Royal visits to Western Australia

1954 Royal Ball program

The British Royal family have been in the media recently due to the marriage of Prince William to Kate Middleton. Previous generations of the Royal family have made several visits to Western Australia over the years. The State Library of W.A. has a collection of programs, tickets, passes and itineraries in its ephemera collection produced for these visits.

The earliest item relates to a visit by the Duke of Edinburgh in 1869.

In 1954 a Royal Ball was held at the University of W.A. in honour of H.R.H. Queen Elizabeth ll as part of her Australian tour. She returned in 1962 to open the British Empire and Commonwealth Games in Perth.

Perhaps in the future Prince William and his new wife will visit W.A.

Western Australian company labels

Swan Brewery Company Ltd


The State Library of W.A. has digitised a lovely set of old food and drink labels from Western Australian companies.

You can look at them online if you search the library catalogue under the subject heading Labels — Western Australia.

There are bottle labels from the Swan Brewery, D. & J. Fowler Ltd, E.B. (Bert) Elliott’s  pharmacy in Kalgoorlie, Golden Mile Aerated Water Company,  Felton Grimwade & Bickford drink and vinegar labels and many more.

Happy fossicking!

East Perth Cemeteries

Cherie Strickland and Lorraine Clarke with the help of funding from the Friends of Battye Library Inc. are collating a database of numerous datasets and will carry out further research into other documents and family histories to enable the most comprehensive biographical database on the inhabitants of Cemetery Hill, Perth.
In partnership with the National Trust (WA), the Friends of Battye Library aim to make this research available freely online. This database would be fully sourced and would acknowledge all previous researchers who contributed to the end result.
The site for a burial ground was surveyed at East Perth in late 1829, and the first acknowledged burial was John Mitchell on 6 January 1830. The cemeteries within the grounds continued to be the main burial ground for the Perth area until April 1899 when burials commenced at Karrakatta Cemetery.
The East Perth Cemeteries burial ground were closed for new burials in 1899, except for those in vaults or with the approval of the Governor. Burials at East Perth continued until 1916 when this practiced was ceased with a handful of exceptions.
It is widely acknowledged that there are over 10,000 burials within the grounds of the East Perth Cemeteries; approximately 3500 of these burials are recorded. There was no burial register kept by either the Church Wardens or the caretakers of the Cemeteries. This led to researchers have spending many hours compiling various histories and datasets on the East Perth Cemeteries and these have been produced in various formats.
We would like to thank National Trust, Royal West Australian Historical Society, West Australian Genealogical Society, Graham Bown, Ron Bodycoat, Father Edward Doncaster, Gillian O’Mara and Anglican Archives for their support in this endeavour.
Cherie and Lorraine are keen to hear from members who may have ancestors buried in the East Perth Cemeteries; if you have a photo of a headstone or any other document that places you family at East Perth, please contact them at or 93438838.



Perth Entertainment Centre

Youth procession for WA's 150th celebrations

Perth Entertainment Centre, 1979

The Perth Entertainment Centre located in Wellington Street Perth opened in 1974. It has been host to many international and local entertainment events, including Bob Dylan, Bon Jovi, AC/DC, Abba and the Miss Universe contest in 1979. There was also a cinema on the ground floor.

Closed since 2002, Perth’s iconic venue is soon to be demolished in 2011 to enable the rail system to be lowered underground.

The State Library of Western Australia has photographs of construction and exterior of the building and interior seating in its Pictorial Collection.  You can search the SLWA  catalogue and click on the results.

The Library also has aerial photographs, some theatre programs (see PR8492) and a few theatre tickets (see PR8499/TIC) available to view in the Library.

Do you have any memories or memorabilia from the Perth Entertainment Centre you’d like to share?

Heritage Perth Heritage Days 13 – 14 November 2010


Palace Hotel, Perth, c1989 by Richard Woldendorp

In 2010, Heritage Perth Heritage Days will be held on Saturday 13 and Sunday 14 November.

An exciting program of activities is planned, which aims to make the weekend Perth’s biggest ever heritage event that will showcase the City’s history going back many thousands of years.

The expanded 2010 program will include numerous exciting new venues including; Council House, the Perth Mint, West Australian Club, the Supreme Court, Government House and the Royal Perth Hospital Museum (source: Perth Heritage website, 2010).

Visit the Heritage Perth website.

Photograph of the Palace Hotel by Richard Woldendorp, available in the State Library of Western Australia pictorial collection

Yagan Memorial Park

Note: This entry contains images/names of deceased people that may cause distress to some readers.

A memorial to Aboriginal leader Yagan was officially opened on Saturday 10 July 2010 beside the Swan River at Upper Swan.

Yagan lived in the Swan Valley when Governor Stirling established the Swan River Colony in 1829. In the early days of the settlement Yagan was friendly with the settlers. Unfortunately misunderstandings arose between the settlers and Nyoongah people, leading to the eventual murder of Yagan on 11 July 1833.

The head of Yagan was removed and placed in the wedge of a smoking tree to preserve it. The head was later sent to England and eventually buried in a cemetery in Liverpool. The Nyoongah community successfully returned Yagan’s head, or kaat, to Western Australia in 1997 but the location of his body is unknown.

Following a private traditional Nyoongah burial ceremony, Premier Colin Barnett dedicated the park as a memorial to Yagan. The reburial date was chosen as it was the anniversary of Yagan’s death and coincided with the end of NAIDOC Week.

Further information about Yagan can be found in the State Library of Western Australia (visit the online catalogue) and Department of Aborignal Affairs website.

Ambassadors Theatre display at Museum of Performing Arts

The Ambassadors Theatre opened in 1928 and could seat 2000 patrons under its dome painted with stars and had projected moving clouds. Entertainers performed on stage to the music of a Wurlitzer organ with glamorous costumes. It closed in 1972 and the building was demolished as film and television replaced live entertainment.



The Museum of Performing Arts (MOPA) has an amazing collection of theatre programs, costumes, photographs, press clippings, scripts, scores and other historic pieces.

The current display has 200 photographs, posters, programmes and recordings from the Ambassadors Theatre and is well worth a look for a gold coin donation.

MOPA is situated downstairs  in His Majesty’s Theatre, Hay Street Perth. The display is open Monday – Friday 10am-4pm, until 31 August 2010.

The State Library of Western Australia also has a range of photographs of the Ambassadors Theatre in it’s online catalogue.

Can you help identify this church?


The State Library of W.A. has photographs of the interior of a church but the location of the church in Western Australia is not known. We have 4 glass negatives taken by commercial photographer Illustrations Limited, about 1929-1930. The church has brick walls and a sloping roof, with beautiful timber features in the interior.

Please post a  reply to this blog message if you know where this church is located. The catalogue record is in the SLWA catalogue.

Side wing of church [013574PD

Moon landing July 1969

In July the world remembers the 40th anniversary of the landing of astronauts on the moon.

In 1969 crowds gathered in Perth, Western Australia to watch the epic event on portable televisions in the foyer of the R & I Bank.

The State Library of W.A. online catalogue, image 346415PD