Project Description

John Joseph Derrick DONALD (known as Jack) was born in Bunbury on 23 September, 1899. His father, Robert, a carpenter, emigrated from Scotland to New Zealand when he was seven then to Busselton in the mid 1890s. He met Jack’s mother, Sarah Hough, in Bunbury and they married on 25 June, 1895.

With his brother-in law, Chris Hough, Jack’s father built the Vasse Wood & Iron Works, including a carpentry which traded as Donald Hough. In 1903 they built the first Caves House at Yallingup. Robert had a pile driver for bridge building and was contracted to extend the Busselton Jetty by two hundred feet.

Jack was the second eldest of four brothers – Cecil Robert, born 22 March, 1896, Eric Lesley, born 7 April, 1901 and Charles Clifford, born 16 May, 1903. They schooled in Busselton. In 1911 the family moved to Kalgoorlie and Jack went to Kalgoorlie Central School until he was 15 when they moved back to Busselton.

Jack started working with his father in 1916. He spent six months learning the trade in Melbourne in 1919 and worked there until 1921 when he returned to Yallingup to go farming at Millbrook. He built a waterwheel to assist in cutting timber on the property in 1922.

In 1928 Jack married Ruby Houston Farrington, a school teacher at Yallingup School, and they spent time in the Goldfields building schools in various towns. They returned to Millbrook and Jack operated a saw mill on site. It was there that timber was prepared for the re-building of Caves House which his team completed over eight months in 1938.

They sold the farm in 1961 and moved into Busselton. In retirement, he and Ruby travelled overseas.