South Perth Stories: residents recall tales of living in area


James Harwood, Farah Kabbani, Anne Pickett, City of South Perth Mayor Sue Doherty and Greg Benjamin. Picture: Matt Jelonek
James Harwood, Farah Kabbani, Anne Pickett, City of South Perth Mayor Sue Doherty and Greg Benjamin. Picture: Matt Jelonek

ANNE Pickett remembers children from along her street asking to borrow keys from her father during her childhood in the 1940s.

“There were six houses along Waverley Street that all had the same front door key and so people used to appear out our house asking to borrow keys,” she said.

“They were all California bungalows built in a similar way.”

The South Perth resident’s story is one of a number that has been captured through South Perth Stories, a City of South Perth initiative.

The website includes a collection of interviews from residents and visitors of the past and present.

South Perth resident Greg Benjamin contributed a number of stories, including a light-hearted encounter with children on Norfolk Street in the past year.

“I arrived home one evening to find a dozen children playing cricket on the road, they had painted a pitch on the road,” he said.

“One of the funniest things was a girl wearing a light on her head to illuminate the cricket pitch.

“Someone had reported them and the council painted over the lines but it reminded me of the community spirit and vitality of people in the neighbourhood.”

The story that South Perth resident James Harwood’s starts in the 1940s when his brother gave him a small pistol.

“He asked me not to show it to my father because he was a disciplinarian and so I kept it in my pocket like Hopalong Cassidy,” he said.

“I went to my cousin Mike’s house in Subiaco and his older brother Jerry got some bullets and we tried to shoot them.

“I remember Jerry putting it to Mike’s head and then he put in the air and it went off, I was deeply shocked.

“When I got home in South Perth, I put the gun in a box and buried it in backyard and only three years ago I found it and dug it up.”

The website can be visited at stories.southperth.wa.gov.au.