25 May 2009

Recent Donation - the Jenner wood planes

A recent donation to the museum is a set of 11 wood planes used by a local builder named John James Jenner over 100 years ago. The planes were donated by Mollie Holst and Margaret Whittle, granddaughters of Jenner.
James John Jenner was born in Bromley, Kent, England in 1866. He migrated to Queensland aboard the Duke of Buckingham in 1885 but by c1890 he had moved to Geraldton. Here he continued his trade as Plasterer, Builder, Contractor and Brickmaker (at Narngulu), both in and around Geraldton and surrounding districts, including the Murchison. Jenner also built several houses in Northampton. He later acquired a partner, Mr Lou Haffner. Included in the buildings constructed by Jenner & Haffner are the former Greenough Roads Board Office (1906), the former Bootenal Agricultural Hall (1907), the Northampton Post Office (1913) and St Andrews Anglican Church at Mullewa (1921). In 1897, Jenner married Maria (Molly) Drage in Geraldton. Molly was the daughter of Northampton grazier, Thomas Drage. He built a home (now 22 Sanford Street, Geraldton) in readiness for the marriage. A daughter Dorothy was born in 1897 and a son Walter in 1899. Twins were born in 1901 but died soon after, along with their mother.
In 1904, Jenner married a widow, Mrs Rosa Margaret Wight Rowe who was an accomplished singer and pianist. Mrs Rowe had a business in Marine Terrace as a Bookseller and Newsagent.
Jenner had many interests in Geraldton in the more than 50 years he lived there. He was on the Town Council for many years and many periods, especially in the 1920s. He was a member of the Church of England Christ Church Vestry, sang as tenor in the Choir, and was Choirmaster for many years. He also conducted Church Choirs in outlying districts such as Greenough, and the first surpliced choir in Day Dawn in 1901. Jenner was a Synodsman and represented Christ Church at Synods in Perth. Archbishop Riley used to stay in the Jenner home in Chapman Road (built 1910) on his visits to Geraldton.
His other interests were the Geraldton temperance Brass Band, where he played the tuba and was conductor for a time. Cricket was another passion, and he played cricket until well into his 80s.
Another interest was the Masonic Lodge, of which he was a member for 54 consecutive years. He was a Past Grand Master and also held Masonic Orders with the Rechabites and Oddfellows. Jenner was a teetotaller all his life.
During World War I, Jenner and his wife held many soirees, etc to help the War Effort in their lovely Chapman Rd house.
Jenner moved to Perth after the death of his wife in 1948. In Perth he continued playing cricket, visiting old and sick friends, singing in Church Choirs, Lodge membership, etc. All his life he was a robust, remarkably active man, very good natured, an optimist, always smiling. He loved life and enjoyed it to the full.
J.J. Jenner passed away in the Royal Perth Hospital on 11 January 1951. The funeral took place at Karrakatta Cemetery.

Former Greenough Road Board office built by Jenner in 1906. You can see this building at the Central Greenough Historical Settlement 4.5km south of the Pioneer Museum.

18 May 2009


I am very pleased to report that the Greenough Pioneer Museum received a Commendation in the 2009 ABC Radio National Regional Museums Award.
Check out the results at http://www.abc.net.au/rn/museums/

12 May 2009

Recent Fanmail

Dear Gary
I am 10 years old I came on an excursion to the pioneer museum two weeks ago.The part I like most was the coffen in your shed.

Yours Sincerely

p.s I am from Geraldton Primary School