Potted Histories

Peters’ Creameries

Peters Creameries

Peters Creameries



Its Growth and Development

BRUNSWICK. . . One hundred miles south of Perth and 14 miles north of Bunbury is in the heart of WA’s richest whole milk producing areas stretching down the west coastal plain.
     These areas, particularly from Harvey – Waroona through Brunswick to Dardanup and Boyanup, produce most of city’s whole milk supply.
     Big areas of irrigation from the Wellington Dam have given these districts highly productive all year pastures on which to graze dairy herds.
     From Peters Creameries Ltd. at Brunswick, bottled milk is delivered to a wide area of the Great Southern and South – West. The towns include Bunbury, Busselton, Collie and Harvey, east to Narrogin, Wagin, Katanning, Tambellup and Gnowangerup and south to Bridgetown and Boyup Brook.

Brunswick Junction

Several firsts in Brunswick’s farming history show the foresight and drive of its early and modern-day farmers.

It is believed that the Brunswick Farmers’ Association, formed in 1893, was the first of its kind, though others were also begun during the period.

A year after its formation the association persuaded the government of the day to build what was the first agriculture hall in the South – West. More than 60 years later Brunswick became the first district in WA to form its own farm management club and employ its own adviser.

Apart from its wide – ranging business in the farming affairs of the district, the association moved strongly in political and local government affairs. The tenacity of the association, supported by the road board is shown in its battle with the government in 1895 to stop the railway line being built to the Collie coalfields from Donnybrook instead of Brunswick. They won the battle and on July 1, 1895 Brunswick became Brunswick Junction.

This foresight is estimated to have saved the State millions of pounds in freighting coal from Collie to Perth via a shorter route through Brunswick.

Brunswick formed its farmers’ association on April 5, 1893. Mr David Eedle was the first chairman and Mr John Partridge the first secretary. Many names that are still common in the district appear among the association’s original committee members. They were: John and Luke Crampton, Bradley Gardner, Arthur Algernon, F.F. Maitland and J.E.M. Clifton, all members of the original Clifton family of Australind, James Milligan, T Marriott, Henry, Charles and Thomas Offer, William Reading, Edwin M. Rose, R.H. Rose Jnr, T. Ryall and J.P. Wellard of Benger.

Others on the committee, but not residents of the district were: Samuel Buckby, J. Thompson Logue, William Logue and William J. Sutton of Harvey and J.W Venn the district’s Member of Parliament who was from Dardanup. Despite its initiative in many matters in the fields of politics and agriculture, and its fervour for pushing the railway authorities for improvements, the association took many decisions, which would probably cause a chuckle today. These decisions no doubt would have been taken in good faith at the time.

In one of these, Mr. J.P Wellard was somewhat prophetic about stocking with sheep, though this was in preference to the use of chemical manures which he said: ” – would never be popular with farmers as the outlay was certain but the result was not.”

The association turned down a proposal from the Harvey Agricultural Alliance for stock markets to be established in the district and another from Wagerup for a market train to Perth.

Nor would it promise support for a resolution from the Cookernup Farmers’ Progress Association that, “Conditional purchases should be accorded the same privileges as homestead leaseholders by extending time of payment from 20 to 30 years”.

On the other hand it approved the appointment of a veterinary surgeon at Bunbury and pushed for legislation to control strychnine and other poisons.

It supported moves for local butter factories and wineries and an increase in bonus payments for native dogs.

Weed control, vermin, dairy buildings, potatoes, pastures and animal husbandry were among a host of agricultural items continually under review by the association.

One thing is clear about the Brunswick Farmers’ Association in those days. It was a strong body mindful of the district’s progress, somewhat individualistic, and prone substantially to the wisdom of its own decisions.

Two interesting sidelights in its history show its diversity.

The association’s concern about the transport of produce by rail is indicated in this appeal to the Commissioner of Railways. On November 5 1894 it moved:
“That the Commissioner of Railways be requested to provide a chilled car, or failing that, a meat car one day in the week, say Wednesday, as under the present arrangements natives, live pigs, calves, sheep and poultry, bone dust, nightsoil and other manures all travel in the same van as butter”.

The outcome of the plea is not recorded.

One of the most interesting suggestions brought before the association was by Mr F.W Hawkins who moved that the secretary write to Mr Andrew Carnegie and ask for a donation of £500 to establish a library at Brunswick. This was carried on the condition that the figure be raised to £2,500. However, at a later meeting the motion was rescinded and Mr. Carnegie never heard of the association’s proposal for him to perhaps provide Brunswick with a library.

The big part the association played in the growth and development of the district is obvious, but a lot happened before it began operation in 1893. Brunswick, which got its name from the Prussian army commander, the Duke of Brunswick-Luneberg, was carved mostly by folk who arrived in the early 1840s with the Australind settlement group under the West Australian Land Company. These were not, however, the earliest settlers. Groups and individuals drifted into the area before then to take up land and begin raising stock.

Governor James Stirling, after his journey from Kojonup to Harvey in 1837 applied for an area of land along the Brunswick River, ten miles long by a mile wide on each side of the river. He later transferred the land to the W.A. Land Company.

Old maps show that Stirling held location 56 near Worsley, 51 near Beela, 50 near Wokalup and 50a which is Harvey.

On March 18, 1841, the sailing ship ‘Parkfield’ landed 125 passengers at Australind under W.A. Land Company commissioner Marshall Waller Clifton who had with him several members of his family.

In 1845 the first bridge built in the South-West was opened over the Brunswick River by M. W Clifton. It had been built by William Forrest, father of the State’s first Premier, Lord Forrest.

The bridge allowed settlers who had arrived at Australind in the ‘Island Queen’, ‘Parkfield’, ‘Diadem’ and ‘Trusty’ to farm or move from the sandy country to good land nearer what was to become Brunswick.

The W.A. Land Company leased more than 100,000 acres at 3d. an acre and individuals leased strips about 20 miles long and three miles wide which stretched from the hills across the plains and to the estuary frontage. An example of one of these strips embraced Brunswick as it is now in what became the Perren Estate. It reached from ‘The Hermitage’ at Beela to at least the Wellesley River. There are still remains of the split post and rail jarrah fences of this property.

Part of the Perren Estate was taken over before the Great War as the State Farm and later sub-divided into smaller farms for soldier settlers.

Members of the Clifton Family were followed into the district by others including Thomas Marriott who took up land at ‘Riverdale’ and Andrew McAndrew, who took up land at ‘Wedderburn’ previously owned by Dr. Ferguson.

David Eedle owned Frogmore and became the first chairman of the Brunswick Farmers’ Association.

The Marriott family was well known in the district. William and David were both original members of the Brunswick and District Road Board when it was formed on February 11, 1895. David Marriott later became its chairman.

The first school was built by Brunswick settlers about 1870, opposite to Frogmore and Miss Fanny Eedle was the first schoolmistress. The building was used for church services and many couples were married there.

Before the railway was opened on September 19, 1893, coach horses were changed at John Crampton’s farm near the present school.

At the turn of the century the coastal strip from Australind to west of Harvey traversed by the old Coast-road was a scene of activity and production.

But from the Collie Bridge, the road board’s boundary, there were no homesteads till the first at Australind was reached. This was a cottage about 200 yards from the road to Brunswick which sailors from ships in Bunbury harbour used to visit for a drink.

From here odd farms stretched out into the surrounding countryside. Some of the interesting ones were those of William James Piggott, who grazed 100 goats; the Clifton property on which stood the two-storey Upton House; Belvidere cattle station on the west side of the estuary owned by C.R. Prinsep

At ‘ Rosamel’, J. E Clifton lived as a bachelor. Here was a great old tuart tree up which Mr. Clifton hoisted himself each night in a big cask out of reach of natives and snakes. The tree was believed to be known also as the All Nut tree in the days of John Allnutt.

‘Parkfield’, owned by George Rose was nearby and one of the biggest farms in the district.

William Reading the first chairman of the Brunswick and Districts Road Board, lived on the Wellesley Road and had a big holding at ‘Runnymede’.

Murray was the first local electoral division, but from the 1860s a big part of the South-West was controlled by the old Wellington Road Board. Thomas Hayward of Bundidup and Bunbury was first chairman of this board, which stretched from Pinjarra to Bridgetown. Mr Hayward was earlier in partnership with the Rose family at Wedderburn.

Mr. Hayward records that while crossing the flooded Brunswick River near Frogmore, before the bridge was built, Mr W.B. Mitchell the father of Sir James Mitchell, was saved from drowning by Mr R.J. Heppingstone.

In 1900 there was no townsite where Brunswick is today and the Farmers’ Association wanted land east and west of the railway yards to establish one.

Mr Heppingstone was offered, but did not accept, between £12 and £20 an acre for the land. Later that year he offered to sell 130 acres east and west of Brunswick station, and south of the upper Brunswick Road at £10 an acre to the government, which refused the offer.

Also in 1900 James McFarlane and Mr Conning suggested that a pasteurizing plant be built at Brunswick, but there was no support for the scheme.

Two interesting facts at that time were that Roelands as it is known today was called Collie and the present day Benger was called Mornington.

The big area at Roelands was originally owned by John Septimus Roe, the State’s first surveyor general.

And so the Brunswick district took shape. The town was established through Summers and Company, land agents of Perth and farming methods development and improved with better pastures and with superphosphate.

Potato growing grew to a bigger farm enterprise and district potato growers’ association was formed.

In July 1926 the Brunswick branch of the W.A. Milk Producers’ Association met in the Brunswick hall and Mr. W. Noakes was elected chairman.

This meeting and others, which followed showed the urgency producers put on the need to have a milk depot established at Brunswick. Strong competition occurred between Brownes Ltd. and Westralian Farmers Ltd. to establish a plant. Brownes eventually built a brine cooler with a promise to take all producers could supply as well as the use of the ice cooler to store produce, such as vealers and vegetables.

Wesfarmers erected their cheese factory near the hotel but at either place wholemilk was only 9d. a gallon for a specified quantity and the rest brought only butterfat prices.

With the increasing use of superphosphate more subterranean clover was sown in the district and big quantities of fodder was conserved. These factors gave a tremendous boost to milk production and Brunswick grew as a supplier of Perth Market.

Some producers received up to 2/6 a gallon for their milk – a very high price at that time and cans of milk were railed to Perth covered with ice and wet bags.

Irrigation made vast changes in the district and later a modern milk treatment plant gave milk marketing a new role.

The formation of the Milk Board of Western Australia was a major step forward towards the orderly marketing of licensed milk. Under the very able direction of Mr. W.E. Stannard, the Board was able to introduce stability to the industry.

Peters Creameries Ltd. became interested in the district and the establishment of a milk treatment plant in 1949. The milk intake was then about 3,300 gallons a day rising to 7,000 gallons in the flush season.

Modernisation of the plant has since taken place and the daily intake is 17,000 gallons a day, rising to 22,000 gallons in the flush season. The full potential of this rich district is still to be tapped. Better management and farming techniques, increasing irrigation areas and improving animal husbandry are sure to add much to the output and wealth of the area in future.

The industry can look forward to the orderly marketing of licensed milk under the direction of the Milk Board of Western Australia, now consisting of Mr. F. K Wright, Chairman and Messrs. H. Cook and A.E. Mcleod.


65 years ago –

Schedule of Duties of Caretaker
Brunswick Agricultural Hall

He shall keep the hall clean and tidy and also the premises of the Association.
He shall empty the closet when necessary.
He shall chip the grass off round the building, and keep all rubbish clear of a distance of six feet.
He shall clean and trim the lamps.
He shall scrub the hall when required for the sum of 5/- (five shillings).
The boards of the stage shall be stacked on the verandah when the stage is not required.
The caretaker shall be at all times under the direction of the secretary as to the arrangements of the hall.

               *          *          *          *

I the undersigned hereby undertake to perform the duties as set out in the above schedule for the sum of six pounds ten shillings (£6/10-) per annum payable quarterly, and five shillings (5/-) extra on each occasion that I have to scrub out the building.

Signed this sixth day of March 1900
John Keen Sims.




Barbetti, P. J & R. C
Barnes W. J & K. A
Barnes W. K
Bell K. E & A. J
Bell M. & A. J
Bevan V. B & B. S
Blake Mrs. E. V
Campbell D. B & Co
Carlsson J. A. F
Clarke D. R., F. H., I. M & A. J
Clarke     G. B., E. C., C.A. & F. L
Clifton B. M & M. J
Clifton E. L
Clifton E. M. J
Clifton R. B & G. M
Colton W. K & R. J
Daff G
Daff W. C
Damiani A. H
Damiani L.J & B. M
Davies M. S & J
Depiazzi T. J & Sons
Depiazzi V. A & L. M
Dowson A. M & M
Fee O.B
Fisher G. W & H. R
Frisina D. & C. & Son
Fry Gerald G. & Co
Garbellini D. T & S
Gelmi B. J
Gelmi N. R
Goode V. & R
Goyder J. & Sons
Green A. J
Griggs J. W
Harnett H & H
Harnett J. J & E. A
Harnett P. J & N. F
Harris E. A & E. E & Sons
Harris C. J & J. A


Harris K. T & E
Harris T. P
Harris W. J & G. A
Hartley J & Son
Hastie J. J & D. N
Howson F. W
Hutchinson J.R. & M. V
Hynes J. J & Co
Italiano G. & Sons
Italiano G. & Son
Italiano Joseph
Italiano Jesse
Italiano M. & E
Jackson C. E
Jenkins G & C
Jilley O.
Jilley W.
Kasten C. J
Marriott L & J
Mitchell W. T & P. E
Monkhouse J
Moore R. P & J
Morellini M. J
Morellini N
Mountford A
Napolic C
Norton H & A & Son
Offer G. E & L. W
Panizza P. J
Papalia R & Sons
Pearson G. J
Pearson T. W & Son
Piggott O. J & Co
Pinner R. A
Poller V. J & Sons
Procter D & C
Prowse D. B. W
Quadrio Bros.
Raebel A. E
Ratcliffe J. J & D. E
Reading L. W & H
Reeve F. & Son
Rodwell L. J. & M. N
Rodwell N. B & B. M
Rodwell M. W & W. R
Rose C. W
Rose D. L & Co.
Rose E. T & T. J **
Rose F. A
Rose K. D
Rose & Ketteridge
Salom A. L
Shine J & Co
Simpson A
Simpson H
Summerlea Pastoral Co
Stanleys & Son
Taverner L. W
Tognolini L. A & R. J
Tothill F. J
Treasure A
Tyrrell Bros.
Tyrrell F. C. F
Upton W. K & Co
Walker W. E & Sons
Warburton E. S & E. E
Warburton T.R & E. E
Waters J & P
Wilson G & J
Wood S & M. J
Wright V. A & M. P








Anderson J. H
Bell F. & Sons
Blake E. A. G
Bovell T. & Sons
Buchanan J. E
Childs E. H
Cosenza G. N. & Son
Cross W.
Damiani J
Davies L
Della Sale J. & Son
Devereux G
Evans L
Evans M. R
Forrest C
Galati Bros.
Gibson A. G
Gibson E. C
Gibson T. S & S. C
Harnett R. & W
Hort S. D
Italiano A. & Co
Kinkella R. & Sons
Marley H. J & R. M
Maslin G
Murphy T. P & Son
Mustica G
Native Mission Farm
Offer C & B
Piggott K. H
Proctor A
Pump F. J
Rodgers P. B
Sales V. R
Sloan A
Telini G & R. M
Tucker C. R
Tucker N
Ursino V
Wendt A
West R. A. L
Williams B. M & J. B
Wright N. M



Peters Creameries (W.A) Pty. Ltd.

DIRECTORS     H. B.      Halvorsen     (Chairman)
     G. K. Somes          (Managing)
     G. M. Bunning
     K. W. Hatfield, Q.C
     A. E. McCartney
     Oliver Vincent

GROUP EXECUTIVES     W. C. Aiken          Assistant General Manager
     T. W. Townsend     Secretary
     M. A. Beard          Sales Manager – Ice Cream
     E. H. Charles          Manager – Refrigeration Service
     E. V. Elliott          Manager – Frozen Food Division
     G. C. Neville          Production Manager – Ice Cream
     A. Parsons          Chief Engineer
     J. L. Vines          Accountant

BRUNSWICK EXECUTIVES     W. L. Simm          Manager
     E.W. Atkinson          Engineer
     S. J. Collins          Engineer
     A. R. Wilkinson          Accountant
     J.A. Heys          Foreman
     D. A. Mattaboni     Technologist
     A. J. Bailey          Technologist

Number of employees at Brunswick Junction averages 110


From: Celebration, Tenth Anniversary, Peter’s Creameries (W.A.) Pty. Ltd., Brunswick Junction, 27 November 1965 Souvenir Brochure.