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.