Don’s Tram Tours are a tribute to pioneers of the Fremantle Society.

Yesterday I joined one of Don’s Tram Tours as part of the Heritage Festival and it opened my eyes to what Fremantle could have been like if it wasn’t for of a group of dedicated locals who joined forces as the Fremantle Society and stood for council, to stop the proposed vandalism of demolishing many of the city’s iconic buildings. If it wasn’t for them Fremantle might no longer have Victoria Hall, the Fremantle Markets, the Round House, and many of the gorgeous heritage buildings in High Street and Henry Street, because some councilors believed bulldozing them would be appropriate. Don Whittington knows his history and is intimately aware of council issues as a former councilor and deputy Mayor.

Both tram tours yesterday were fully booked, which shows how much people are interested in the history and heritage of Fremantle.

It should be compulsory for  Fremantle City councilors and planning department staff to join one of Don’s Tram Tours, so they realise how history making the decisions they make are. This is even more important now in a climate of  calls for urgent development to revitalise Fremantle. Getting it right will greatly enhance our city, but getting it wrong could well be devastating for the town.

Roel Loopers


The Fremantle Society celebrated last evening that ING will not go ahead with the Victoria Quay development. Although the numbers were down, the quality of people attending the Captain’s Lane get together made up for it. Thank you all for coming.

Reason for the low numbers were that we had fierce competition from a big concert at the Fremantle Art Centre and the launch of the 2011 Deckchair Theatre program. Make sure you check out what Deckchair has to offer this year and support them, or we might lose this special theatre!

Roel Loopers


The Fremantle Society has had its first 2011 full Committee meeting since our AGM and I am delighted to tell you 2 vacancies on Committee are filled.  Pam Hartree is welcomed as Hon Secretary; you may know Pam in her role Head of Local History Section of Fremantle Library she is also an Associate Member of Australian Library and Information Association.  Clearly she will bring a lot of experience and wisdom to the Committee.

Kate House was also co-opted to the Committee.  Kate has worked on the Planning & Heritage committee in 2010 and we welcome her continued involvement in the Society. The several Society members who attended the meeting were welcomed and we encourage more in future.

Other agenda items included Fremantle Heritage Festival programmed for the end of May.  The Society is committed to working with Council and local stakeholders to ensure the continued success of this longstanding local event.  If you or your business wish to be involved contact us, it would be great to have you on board.  The Society will also contribute to the newly announced National Heritage Week in April – with a National focus.

Ongoing planning issues include the US Laundry at FAC, The Old Royal George in East Fremantle, and a new hotel at Little Creatures.

It is great to finally have a home and a wardroom to hold our meetings; the Society has truly come of age.

Jon Strachan