Pioneers earned their honours

Standing (from left): Ivan Franulovich, Dorothy Franulovich, Gail Susac, Mayor Tracey Roberts, Janice Sinagra, Joe Rocca, Peta Boltz (attended on behalf of Mary Schivardi), Chris Trajanovich and Nino Stazzonelli.Seated (from left): Rose Marinovich, Joe Marinovich, Les Turner and Teresa Stazzonelli.
Standing (from left): Ivan Franulovich, Dorothy Franulovich, Gail Susac, Mayor Tracey Roberts, Janice Sinagra, Joe Rocca, Peta Boltz (attended on behalf of Mary Schivardi), Chris Trajanovich and Nino Stazzonelli.Seated (from left): Rose Marinovich, Joe Marinovich, Les Turner and Teresa Stazzonelli.

A DOZEN people were part of the second-last cohort to be added to the Wanneroo Pioneers honour roll last week.

The City of Wanneroo named 12 residents at its annual Pioneers luncheon on July 23, including three couples – Dorothy and Ivan Franulovich, Rose and Joe Marinovich, and Teresa and Nino Stazzonelli.

Individual pioneers Giuseppe Rocca, Janice Sinagra, Mary Schivardi, Gail Susac, Chris Trajanovich and Leslie Turner were also recognised for their contribution to the community over the past 50 years.

Each received commemorative plaques and badges as they joined a list of more than 200 current Pioneers, and were the second last-group to receive the title.

In 2013, the council decided it would stop recognising new people as pioneers for 50-year contributions to the City after 2016.

DOROTHY AND IVAN FRANULOVICH

Married for 53 years, Dorothy and Ivan Franulovich had four children – David, Davinna, Perry and Kevin – and four grandchildren.

Their first son, David, died crossing Wanneroo Road aged seven when a car struck him in 1972.

Mrs Franulovich lived in Wanneroo from shortly after her birth in 1937 with her parents who were woodcutters and vegetable growers.

Her grandfather was Petar Parin, an early winemaker in Wanneroo, and Mr Franulovich recalls his stories about being one of the first settlers.

Mr Franulovich was born in Blato, Yugoslavia (now Croatia) in 1936, and in 1966, his family bought a market garden in Lancaster Road to grow lettuce, tomatoes and carrots.

His memories of his early years in Wanneroo include clearing their land in Wangara to plant vegetable crops.

At night, to protect their crops, they would scare away kangaroos and wild brumbies with saucepan lids, because they could not afford a gun, according to Mrs Franulovich.

To keep them close, she put her children in lettuce crates that were pulled around the market garden as she worked from before sunrise to 9pm or 10pm in summer.

Mrs Franulovich remains active, cycling to Kingsway and swimming at Aquamotion three times a week.

She retired in 1998 and enjoys fishing and spending time at Lake Goollelal.

ROSE AND JOE MARINOVICH

Rose Octavia Lizatovich was born in 1939 in Osborne Park, where she later met Joe Marinovich and they married in 1958.

They started a market garden there before moving the business to Wanneroo and the pair joined the Wanneroo Country Club.

The couple had a son Malcolm, who died suddenly in 1990 aged 30, and another child, Rhonda, and now have a granddaughter, Emma (4).

Mrs Marinovich remembers always having a home full of neighbourhood children, who would come to ride go-karts built by her husband.

She said raising children in Wanneroo was “no hassle” and the families around them were more like friends than neighbours.

Mrs Marinovich became a member of the Wanneroo Agricultural Society (WAS) in 1969 and joined the committee in 1975, serving 25 years.

She was involved in its Miss Wanneroo Showgirl Quest, which her daughter won in 1986, as well as the animal nursery farm and as a steward in exhibition pavilion.

She also volunteered with the Wanneroo St John Ambulance division for about seven years.

Aged four, Mr Marinovich arrived in Western Australia with his mother in 1937, a year

after his father moved from Croatia.

After he and his wife moved to Wanneroo, he was an assistant coach and goal umpire for Wanneroo Football Club and became a keen bowler throughthe Wanneroo Country Club.

Mr Marinovich served on the WAS committee from 1969 to 2004 and 2006 to 2014, until he had a stroke and his wife stepped into his place on the committee.

He oversaw the introduction of the Friday night show in addition to the Saturday show and said from then on it had continued to get “bigger and brighter every year”.

He served on all sub-committees from finance, entertainment, grounds, did a six-year term as president and was made a life member in 1979.

As well as running a market garden and raising two children, Mr Marinovich joined the Wanneroo St John Ambulance Division from 1969 to 1980.

In 1988, he was the City of Wanneroo Citizen of the Year and later won the Senior Citizen of the Year awards.

GIUSEPPE ROCCA

Rocca Way was named after Guiseppe, or Joe, Rocca’s father Ernesto, another Wanneroo pioneer who left Italy in 1928, followed by his wife Luigia in 1933.

They moved into a small stone cottage on Caporn Street, now known as Berriman House and raised six children – Rosa, Fiorina, Maria, Joe, Domenico and Tina.

His father was ill, so Joe, as the eldest son, got his licence the day before he turned 14 so he could to take goods to market.

He would leave home at 5.30am in the morning, take the vegetables to the market, then drive to North Perth Hotel to park the truck and catch the tram to Perth for school.

He bought a block of land in Mullaloo and married Pam in St Anthony’s Church.

In 1968 they bought his father’s property and in 1971 transported a house to it where they still live.

One of Mr Rocca’s earliest memories of the Wanneroo area was when he was four or five and soldiers would tie up their horses at the big tree out the front of their house.

The couple had four boys, who attended St Anthony’s School, 14 grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.

In 2007 Mr Rocca had open heart surgery to insert a heart pump and he is now the longest surviving person in the world with a left ventricular assisted device.

JANICE ELMA SINAGRA

Born in Leederville in 1942 to Arthur and Elma Bell, Janice was one of four children.

After marrying Bert (Benito) Sinagra, she moved in with her in-laws on Pinjar Road in 1965.

The couple later lived in several houses of their own including on Shaw Road, Wanneroo and Sydney Road, Gnangara.

Since her husband died in 1989, Mrs Sinagra has continued to call the area home and currently lives in Gnangara.

She has memories of the St Anthony’s Day and Procession, where parishioners and visitors, marched down part of the Wanneroo township road, with police closing the road to traffic.

She also enjoyed the Debutante Ball, with her youngest daughter Leesa one of the many young girls to make their debut into society.

Mrs Sinagra has also been involved in the Wanneroo Show.

TERESA AND NINO STAZZONELLI

Teresa and Nino Stazzonelli have four daughters, eight grandchildren and have spent 50 years in the City of Wanneroo.

Mrs Stazzonelli’s family had half an acre of land at 265 Wanneroo Road where they worked the land growing vegetables, which they often exhibited at the Wanneroo Show.

When they first moved to Wanneroo in 1965, Mrs Stazzonelli thought it was “so far away” from anything else and theirs was the only house visible for “miles”.

In the early days there were no neighbours, but, that that changed with time and a nursery and chicken farm were set up nearby.

Mr Stazzonelli said people were more “honest” then and they never had to lock the house, shed or cars, and he remembered people stopping in to ask for water, petrol or to use the phone at night.

Mrs Stazzonelli remembers the school bus picking up her four daughters from the front of their house.

The family had a 23-year association with St Anthony’s School, due to the age gap between their oldest and youngest daughters.

They have lived in the same house in Wanneroo for 49 years.

MARY SCHIVARDI

Born in 1926, Mary Schivardi was one of 10 children and she and her sisters Ida and Tina were WA’s first triplets.

They and their mother were invited as special guests to the opening of a section of Wanneroo Road a year later.

Wanneroo has been Mrs Schivardi’s home since 1963 and her market gardening parents toiled on the land to provide for their family.

She said the times before electricity came to homes in 1954 were tough as the family had to rely on diesel and petrol generators and worked long days.

She trained as a nurse’s aide and recalls busy times spent learning on the job at the Narrogin Hospital.

The mother-of-two’s memories include taking her children to Wanneroo Show, the annual St Anthony’s Feast Day celebrations and picnics at Yanchep National Park with family and friends.

Her husband Ettore died last year and these days, aged almost 90, Mrs Schivardi’s parish priest visits her at home.

GAIL LYNETTE SUSAC

Born Gail Lynette Murray to parents Robert and Daisy in 1942, Lynette moved to Wanneroo in 1965 after marrying Andrija Susac, who was born in 1939 and always lived in the area.

They settled on Carabooda Road before then moving to the corner of Dundebar and Wanneroo roads, and she now lives in Manbari Crescent.

The couple had two children, Narelle and Robert, and Mrs Susac was the post mistress at Wanneroo from 1966 to 1979.

She has been actively involved in the local community and has memories of training debutants for St Anthony’s School and starting the Joondalup Kindergarten.

A life member of the Wanneroo Sports and Social Club, Mrs Susac also served on judging panels for the Wanneroo Show.

CHRIS TRAJANOVICH

The grounding of the Alkimos stands out in the memory of Chris Trajanovich (70), who was 18 in 1963.

Mr Trajanovich said not much happened in those days, so he, his brother and friends drove tractors through the bush to reach the Alkimos, which was starting to break up in the pounding waves.

Mr Trajanovich’s parents lived in Wanneroo from 1937 and grew vegetables.

In high school, he did his homework under the glow of a kerosene lamp until electricity arrived.

His assigned chore was to turn off the diesel pump used to irrigate his parents’ market garden daily at 7pm.

Electricity’s arrival in the region in 1954 meant they were no longer allowed to use diesel power generators and that ended the night-time chores.

Having lived in the City all his life, Mr Trajanovich later found work away from the land as a computer consultant.

Married with three children and one grandchild, he builds hobby machinery using ‘computer numeric control’, including a remote control helicopter.

LESLIE WILLIAM TURNER.

Born on August 1, 1927, Les Turner grew up in Yalgoo and met Eileen Cockman (daughter of Pioneers Cecil and Dolly Cockman) in 1950.

They married in 1952 and moved to Mullaloo Beach Road (now Ocean Reef Road) in 1961 to start a poultry farm.

During the next 21 years in Wanneroo he was an inaugural member of the Wanneroo Country Club (now Wanneroo Sports and Social Club) and the Wanneroo Lions Club.

As president for one year, he helped form several other Lions clubs from Bullsbrook, Gingin and Two Rocks to Whitfords, and the couple hosted many fundraising events at home for the Lions Save Sight Foundation.

They had two children, Ilene and David and after their arrival, Mr Turner joined the Wanneroo Volunteer St John Ambulance Brigade, initially to get his first aid certificate.

He developed a passion for the service and was always available to drive or be an attendant in the ambulance, promoted to the rank of divisional officer over the next 10 years.

He has been a financial member of the WAS since 1963, joined the Wanneroo and Districts Historical Society in 1994 and has lived at Lake Joondalup Lifestyle Village in Ashby since 2001.