FREMANTLE PRISON has scrapped its 23-year-old descendants day ceremony, saving $10,000 a year.
Held on WA day each year the ceremony acknowledges the descendants of convicts, pensioner guards and warders transported to WA between 1850 and 1887. “Fremantle Prison has decided that the funds can be better spent on the conservation of WA’s only World Heritage building, and improving the visitor experience,” says finance director Pippa McIntosh.
Former prison curator Anne Brake describes the decision as “disappointing”.
The scrapped ceremony is the latest in a series of austerity measures to impact Fremantle: “It’s a poor decision that I can only imagine was made due to budgetary pressures, and it should be reversed,” says state Labor MP Simone McGurk. This year, certificates were sent by mail, instead of being presented at a ceremony.
by STEPHEN POLLOCK