FORGET the fireworks and booze-ups, old timer Les Green is gonna school you on some real colonial history for Australia Day.
The volunteer heritage guide will be spinning a few yarns up at the Round House January 26 about the early days of the colony.
“What we’re trying to do for Australia day is we’re remembering the old settlers, that’s what I think Australia Day is… we’re not firing bloody rockets into the air!” he chuckles.
He’ll be telling tales about Sophia Dent, the first child of European heritage born in the colony way back in September 1, 1829, along with the story of Daniel W Gee, the first man to die in the Round House.
Mr Green’s also working in yarns of his impressively-bearded grandfather William Findlay’s time as a copper in early Fremantle, where he used to ring the curfew bell letting convicts know it was time to get off the streets, and his time leading the hunt for notorious outlaw William Graham, “the Terror of Bassendean”. Mr Green’s granddad ruffled feathers among other coppers when he cracked down on ill-discipline on the force, and he also stymied the sale of sly grog among settlers.
The stories kick off at 12.15pm on Australia Day. Mayor Brad Pettitt will fire the cannon at 1pm.
by DAVID BELL