Attracted to Kalamunda by the “traditional village atmosphere”, retired teachers Max and
Norma Walsh were stalwarts of the community for hundreds of local families.
Mr Walsh taught metalwork and woodwork at Kalamunda Senior High School and Mrs Walsh guided generations of Year 1 students at Kalamunda Primary School.
The brick-and-tile five-bedroom, two-bathroom home on Central Road in Kalamunda has seen generations of Walsh children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren run through the block. The kids have also swum in the backyard pool and climbed the old oak tree in the 1821.5sq m block.
MAX and Norma were teachers at their respective schools for a combined 43 years and have taught many students in the classroom and on weekends for sport.
The couple embraced sport for children, believing it added to their ability to learn and become well-rounded adults in later life.
They had four children of their own and were instrumental in getting the Kalamunda Swimming Pool built for the local community over 50 years ago.
“We just loved sport and Max believed it was so important for children so he did a lot for the teams and the kids and we had this pool installed in the back yard so we could teach generations of kids to swim,” Mrs Walsh said.
When the Walsh family moved into the original home it had two bedrooms and was on a dirt track.
Many roads in the Shire were not bituminised in the 1950s.
The family were also involved in the establishment of the Bibbulmun Track and enjoyed walking to Albany and the Leeuwin to Naturaliste track and Cape to Cape.
Shire President Andrew Waddell said the pair had made a huge contribution to make Kalamunda what it is today.
“Generations of children have benefited from their hard work and we wish them all the best with the move,” Cr Waddell said.
“They have contributed to making it a wonderful home for many generations of children.
“We hope they continue to have many more happy and fulfilled years within its borders.”
Mrs Walsh (87) was baking biscuits in the kitchen when we arrived to interview her for the story.
Apart from a few years in Katanning, she has lived all her life in Kalamunda and was born there.
“We have so many happy memories in this home and in the streets here,” she said.
Eldest child Peta Crane said her parents’ home was always busy.
“The phone is always ringing and there are always people calling in. Mum doesn’t stop and she is so amazing for her age,” Mrs Crane (62) said.
Real estate agent Mark Robinson said the property was zoned R20 with mixed use but the shire had a proposed amendment 82 for rezoning mixed use which meant it could be redeveloped with units or subdivided and sold as blocks.
Mrs Walsh said she intended to downsize and stay in the area.
“Kalamunda is in my heart and it is my home, I can’t leave here,” she said.
The house is going to auction at 11am on March 12 and opened for inspection on Saturday for the first time.