D. married Louis Ghilarducci from Karragullen in 1952.
Mary married Peter Frederick Neilson from Gosnells in 1954.
Robert (Bob) married Daphne Jean Creyk in 1963.

Every endeavour has been made to accurately record the details however if you would like to provide additional images and/or newer information we are pleased to update the details on this site. Please click here to email us at We appreciate your involvement in recording the history of our area.

References:                      Article:        Interview with Lesley Choules, City of Armadale Birtwistle Local Studies Library
                                                                Pickering Brook Heritage Group

                                            Images:       1 Roleystone Courier
                                                                2, 3, 4, 6, 7 Pickering Brook Heritage Group
                                                                5 City of Armadale Birtwistle Local Studies Library