THE designs they are a changin’ at the Town of Bassendean.
If the answer is blowin’ in the wind, then the answer is not the emblem on Bassendean’s current flag, councillors have decided.
The council voted unanimously at its latest meeting for a new Town flag, with the Town’s logo to replace the historical Broun (pronounced ‘Brown’) family crest.
Councillor Jai Wilson put forward the motion for the change, saying “I don’t know that the Broun family crest speaks to who our Town is today”.
The crest relates to one of Bassendean’s early British colonists Peter Broun, who was the first Colonial Secretary in the 1820s and a member of the first Parliament of Western Australia.
The Town is named after the Broun family’s ancestral estate Bassendean on the border of Scotland.
In his notice of motion, Cr Wilson said a local history book cited Broun as having been involved in murder reprisals of Noongar people in retaliation of them stealing food.
“It seems peculiar the Town of Bassendean… should be represented by the family crest of this one-time and brief resident,” he said.
“The Town of Bassendean logo, in contrast… speaks to who we are today.”
The officer’s comment in the council agenda said there was no known evidence to support the claim about murder reprisals.
“Peter Broun was Bassendean’s most distinguished local resident because of the prestigious nature of his office, as colonial secretary, and the length of his service,” it said.
In supporting the change of flag, Cr Sarah Quinton said “holding on to a tradition of a man’s family that created such division and angst is not something we need to hold on to anymore”.
Cr John Gangell initially disagreed with the motion on the basis there had been no community consultation, but ultimately voted for the change.
Responding to Cr Gangell’s initial dispute, Cr Melissa Mykychuk said, while she was in favour of consultation, the council was elected because people believed they had a “sound decision making process”.
“This is really a time where it’s time to honour that,” she said.