Project Description

Alexander Frederick PATTERSON (Alex) was born on 26 July 1910 at Aldershot, Hampshire, England, and spent five years in a public school there before the family migrated as private fare-paying passengers in 1921 when he was twelve.

After a further three years education at 49 Group School, Alex left at the age of 16 to help develop the family farm to which they moved in December 1924. He had won a prized scholarship to Bunbury high school but couldn’t take it up.

Alex’s father had a rural background in Aberdeenshire in Scotland followed by 23 years as a career soldier attached to the Border Highlanders.

Progress on their farm was steady with no major setbacks. The tree puller purchased when Group 44 camp was disbanded made possible a much faster rate of clearing. Alex’s father was the first to make silage in the district and Sir James Mitchell came to examine the results firsthand. Group settlement officials were displeased when Alex’s father stepped outside prescribed procedures by planting a cover crop of Algerian oats. Like the silage, it was an obvious success and grudging support given.

The Pattersons probably had the first windmills in the area in 1933. They bought their first milking machine in 1937 having obtained the nucleus of what proved a most successful dairy herd with the purchase of six select Jersey heifers.

Alex married Joan Reed when he was 31 years of age and they had a son, Bruce, in 1943 and a daughter, Glenys, in 1947. He served as a Busselton Shire Councillor for 21 years, with six years as deputy president and three years as president.

Until his retirement in 1985 he was a member of the Busselton Water Board for 10 years and was a Justice of the Peace. The Pattersons sold the farm after 45 years’ hard toil and enjoyed retirement in Busselton, keeping a keen interest and involvement in the affairs of their community.