Toodyay Historical Society


Please feel free to download and read our DUIDGEEANA newsletter. Some earlier issues will be progressively uploaded. Current issues are sent to THS members and after an interval they will also be added here. 

Thank you and enjoy.

 Duidgeeana No38 Autumn 2015

Feature article: Why does Toodyay’s War Memorial resemble an Egyptian Obelisk? - Dr Robyn Taylor.

                          The Toodyay Park, or, Anyone for tennis? – Beth Frayne.


 Duidgeeana No39 Winter 2015

Feature article: New stories about the Old Gaol, by Beth Frayne


 Duidgeeana No40 Spring 2015

Feature article: 150th Anniversary of the Old Gaol: the Toodyay Lockup, by Dr Robyn Taylor


 Duidgeeana No41 Summer 2015

Feature article: Camels at Culham revisited: the Ernest Giles visit, by Greg Warburton


 Duidgeeana No42 Autumn 2016  

Feature article:The history of the Land Conservation District Committee (1989-2015), by Wayne Clarke


 Duidgeeana No43 Winter 2016  

Feature article: Searching for Moondyne, by Milton A. Baxter 





Coming Events


Special Event: 
Edison Phonograph

Toodyay Public Library
3 Sept 10am-12.00 noon
RSVP Library 
Ph 95742323 (limited places)

FREE talk by Richard Rennie on Professor Archibald's  demonstration of the Edison Phonograph in the Newcastle Mechanics' Institute on Sept 3 1891.  Demonstration of a reconstructed Edison Phonograph.


The Great Ride 

A presentation by Carmel Charlton on a World War I trek involving the 10th Light Horse

Saturday 8th Sept. 3-5pm

Special event in Toodyay Memorial Hall, sponsored by Toodyay Historical Society & Toodyay RSL. Cost: Adults $5.00, children free. Tickets available at door. 

For more information scroll down Home Page 


Fri 7-Sun 9 September: Conference of Affiliated Societies of the Royal WA Historical Society at Cervantes. Several THS members will be attending.


Wed 19 September, 7 pm:

THS Meeting, Drummond House. 



THS Snapshots 
Butterly Cottages Association History
Dr Robyn Taylor presented a fascinating talk at the June THS meeting on the funding, building and ongoing history of the Butterly Cottages for local retirees in Toodyay. Very few Australian towns can boast such accommodation run by an independent volunteer body. The Committee's fundraising and organisational success over the years has been phenomenal.
Lost Images of Toodyay Rediscovered
At the movie afternoon in June, an enthusiastic crowd thoroughly enjoyed the introductory feature, a short film from the Eastern Goldfields Historical Society. It told the fascinating story of the completion of the Trans Australian railway, with many wonderful images.  
The main feature was a film made by Rick Mason, who was involved in the exciting rescue and identification of a wonderful recently-discovered collection of Toodyay-related glass negatives in the collection of Robert Faust, who was manager of the Toodyay CLub 1911-1931. Members were able to view a display of copies of some of the prints from these negatives during afternoon tea.

Nursing at Toodyay

The July meeting was enlivened by a real treat: Desrae Clarke's Oral History interview with former Toodyay nurse, Agnes Cook. Agnes described with great good humour the very basic living and nursing conditions which existed at Toodyay Hospital in earlier years, around the 1930s-1940s.

Historic York

A very cheery group of members enjoyed the recent Historical Society visit to York, which included a fascinating tour of the Residency Museum. After a picnic lunch in the museum grounds we explored the wonderful new ANZAC display in the York Town Hall. 

Moondyne Festival

This year's Moondyne Festival in Tooday was a great success, in spite of the changeable weather. Our Historical Society stall was popular. Visitors enjoyed studying our display on Moondyne Joe. Others were keen to make  inquiries about their own Toodyay ancestors.  

E.L. Mitchell: the photographer who shaped Australia

Joanna Sassoon, special guest at our AGM in April, gave a fascinating talk on her recent book about E.L.Mitchell, the boy from Yorkshire who became a commercial photographer, much in demand. 
Mitchell moved to W.A. in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. His work was often published in Western Mail features and the Battye Library holds large numbers of his works, which have tremendous value now for historians.
He was a superb photographer. Toodyay Historical Society has obtained copies of 19 wonderful images of Toodyay and surrounds, c.1920, believed to be the work of Mitchell.
 Jenny Edgecombe showed copies of these Toodyay images at the April general meeting. These included iconic local buildings such as  Masonic Lodge, Gaol and St Stephen's,St Philip's Church and rare shots of what were probably Yock Lunn's orchard and  Coondle School.







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