The oral history was recorded with Maggie Lilly, by Ursula Brimble in 1986, which is one of the very first items collected by the Kununurra Historical Society (KHS) in our inaugural year 1986.
This is a real classic - Never have I heard a better description of 'The Miles from Wyndham', as I had always wondered about their accuracy. Have a listen to Maggie (May open a dialogue box - Just accept yes and the audio should start allowing you to keep reading the synopsis on this page).
[Listen to this extract or go to end of document to DL the .wav audio file]
From 2015-10-18 - Maggie Lilly – Oral History (OH) – KHS Synopsis.txt
[Synopsis made by Andrew Barker for the Kununurra Historical Society]
[Maggie Lilly - Oral History]
Recorded at Kununurra on 29th May 1986
[Tape 1 Side 1]
Hannah Nicholson went to Pine Creek
2m 30s - Were in Derby at time of Pigeon - Sam Liljengvist was a Special Constable
3m - To Wyndham in 1915 - School days at Wyndham
4m - Father passed away in 1925
4m 30s - Went to look after boarding house at the 9 Mile
5m - 'Full blown stockman' to go to school
6m 10 - After school - 1st job was at the 'Six Mile Hotel' - Later owned it until it became the Club
7m - Moved to help mother managing the 9 Mile boarding house.
8m 24s - Marriage and Children - Edwin James [Liljengvist] known as, 'Sam Lilly' was born at Derby
Sam Lilly - Went to Wyndham in 1924
Sam helped build the airstrip in Wyndham circa 1924 [?].
A photograph found at the State Library of New South Wales (online).
1930-ca Extending aerodrome Wyndham - ex SLNSW bcp_05819h
1930-ca - Extending the aerodrome at Wyndham - DL'd for KHS from the State Library of New South Wales (SLNSW) bcp_05819h
The State Library of NSW has some great digital archives, I found out talking to staff there a few years ago, that they had a very progressive and dynamic directive, thanks to an attitude of, no hesitatation just digitise it and ask questions later! This image for example is freely available as follows.
http://acmssearch.sl.nsw.gov.au/search/itemDetailPaged.cgi?itemID=393858 [Opens in a new Tab]
Title Extending aerodrome - Wyndham, WA
Call Number At Work and Play - 05819
Digital Order No. bcp_05819
This image may be used freely without requesting permission. Please acknowledge that the image is from the collections of the State Library of NSW. (OK - Thanks SLNSW! :^)
9m 20 - 1937 - Bought Turkey Creek off Mrs Rhatigan [K.M?]
and 4 x 20 acre blocks off the son John Rhatigan
Droving - Jack Beasley (her uncle)
Plant at Go Go
10m Back via Karunjie - August 1938
Two trips - Louisa Downs cattle to Wyndham (2 mobs) - Redwater (lost 100)
11m - Bought Greenvale from old man McCale to join on the property
Then went down 13 miles from Turkey Creek (north) to the
Green Vale Station - 300 Chain Negri - WA State Records Office - Series 4265 Consignment 4567 Item 132-4
Available to download from WA SRO- See KHS Research Links Page (Opens in new tab).
For photographs of Violet Valley see 1919-The Wyulda (Opens in new tab).
Maureen Margaret was born in Perth
1945 - Then Alma Violet born at Wyndham (1946-7?)
Kevin James - 3 Years between oldest & youngest.
12m 24s Named the station the Bow River Station - Duracks
[Stumpy Michael Durack & Tom Kilfoyle] named the river in 1882.
Top part Greenvale - then joined on Ada Vale
Durack and Martin had that (Ada Vale). Ada Vale was joined with
Greenvale and Turkey Creek to become 'Bow River Station'.
KHS Research Links Page (Opens in new tab) to download the Lands Department's Cancelled Public Plans (a great online resource thanks to WA SRO :^)
13m 45s Jack Beasley - Uncle was here before the turn of the century.
Horses - Mother was a good horse-woman
15m 40s Funny stories - Cleanskin bull in the yard,
Bag over his head - "saw me" - Top rail collapsed as she tried to clear it to get away from bull
17m Life on station - bore maintenance
Team of Aboriginal women helped her
19m 22s Aborigines on the station - House kitchen etc
Washing - Two tubs
"Nyaman (old woman) What Now?"
Make the Bread
Vegetable Garden - Milk - Plenty of eggs
Girls who could ride horses - got on well
21m 30s When boys came back from stock camp - Big 'sing song'
corroboree - Walkabout time
Staggered Supplies - RM Williams boots etc
22m 45s Giving Birth at the creek (Bow River)
Aboriginal name - They went to Maggie for white name
Registering at Halls Creek
Tim - Father's name became the Timms
Henry - Henrys
Rammy - became Ramsays
25m Humpys - Only slept in building (10 rooms?) when it
rained - Hanging bags up - bits of tin
26m 15 Pull down old humpy - good shade can't pullem down
'Bush black-fella' - Bush Paddy
4 died on Bow - each one we buried
Most were put in rocks crevices in the rocks then put
more rocks around it - as there were few caves around
Turkey Creek - Faded out in the 1950s & 1960s
29m Walkabout - Took turns - discusses.
31m Fencing - Some boys who weren't mustering went with
Maggie & some of the girls - went everywhere with her.
Making Hobbles - Ropes - Neck Straps to hold the hobbles
32m 45s Sam good self taught mechanic
33m Road work on way to Greenvale?
34m 45s 'Fire Plough' for road making
The road to Greenvale
75 miles around to Frog Hollow creek cross it then
to Violet Valley - then old road - two or three jumpups
They made a new road only 42 miles to Greenvale
Greenvale was 1,300 ft. higher than Bow River Station
36m 45s - 1st Motor car when we were at the 9 Mile
38m Stores - Ordering and collecting
38m 45s JW Bateman's in Fremantle then by carrier
40m Donkeys as pack animals
40m 45s The 'Night Horse' - Let go at daylight
41m 45s Camels
Difference to pack horses
Very good at packing
43m 20s Funny story - Two sons of a stockman friend - Tape ENDS
[Tape 1 Side 2]
00m 40s Story continues - Had to get cattle on the way -
boys left at camp - Fair while later when she got
back sitting at back tyre - eating the dough -
covered in flour white. "Never forget those two kids!"
02m 30s School at hostel Halls Creek - Kevin ran away
(aged 6 or 7) had sense to follow cattle pad to water
3m 30s Kevin took a matchbox full of whiteants to school in the hope that they'd eat the school down! [You kids hear that? ;^) ]
4m 20s Kevin went to Narrogin Agricultural school
Into horses Won first Kununurra Cup and Bracelet [1967 - 50 Years ago this year - KHS]
5m 20s Sold Bow River in 1980 - Maureen got 'Limosin? Stud'
Out of Bindoon
Races Dances etc of the old days
7m 50s Family names - Quiltys - Springvale - Yarn at the Panton
Before married - Horses - "Meeka"
10m Depot Races - Won - 1930 or 1931 (early 30s)
Only went to the Depot racing once! too far
11m 17s With 'uncle' ? at 4 Mile on the Ord River -
Now known as "Riverfarm Road" [4 miles from Ivanhoe! AB]
12m 45s Maureen did school while out on the stock camp
14m 30s Took all day to get to Wyndham
1st coolroom on a station
Electricity 12v then 32v
Cursed the engine - Petrol at first then later Diesel
Belt took caught her frock
16m 30s No air strip at Turkey Creek at first
Sam got Pneumonia
Nurse - Police Station - Mabel Downs - Sam cleared a
strip - Then Connellan came - before that
A packhorse mail every six weeks - If Rivers weren't up
Connellan started circa ??? "in the 40s"
19m Flying doctor - early 1940s?
RFDS Radios in the 40s [Late 30s?]
19m 45s Kerosene Fridges before that 'Coolgardie Coolers' [Safe]
Beef - Fresh for a few days - Meat was wrapped in day
Wrapped before sun came up
Salted - Dry and hard - Put in water boil and soften
"Corned Beef would last for ages"
Dry it out or smoke it
What decade - From safe to fridge?
Ice was available in later days at Wyndham
not in early days - Ice Chests
23m 45s Kerosene Fridges came in circa ?
24m 30s Medical Emergencies? - Kevin broke his leg - unusual
break - 5 miles from station - By telephone Sam fixed
his leg - Then to Derby - No good had to go to Perth
Just above the knee - Unusual
26m 15s When and why did you leave the Bow
Bought the Six Mile Hotel - Had to go and run it
Maureen and Jim stayed and looked after the Bow
27m Ascot - Goose Hill - "Should be called Ascot"
They bought that.
Alma's kids were there as young ones then ALL of
Kevin's were brought up at Ascot
Sam Died in 1973
Maggie moved to Kununurra circa 1984
28m 26s 1980 then sold it - They (Sam & Maggie) were between
6 Mile - Ascot and the Bow until they sold in 1980
Sam looked after when Maureen went on holidays
30m 30s 1967 - Got wages - Aboriginal people left for towns
35m Place Names - Lily Creek (no connection)
Cheese Tin Creek
37m 45s Neice & I would go bird catching
1st to drive in there - Maggie Jumpup - Maggie Creek
in a Chev Ute
Years later Maggie Creek was named there.
Kelly's Knob - Father Kelly?
O'Donnell St - O'Donnell Range
O'Donnell Brook - Sandy Bow
41m 40s On O'Donnell - BURIED right in front of the house
I remember his granddaughter!!!!
42m 40s Kim Durack - Carlton Reach
Red Soil - no blacksoil
Old man worked with him - now in Alice Springs
[Could have been 'Gene French - AB 18 X 2015]
44m 40s Remembers meeting the Queen (1963 March 17th)
Sam & I came down - Stinking hot day
Camped at Ivanhoe - Got eaten by mosquitoes
My 1st time at Kununurra except for early days
There was nothing here when I was...
Tailing uncle Jack's horses just over there (Carlton Reach?)
[Makes sense as likely about four miles from the Ivanhoe Crossing - AB for KHS]
Maggie's uncle Jack Beasley kept horses there that Maggie looked after.
Could not recall anything of the Jewish Settlement idea
[TAPE 1 Side 2 ENDS]
[Tape 2 Side 1]
1m 02s Starts - Housing types - Corrugated iron and bush timber
Living in the Gully 1917 - 1918 - In a place Dad built -
During construction of the Wyndham meatworks when [I was] a child.
Had White washed bag walls bush timber roof - roof was 'rubberoid'
(They used to put it under tanks)
Had antbed floors - Thatch? Lined with hessian - Old Halls Creek - mud bricks
Rubberoid again in long rolls.
4m 0s Bow River - Buildings
Made cement bricks - Man came in with Sam & Kevin made good big bricks
Contractor came in later?
6m 30s Ascot made same way as Bow River
7m Pre-war years Cattle Industry
VRD Several mobs a year
9m They were going to blow up the meatworks!
10m War years - No women - I snuck in a few times!
Bombed airfield - Koolama
Bruton owned the 6 Mile - Edgar Birch taking white shirt off -
Japs after him? Air raid at the airstrip
14m No more ships coming into Wyndham after the Koolama sank
Wait outside town while Sam went in
Where's your wife - back on road - Major's not here so she can come in
Sam would go back and pick her up
15m 45s Evacuated Women & children
Sam and many men were issued with .303s
Threat of invasion - Bombings
17m Remembers German Aviators
Tom Ronan was in town - Police asked him to go out with trackers
King - Pentecost - Durack - Once at Forrest River Mission
met with launch and - Bad travelling rough country
19m One went off - Went mad!
One of the runners only died here a few years ago
20m Aviators - I've got photos
22m 40s Halls Creek - 1930s - Sam Thomas had the Ruby Mine - was about the only one
going - Prospectors - a lot of the Aboriginal people would go out "Willy Willy" way
near the Mary?
23m 20s Wave Hill - Halls Creek way 1940s motor rallys?
26m 50s Anything we can add??
In Wyndham - A big row of tanks - Horse and cart would cart water from the
3 Mile Well - Rainwater tanks - Donkey teams and horse teams - Sometimes there were 8 teams there at the 3 Mile
4 Mile - Afghans water there
9 Mile - Drovers
28m 50 King River Pumping station
Wells early - battle through diorite rock! Early miners
Bores now - If drought they go dry - Gets very bad
30m 30s Ord River - salt to the 'bend of the Ord' now all fresh as fresh!
31m We had a dam at Goose Hill
Bow River - bore and dams - wells - rockholes springs
[Tape 2 Side 2]
0m 20s Bow River no rain til Late in January - Sam bought some tankers
To Goose Hill - 12 Mile Lagoon (Marlgu Billabong) did go dry some years
NOT caused by cattle - dry years - DROUGHT caused it.
Roads used to go to 9 mile then across the 12 mile plain
2m 0s George Kinivan had a grader [fire plough - AB] - pulled by the donkeys
He did the 12 mile plane with it.
2m 20s Road those days used to go to Goose Hill - Dip there
2m 40s Then went up the Abercorn Valley - Used to be an old Pub there or something
the road came out on (new) Kununurra road - The road from there didn't
go past Dunham River Station it went up McPhees Creek to a place called
Hells Gates - I believe an old lady had a Wayside Pub there in the early days
[? There was a store - CHECK - AB]
3m 10s Then went on towards Bow River station but turned off to the West followed
the river up towards Violet Valley then came down through Frog Hollow (2 old
owners buried there)
3m 30s Then went up the Ord and crossed the river a long way down from where it
That was the road to Halls Creek - done by pick & shovel
3m 45s I can remember the men working on the Muggs Lagoon Jumpup in the 1920s
4m Cattle Stock Routes
Used to come down through Abercorn Valley
4m 45s Cattle over Mount Albany - Cement posts from wings are still there
Manila trade still went after the meatworks until the 1920s
6m 0s Even to the late 1920s
Wyndham people would go in the ships to islands - Manila etc
6m 45s Can you explain some of the Wyndham names?
"Well I don't know how 'cause they're that far apart some of them, now there is 'the Three Mile', now I don't know if you'd say it was three mile from the old Wyndham Post Office and then just down the way, was what they called 'the Four Mile' that was where the ah Afghans were in the early times - 'Afghan town!' Ah and ah, then a little further on there was a creek, I s'pose it would be about half a mile further on and they called it 'the 1 Mile Creek' then you went to 'the Six Mile' and then about another mile and a half, or probably two miles away, they called it the 'Seven Mile' and then there was the old 'Eight Mile Well' and I'll guarantee it was more than a mile from there to 'the Nine Mile' - was more like about three! And then you went out to where the Golf Course 's now, was what they called 'the Ten Mile Creek', well that's a _long_ way from 'the Nine Mile' And then over the other way, was what they called 'the Twelve Mile Lagoon', now Marlgu Lagoon, ah and then, further over was 'the Twenty Mile', don't know how they came to do this, 'they must have measured with a Greenhide rope on a wet day' as the old saying goes.
8m 30s Afghans and camels - Afghan Town - Afghan cemetery
Bull camel 1938 coming from GoGo with the cattle
Eddy Fogarty - Bull camel came into the camp
10m 30s Jack Bourke - white rabbit story
11m 20s Horse Racing - 'Meeka' - Won its first race
Married in 1935
Raced him in 1936 - Went to Turkey Creek in 1937
last time I raced until 1941 races at Wyndham
No races until 1946
Took horses from Bow River - Won cup with horse 'Silver'
1952 1952 - 'The Mighty Malwood'
1953-08 - "Photo finish! of the lady's race. Maggie Lilly looking round for the rest of the field. Wyndham Aug 1953." - [Original captions in quotation marks] - William Arthur Champness (Bill) Wright - 35mm Slide Collection - KHS Digital Archive Number: KHS-2011-46-aq-PD
16m 10s Tommy Walker trained - Joe Morck trained and rode 'Malwood'
White rode once Tommy Little was riding 'Bowanna'
16m 45s Malwood was from around Roebourne
[Oral History ENDS]
Author Lilly, Margaret Sautelle, 1912-2005.
Title [Interview with Margaret Sautelle Lilly] [sound recording] / [interviewed by Ursula Brimble].
Synopsis. Interview with Margaret Sautelle Lilly / by Ursula Brimble
Interview with Margaret Sautelle Lilly / by Ursula Brimble. Part 1
Interview with Margaret Sautelle Lilly / by Ursula Brimble. Part 2
Interview with Margaret Sautelle Lilly / by Ursula Brimble. Part 3
Interview with Margaret Sautelle Lilly / by Ursula Brimble. Part 4
LOCATION CALL NO STATUS NOTE MESSAGE
Online OH1720 AVAILABLE
3rd Floor Oral History Stack OH1720 Audio (Access) NOT FOR LOAN ASK SLWA STAFF
3rd Floor Oral History OH1720 Synopsis (Access) NOT FOR LOAN ASK SLWA STAFF
3rd Floor Oral History Stack OH1720 Synopsis (Preservation) NOT FOR LOAN ASK SLWA STAFF
Climate Control Stack (20 degrees) OH1720 Audio (Preservation) cassette 1 of 2 NOT FOR LOAN ASK SLWA STAFF
Climate Control Stack (20 degrees) OH1720 Audio (Preservation) cassette 2 of 2 NOT FOR LOAN ASK SLWA STAFF
Call Number OH1720
Description 2 sound cassettes.
Series 200 Voices from the Oral History Records Rescue Group Project
Access advisory Access open
Rights advisory Copyright or other restrictions may apply. For public use, contact the State Library of Western Australia [and Kununurra Historical Society - co-Owners].
Notes This sound recording has been preserved and made available by the Oral History Records Rescue Group (OHRRG) Project supported by Lotterywest.
Summary Description of life on a cattle station in the East Kimberley region of W.A.; her life and her family; hardships of working the station; historical events that touched her life.
Subjects Lilly, Margaret Sautelle, 1912-2005 -- Interviews.
Ranchers spouses -- Western Australia -- Kimberley -- Interviews.
Ranch life -- Western Australia -- Kimberley.
Bow River (W.A.)
Kimberley (W.A.) -- Social life and customs.
Related names Brimble, Ursula.