Our history is being destroyed

WIPED from Armadale’s history is another historical home, the 1926 brick-and-tile home built by Gordon and Ellie Devereux, hardworking pioneers of Armadale from 1920 to the ’80s, even though the recommendation ‘retention of building highly desirable’, because of its 1920s architecture, was given in a draft report regarding a proposed heritage precinct in the old central part of Armadale in the year 2000.

This report was commissioned by the City of Armadale.

Gordon Devereux worked tirelessly for his community for more than 50 years, to help forge the little town, in almost every organisation from the Armadale RSL from 1921, the Co-operative Society Committee, as chairman of the Unemployed Relief Fund during the Depression, raising funds so that children had clothes and shoes when their fathers were out of work, soccer club president and player in the 1920s, foundation member of the bowling club, president of the fundraising committee to purchase Sister Whitehead’s Cottage Hospital for the community in 1946, as well as a member of its management board.

He was also involved in initial negotiations to buy the land for the present-day Armadale-Kelmscott District Memorial Hospital, and during 1926 and 1927, he was Armadale’s ‘Picture Show Man’ when he ran the silent pictures in Armadale in the old Mechanics Institute Hall before its demolition, with wife Ellie and other local ladies playing the piano during the films.

The Devereux home at 34 Church Avenue, on the corner of Third Road, had been on Armadale’s Municipal Heritage Review list since 2008.

The bricks were made by the old Armadale brickworks and is believed to have had the first tiled roof in town.

However, the property has now been bulldozed by the current owner, devastating the Devereux descendants and other Armadale people who pushed for its preservation. The block now stands vacant.

How much longer will Armadale council stand by and watch its history being demolished?

I don’t believe their ‘hands are tied’.

The council now deserves the ugly concrete jungle they have created, having destroyed so many of Armadale’s historical buildings to create their ‘urban bustling city’.

Being progressive and forward-thinking doesn’t mean the irreplaceable true historical precinct of the town had to be destroyed in the process.

There are ways of preserving the old, along with the new.

JEN KRAMER,

Granddaughter of Gordon and Ellie Devereux