South West Native Mission Director’s Report (September 1965)

South West Native Mission Director’s Report (September 1965)

South West Native Mission

Director’s Report – – – September 1965

 

Following the last meeting of the Board, I requested information from all teams regarding numbers on Reserves and the toilet, bedroom and laundry facilities provided for them.  This information is tabulated below:-

Mission Centre Living on Reserve Living off Reserve Total Toilets

M.

Toilets

F.

Bathrooms

M.

Bathrooms

F.

Laundries
Northam 111 81 192 2 2 1 1 1
York 30 66 96 2 2 1 1 1
Merredin 100 20 120 4 4 1 1 2
Doodlakine 70 6 76 1 1 1 1 1
Goomalling 52 55 197 2 2 2 2 2
Gnowangerup 250 250 6 5 3 3 3
Borden 80 80 4 4 2 2 2
Ongerup 50 50 2 2 1
Pinjarra 28 75 103 2 2 1 1 1
Mt. Barker 106 106 4 4 2 2 2
Albany 35 55 90 2 2 1 1 1
Kendenup 22 22
East Perth 175 175
Hostel 9 9

 

Practically all the bathroom facilities on the reserves are cold showers.  Most of those living off the reserves are in Type 5 houses which have their own toilet, laundry and bathroom facilities.  There are 21 of these houses in our areas.

At various times in the year these numbers are swollen by visitors who stay for varying periods of time, and are usually the cause of most of the disturbances on the reserves.  But for the people actually living on the reserves there seems to be an average of one toilet for 16 people and one bath or cold shower for every 28 ½.  To complete the picture, the staff of the Mission consists of four married couples :- the Reverend Bertram & Mrs. Wrightson; Col. & Mrs. E. Cartmel; Mr. & Mrs. B. Chapman; and Mr. & Mrs. J. Flanigan; two single units; Miss Dorothy Brown and Mr. Harold Abraham; the East Perth team: Miss Mary Elliott, Miss May Street and sister Connie MacDonald: and the Hostel staff: Mr & Mrs Neil Warren and their daughter Mrs. Nancy Evans.  With rising wages and costs our present income is inadequate for any more staff.

On the reserves and in East Perth the work is concerned largely with the younger people.  At Merredin, for instance, Mr. Abraham has something every night in the hall on the reserve, or a mixed group in the town.  At Pinjarra and East Perth the activities are only two or three evenings a week, by the youngsters are most appreciative of what is done. Except at Merredin and Pinjarra the Kindergartens occupy most of the mornings of the ladies, and, although an essential and worthwhile part of the work, it is most time consuming.  At East Perth Sister MacDonald takes a dozen or more children to the Little Citizen’s Kindergarten three afternoons a week, and stays to assist.

It must be realised that social welfare work goes on all the time – in fact the teams seem not to have enough time to do it all.  Sister MacDonald, for instance, visits in the hospitals and Fremantle prison.  Miss Elliott coped with funeral arrangements for the brother of one of the East Perth people, which entailed bringing two other brothers from Fremantle prison to the cemetery at Karrakatta.  I would say that most of the welfare work done in the area where our teams are working is done by them.

On the spiritual side the teams continue to take the people to the local Churches, but, in addition, a Sunday School flourishes on the Mt. Barker reserve, and Mr. Wrightson has a Saturday session of simple Bible instruction and discussion.  Mr. Wrightson also assists in the schools with religious instruction, and on Sundays by taking services in the parish.

In all my talks to different Churches and organisations I am endeavouring to make people think of the work not as ‘The Native Problem’ but ‘The Coloured People and their problems’.  I am quite convinced that we must convince the white population that the mixed-blood fringe-dwellers are a PEOPLE and not a PROBLEM.  In fact, until we do, we shall continue to meet indifference and prejudice even among good Church-people.

 

The Reverend C. Hodgson’s Scheme for s. Michael’s Farm Training School, Newdegate.

  • – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
  1. Hodgson has bought about 4,000 acres of land 12 miles-North-east of Newdegate and cleared it all. He has planted wheat on 1,000 acres and expects to plant 2,500 next year.
  2. He wants to take in 4 boys and 2 girls in February 1966. The boys will assist on the farm and stay tow or three years for training.  They will have three or four hours a week study with films and other helps for learning.  The girls will assist Mrs. Hodgson with the housework and be taught all the requirements of a competent housewife.
  3. In July 1966 Mr. Hodgson expects to start clearing another block of 2,000 acres, and to clear a similar block for the next two or three years. These blocks will be the farms onto which the boys will move to work for themselves, when trained.  It is not anticipated that they will be able to do this for ten years.
  4. The ultimate objective is to have seven or eight farms worked on a co-operative basis, using the machinery from the home farm as a community, with the boys leasing the farms from the Church.

 

 

This document is from the personal papers of Mary Elliott – the language is that of the author

Stephen Hall
Stephen Hall
Lives in Perth, Western Australia.

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