Garry Gillard > genealogy > Henry Reudavey

Henry Reudavey

REUDAVEY, Henry Richard

Henry was born 8 January 1870 in Sussex, UK, as Henry Davey. His mother’s maiden name was Rewell and Henry attached this to his own surname to make Rewell-Davey, which became Rew-Davey and then Reudavey. Henry arrived in Australia in 1898, living first on the Goldfields. For several years he lived in North Perth and Osborne Park. A professional gardener, he was responsible for laying out Queen's Gardens in Perth.

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1936 photo. H.R. Reudavey third from left. Back: Frank and Adie Reudavey, James Need Robertson holding Phillis. Front: Ceda Reudavey and Christina Robertson.

On 1.7.1902 he married Cerceda Grace HOCKING (b. 1.7.1881), at Wesley Church in Perth. For the first few years of their marriage, they lived in a converted shed in the gardens' grounds, and in 1906 a small cottage was built for them in Queen’s Gardens. The contract for the building of the cottage was £298.

Reudavey Occupation Certificate

In 1908, Henry took up virgin land in Jibberding, near the rabbit proof fence — Victoria Loc. 4450 of 1,000 acres and Loc. 3868 the homestead block. Grace and their two children joined him in 1909. Their first home was of plaited bush with a hessian lining. All stores had to be tinned or dehydrated as the nearest railway siding was at Gunyidi, a three and a half-day trip by horse and cart.

Mail arrived once a month by camel, later by horse. Grace was a very hospitable woman and was said to have been like a second mother to lonely British migrants brought out to clear the bush, having as many as twenty to Sunday tea followed by music and hymn singing. She was Postmistress, first appearing in the 1915 Post Office Directory, and ran the Jibberding telephone exchange for 32 years. She was a founder member of the local CWA and also acted as midwife to two other mothers in the area.

They named the property 'Bouganville', a feature being plantings of bougainvillea covering a high wire fence. At one time Henry took on seven migrants (Scots, Irish and English) to help with the clearing of the land; most of the clearing was done using axes. There was no water on the property, it all had to be carted from the government dam on the Jibberding reserve. The first year Henry took it out of the boundary rider’s tank and got into trouble. Later he sank a dam by hand, using a pick and shovel. Unfortunately the dam stored only milky water caused by the high clay content in the soil and the water had to be cleared by adding alum to the wooden barrels in which the drinking water was stored.

Cerceda Grace Reudavey (seated) with her nine children. Left to right: Alan, Eunice, Joyce, Dorrie, Nancy, Marj, Frank, Jack, and Eric.

In 1914 they built a new home and such was the couple's friendliness to other settlers and itinerant bush clearers that they set aside a room for monthly church services, weddings and dances. It once also served as a polling booth presided over by Henry. The couple had nine children: Francis Edward b. 16.10.1904; Dorothy (CHISHOLM) b. 6.5.1907; Marjory Lillian (McKENZIE) b. 18.1.1910; Eric Wilfred b. 20.10.1912; Alan Charles b. 28.1.1916; Nancy Isobel (BARKER) b. 12.4.1918; twins Joyce (NOLAN) and Eunice (ROBERTSON) b. 4.8.1920; and John Henry (Jack) b. 24.6.1924.

Nancy married in Adelaide and has lived in Port Pirie ever since. Joyce a nurse, married Michael Joseph (Danny) Nolan 1948 at Jibberding and has lived in Perth since then. Eunice married John Stanley (Jack) Robertson in Jibberding in 1941. Jack was a shearer and farmed a property on Wasley Road, East Buntine, leaving the farm to retire to Northam in 1970s. Jack Reudavey continued to farm the home property, retiring to Safety Bay, leaving his son Trevor as third generation owner. Henry died in Dalwallinu hospital 25.7.1946 and is buried in Dalwallinu Cemetery. Grace continued to live on the Jibberding property until 1952 when she moved to Perth and then later to Capel to live with daughter Marj. In 1972 Grace was awarded the British Empire Medal for services to the community. Grace died on the 25.5.1979 at the Rowethorpe homes, Bentley, and her ashes are interred with Henry's.

References and Links

See also: his sons, Frank Reudavey, Alan Reudavey, Eric Reudavey.
See also: his mother-in-law, Mary Ann Hocking.

Source: A History of Wubin 1908 to 1939, Wubin Progress Incorporated [2005?]

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