Walls protected

COCKBURN council is poised to offer some heritage protection to the stone walls dotted around old South Coogee.

Last Thursday the council adopted a study that found the dry stone walls have some significance because of their links to the wave of post-war European migration that brought Croatian and Italian market gardeners to the area.

And while the walls are common over east, where they’re automatically given protection if they’re older in 1940, over here there a bit of an oddity.

“The Dry Wall Association of Australia does not recognise any such walls in Western Australia,” the report noted.

• Lucy Radich wanted this stone wall in Munster protected because it was built by her parent Jakov and Jakubina Vidovich, who moved to Perth from Split in Croatia in 1939. Photo by Steve Grant

South Coogee (now Munster and Beeliar) were particularly ripe for the walls as the fields were full of stones which the new farmers needed to clear anyway.

An aerial photo of the suburb taken in 1953 didn’t reveal many stone walls, while by 1963 they were fairly common.

The wall-love was prompted by a push from Lucy Radich, who wanted a fourth wall on West Churchill Munster recognised because it had been built by her father Jakov Vidovich. The council added that wall to its local government inventory in 2014.

The report found three old walls in Britannia Ave and Jervois Street, Beeliar, and Albion Avenue in Munster, while there was also stone ruins spotted on Coogee Road.

It was recommended they get the lowest heritage protection, meaning they would have to be photographed and researched before being demolished.

The study results are to be put out for consultation.

by STEVE GRANT

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