Early in 2014 a member of Walpole’s Tidy Towns group re-erected an old post on the corner of Pier Street and Cooper Lane.
The axe cuts on the post sparked his interest. What was the significance of this post? What is its story?
In 1927 a “group 138” settler built his house, a standard four-bedroom weatherboard structure, in Hazelvale but soon abandoned it.
The property became the Hazelvale Mission House and was occupied by Sister Jane Anderson between 1930 and 1932. It was also used by Deaconess Fleck on her monthly visits to Hazelvale. These women provided medical aid to the district’s settlers.
The Mission House was left empty when Sister Anderson moved to the newly opened Nornalup Cottage Hospital in 1933.
Later in the 1930s members of the Anglican Church congregation moved the Mission House from Hazelvale to Walpole and rebuilt it on the vacant land on Vista St that was set aside for a church.
Bill Armstrong recalled that Country Women’s Association meetings were held in at the building after 1941.
The building was used by Reverend George Kingston and his wife on their monthly visits from Denmark; for Church services, marriages and baptisms. Among the couples married there were Stan and Babs Ravenhill in 1943 and Frank and Helen Pierce in 1951.
In late 1952 the building was used as a temporary classroom for the Walpole #1 school children and their teacher, Mr Williams.
St George’s Anglican Church was finally built in 1956 and the Mission House was no longer needed. It was sold and shifted to East Walpole St to become a private residence; and is still there today.
The fence around the Mission House was removed. By 2010 only three posts remained in situ. The last post, identified by Don Burton as a strainer post of the style used by our settlers in the 1930s, is the sole reminder of the Mission House and its fence.