Mystery telegrams found in Bassendean trigger hunt

Clare Dibona and her husband
Clare Dibona and her husband

A YOUNG couple have moved into a new home in Bassendean and been greeted with a number of telegrams dated 1948.

The telegrams were found nestled under trees and blowing around the veranda on West Road in October 2014.

“Congratulations on your upcoming wedding” was the message repeated from numerous guests.

“My partner and I are to be married in November, so imagine our surprise to be welcomed with these messages from the past,” Clare Dibona said when she moved in to her new house.

The telegrams were accepting an invitation to the wedding of Nancy Devenish and Arthur Krauth, who were to be wed at Saint Mary’s College, West Perth in 1948.

The telegrams became dislodged from their special hiding place on the building inspection.

Ms Dibona said she tried to find Miss Devenish but had no luck until later seeing her surname written on a building in Guildford; S.B. Devenish and Sons, now renamed The Lounge Room.

“I decided to give the telegrams to the café owner, Tony Valentino, to display,” she said.

Ms Dibona said she still wanted to meet Miss Devenish and broadened her google search.

“Sure enough I found a recent article on Miss Devenish (now Mrs Krauth) participating in an art class.

“Her residence was kind enough to pass on my details and through the assistance of her daughter Rosemary we met in The Lounge Room café, along with my soon to be mother-in-law Gail Cameron,’’ she said.

Mrs Krauth was living in a retirement village in Mundaring.

“Prior to our meeting I decided to research the Devenish family via the Local Studies Librarians in Bassendean and Midland.

“The local librarians Jude Carr from Midland library and Janet Megarrity from Bassendean library were more than happy to help and we excitedly found articles relating to the wedding.

“The bride looked really lovely in a beautiful and very unusual gown of deep magnolia embossed satin. The long sleeved bodice was swathed with matching magnolia slipper satin which was caught in three beautiful cowl folds,” The Swan Express reported on August 5, 1948.

Ms Dibona said she was to learn from Nancy and Rosemary that the Devenish family had a strong historical connection to Guildford, with their ancestors settling into the area in the 1800s.

“We gave Mrs Krauth back the telegrams and we talked of her amazing wedding gown and my house which she lived in from 1973-2009.

“I loved hearing her stories including that she was once the proprietor of her grandfather’s real estate company and I received some practical gardening advice regarding the asparagus and lemon tree growing in the back garden,” Ms Dibona said.

Ms Dibona said the whole experience had been delightful.

“I encourage others who find historic treasures to give them back to the family or make a donation to a relevant organisation,” she said.