Dowling family reunite at Peninsula Farm

The Dowling family. Picture: Kristie Lim
The Dowling family. Picture: Kristie Lim

FOUR generations of the Dowling family revisited their memories of Peninsula Farm in Maylands at a special reunion.

Grandfather Edmund ‘Ted’ Dowling joined his granddaughters, great-grandson and their partners for an afternoon tea on November 7.

Greg Hardey, the descendant of Joseph Hardey who built the Tranby House at the farm in 1839, and representatives from The National Trust of Western Australia were also present.

Mr Dowling and his late wife Betty moved to the Peninsula Tearooms from France in 1988 and were the last caretakers before the tearooms became a café called Peninsula Tea Gardens.

The Peninsula Tea Gardens in Maylands. Picture: Kristie Lim

They ran events, weddings and theatre productions at Tranby House and managed farmhouse visits and a gift shop with the help of their grandchildren.

Mrs Dowling’s ashes were scattered in the Cottage Garden, where her dog Dolly was buried.

Mr Dowling, of Yanchep, said it was lovely to have his family flying back from all over the world for the reunion.

“The family keeps me alive,” he said.

Edmund Dowling with his family outside Peninsula Farm. Picture: Kristie Lim

He described living in the tearooms as simply “magical”.

“It had a theatrical and historical appeal…it was the atmosphere I lived in all my life,” he said.

“We hadn’t been to Australia before so this was an exciting period of our lives.”

The Dowling family with Greg Hardey and National Trust of Western Australia representatives. Picture: Kristie Lim.

Granddaughter Fiona Dowling said the grandchildren used to help with catering for events and have dinner in the tearooms.

Fellow granddaughter Honor Dowling said it had been many years since the family had been together at one time.

Peninsula Farm is open to the public from Friday to Sunday, 12.30pm to 4pm while the Peninsula Tea Gardens is open daily from 8am to 5pm.

For information, call the National Trust of WA on 9272 2630 or the café on 9272 8894.

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