Piano tells Armadale family’s history


Maureen Skeet, Robert Skeet and Margaret Shoosmith posing with the piano.
Picture: Matt Jelonek www.communitypix.com.au   d475160
Maureen Skeet, Robert Skeet and Margaret Shoosmith posing with the piano. Picture: Matt Jelonek www.communitypix.com.au d475160

AN ICON of Armadale is set to entertain local audiences once more.

The Dumsday family piano has been playing to residents for over 100 years, and will turn out tunes at History House Museum on Orchard Avenue on Tuesday, October 31.

Robert Skeet’s grandmother Lillian was part of the Dumsday family who brought the piano over to Perth from Melbourne in the late 1800s.

“It was in the family house that they built in Forrest Road in Forrestdale,” Mr Skeet said.

“It was used for Christmas functions and parties, and transported by horse and dray down to the lake.”

It was a fortuitous move for the Dumsdays, with Lillian soon to meet Mr Skeet’s grandfather.

“My grandfather came out from England when he was 13 in 1876. He and his brother settled on a block near the lake in Forrestdale. They lived in a bark hut.

“Lillian Dumsday, who became Lillian Skeet, moved in with her parents at the property across the road.”

The pair married and lived on their farm in the area until 1943.

Mr Skeet said there’s quite a few Skeet family items around in Armadale, from the piano donated to History House, to the 1900s christening set and trunks, and diaries held at Birtwistle Local Studies Library.

Mr Skeet said the area means a lot to him and his family.

“It’s not until you retire that you really get the worth of your family history,” he said.

“I was brought up out here, and lived here for the first 10 years of my life. The Skeet family and my mum’s family both lived in Armadale.”

Tunes from the Dumsdays’ own collection of sheet music will be played, along with other classical and popular tunes at the free Positive Ageing Seniors Festival event.

However, donations will be accepted.

For more information, call the City of Armadale on 9394 5000.

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