Project Description

William Henry Curtis was interviewed and recorded by his son Glindon Curtis in 1955 when William, or Bill as he was known, was 78.

Bill was born at Cape Farm, Cape Naturaliste to William Glindon and Mary Jane Curtis (nee Dawson) in 1877, the third of eleven children. The Curtis family also owned and farmed Inlet Park at Wonnerup and the family moved between the two properties.

The interviews were recorded many years ago and there is quite a lot of noise interference. As much of this interference as possible has been removed, but it is impossible to remove it all without losing some of the stories which are of great interest and have historical value.

Bill was a co-discover of the Yallingup Caves, now known as Ngigli, along with his cousin Fred Seymour and Uncle, Ned Dawson, in 1899. Bill tells of how they discovered, explored and help set up the caves. Bill also talks about how the family took the bullock team to Busselton to get supplies, his work on the construction of the Cape Naturaliste Lighthouse and how, while working there in 1904, he became involved with the rescue of a number of men after the sinking of the Electra, a boat shipping timber from Hamelin Bay.

He also talks about his mother’s involvement in salvaging butter and other goods when the Pericles sank off Augusta in 1910.

The Busselton Oral History Group (Inc) would like to thank Glindon’s daughters, Christine and Pamela, for allowing us to use these recordings and we hope that you will enjoy them.