Project Description

Felix Richard AVERY (known as Dick) was a third generation Australia born in 1917 in Busselton and was the sixth of nine children. His father was born in South Australia in 1874 and, in the early 1900s, came to Western Australia to work with his cousin who was a contractor on the Goldfields Water Pipe Line. He later farmed in the Nannup area managing various farms.

In 1905 he married Comfort Blythe, born in 1883 in Balingup, who was the Post Mistress in Nannup. Dick and his sister, Florence, attended Wonnerup School. They only stayed in Wonnerup for about eight months then returned to Yunderup where his father died shortly thereafter.

Dick started working on the family farm at the age of 12 years. He talks about work in the dairy and how it was carried out. In 1939 he was rejected by the Australian Imperial Services but was called up to the Military Services in the AIF in 1941. He served in Borneo and leased the farm to his brother during WWII.

Dick talks about the Group Settlers and how the land was cleared. His father was a foreman during the building of their houses. Dick describes the new settlers – the English, Scottish and Irish – and how willing they were and how hard they worked.

Dick’s father was secretary of the Progress Association and heavily involved in the building of the Yunderup hall. In 1945, after the war, Dick went farming in Yoongarillup, living with his mother. In July 1946 he moved to his own farm and ran heifers then started a dairy.

In 1950 he bought a milking machine. In 1951 he had 50 acres bulldozed and shifted the house closer to the dairy. In 1931 Captain Snook brought a plane to the district and Dick took a pleasure flights.

He talks about enjoying flying and taking two more flights over Busselton in 1964 and 1984, each time marvelling at the Busselton Jetty as a landmark and changes to the town – particularly to the light industrial area.