Banner time for Boddington

Countryman

Damper making, vintage machinery and prams and a gold nugget dig were the order of the day in Boddington last month when the community celebrated its 100th birthday.

Among those joining in the fun was 90-year-old Gloria Batt who has lived most of her life in the Shire of Boddington.

Today, there are more than 15 families and four generations of the Batt family living in and around Boddington, with many working on farms and in the local mine.

The Batts aren't alone - members of the Farmer, Keen and Munday families were also among the first settlers in the area in the early 1860s.

But it wasn't until 1912 that Boddington was gazetted as a town.

"I first came to Boddington from East Fremantle when I was 14," Mrs Batt said.

"We had a baker, store, post office and very little else.

"We didn't have a car and I used to dink my mother up from the farm to the shops on my push bike."

To earn pocket money as a child, Mrs Batt, who married Pat Batt, used to set rabbit traps and pick up dead wool.

"We used to get nine pence for each rabbit from the rabbit man and he used to come around and pick them off the fence," she said.

In the late 1930s the area's population was boosted by a new tannin mill, built in Ranford, and also by the Boddington gold mine.

Now Boddington is part of the State Government's Super Towns project.

In the lead-up to the big day, artist Irene Osborne worked with members of the community to create a series of 23x4m stitched Banners for the town's celebrations.

The original target of 20 banners was exceeded because of the enthusiasm of the budding artists in the community.

More than 100 Boddington locals from many backgrounds took part in the project.

Ms Osborne said a highlight of the project was sharing the experience with Peru woman Adela, who visited the town for a week.

Adela only spoke Spanish but struck up friendships with several women as they worked, communicating in signs and smiles.

A translation program found by one of the local women on an iPad was also used to bridge the language gap.

The vibrantly coloured banners welcomed WA Governor Malcolm McCusker to the town as he officially opened the centenary festivities.

The town now has an amazing handcrafted collection of celebration banners on hand for all kinds of future events and they are already booked up for the next sporting finals and rodeo.

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