Thursday, 26 February 2015

Help choose our future online exhibitions!

In 2011 we began a small virtual museum with three online exhibitions - Macpherson Family, Ready Made Farms and Milk, Cream and Butter. In 2013, with thanks to support from the Department of Culture and the Arts, we expanded with another six covering the Midland Railway, Roads to Government, Post Office, Business Houses, 10 Macpherson Street and Toys.

We'd like to open up the future direction to you - our online patrons! We've come up with a list of potential virtual exhibitions but want to know which ones you'd like to see most. Check out the options and cast your vote at 

Saturday, 14 February 2015

Perth Festival's The Giants and a Carnamah connection!

The major attraction of this year's Perth International Arts Festival is The Giants, who launched the festival on 13 February and continued to wow Perth crowds over the following weekend. A large part of the story behind the little girl giant is the teenage life of Fay Howe, who resided with her father Robert Wilkinson Howe on Breaksea Island off the coast of Albany.

Inspiring the Little Girl Giant: Breaksea Island's Lighthouse Girl 
by Karla Arnall of ABC Great Southern WA

"Fay Howe was 15 years old at the outset of World War I. Living with her lighthouse keeper father on the remote Breaksea Island, the young girl began responding to signals sent by soldiers onboard ships bound for Gallipoli and Egypt. Fay relayed semaphore messages to their loved ones via telegram and received their postcards from the frontline. She is regarded as one of the last points of contact with Australia for many who did not return. 

Fay's story was unveiled by Albany author, Dianne Wolfer, in her 2009 book Lighthouse Girl, which imagines her existence on the island. The narrative struck a chord with Royal De Luxe company director, Jean-Luc Courcoult, who visited Albany in 2014 looking for inspiration to tour his Giants." 

[Full article at]

Carnamah connections!

Fay's father Robert and stepmother Emily both resided in Carnamah, years later in 1942, when the world was in its second global conflict. After retiring from lighthouse keeping, they had shifted to Perth but fled north to Carnamah when Darwin was bombed by the Japanese.

Fay's stepbrother Ned Wells ran the Wells & Wells Pyramid Tea & Dining Rooms in Carnamah for many years - a building that is now our museum!