Project Description

John RUTHERFORD (known as Jack) was born on the 27 October, 1902 at Mordalup, near Boranup. His father, George, took up a block of land in Dunsborough (block numbers 682 of 162 acres, 146 of ten acres and 498 of 8 acres). His mother was Rose Ann (nee Smith).

Jack describes how the land was cleared with a block and tackle, pulled by a horse. The family cultivated potatoes, and oats and rye for hay. They produced milk from 30 milking cows. He describes in detail the farm furniture, problems with fleas, the food the family consumed and home remedies.

Jack walked three miles to school at Quindalup where he remembers planting the pine trees. He tells of the plants the aborigines used for eating – along the beachfront they grew rye which was used to make flour for bread baking. Jack tells stories about his school days. He won first prize in gymnastics. He rode his bicycle 23 miles to dances at the Quindalup Hall.

Jack taught himself the piano accordion and played cricket with the Yallingup Association. Like many people in those early days, with limited education opportunities they worked wherever they could find employment. But Jack was generally more fortunate than some. He thrashed barley and oats; worked for Dudley Mewett on his dairy; on a timber mill near Nannup for two years; as a delivery driver in Perth, then travelled to Queensland.

He met his wife Lucy at Caves House where he worked for 14 years from 1929. They lived in a cottage at Caves House and had two children, Keith Donald and Janet Lorraine. In World War II he joined the army and was discharged in 1946. After the war he worked for the Main Roads Department driving a number of articulated vehicles. The region of the works extended from Waroona to Frankland River. Later in life he worked on the Mineral Sands site at Wonnerup looking after the separation plant.

Jack retired to Busselton and, after losing his wife, moved to Villa Maria.