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Biographical Dictionary - Coorow, Carnamah, Three Springs


Surname

John RAFFAN

Born 17 August 1860 in Buckie, Banff, Scotland [28]
Son of George RAFFAN and Eliza REID [28]
He was one of at least eight children with siblings Ann, James, Eliza, George, Alexander, Mary and Robert [20]
In 1861 he was living with his parents and elder siblings at the Old Post Office on Banff Road in Rathven, Banff, Scotland [20]
His father was working as a Wright Master, farming 18 acres and employing four men in 1861 [20]
He was an art student in Aberdeen and was residing with his parents at Burnside in Rathven, Banff, Scotland in 1881 [20]
In March 1889 he arrived on the ship Iberia in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia [42]
Married Janet Allison TELFER in 1891 in Randwick, New South Wales, Australia[32]
Around 1896 left Sydney, New South Wales and shifted to Western Australia [P74]
His wife and two daughters initially remained in Sydney, however joined him in Western Australia in 1900 [P74]
In 1900 he was working as a Fruiterer in Paddington, after which he resided in Broad Arrow from 1902 to 1909 [6]
In Broad Arrow he was an Agent 1903-1904; Agent & Carrier 1905-1906; and Agent, Carrier & Mail Contractor 1907-1909 [6]
Resided on Roberts Street, Kalgoorlie in 1910 and then on Frank Street, Kalgoorlie 1911-1913 [6]
Contractor in Kalgoorlie 1911-1913 [6]
Farmer of Inchgower Farm in Winchester 1913-1928 [P74]
     On 24 September 1913 he purchased one of the Midland Railway Company's Ready-Made Farms in Winchester [27]
     An official of the company said "This man has turned out a very good settler, and given us no trouble but every assistance"  [34]
     His farm was the 377 acre Lot M911 of Victoria Location 2023 and cost £1,885/-/-, payable by instalments over 20 years [27]
     On purchase the farm contained a shed, an unfinished house, a 1,000-gallon tank with 100 acres cleared and fenced [P74]
     One of the rooms of his house wasn't lined and the iron on the roof wasn't lapped sufficiently and leaked during wet weather [34]
     He named the farm Inchgower [P74], presumably after the distillery or estate of that name in Rathven in Banff, Scotland [P1]
He harvested 90 tonnes of wheaten hay from his wheat crop in November 1913 [120: 8-May-1914]
     32 acres of his crop were accidentally burnt but it was insured and he was compensated on the basis of 24 bushels per acre [120]
     The remainder of his 1913 wheat crop averaged 23 bushels to the acre [120: 8-May-1914]
In February 1914 he made a request with the Midland Railway Company to purchase more land in Winchester [34]
     The Company approved 258 acres at the rear of his farm for 8/- per acre, however he didn't take up their offer [34]
Contract ploughed and seeded Lots M912 and M913 in Winchester for the Midland Railway Company in 1914 [34]
In October 1914 the Midland Railway Company paid for "Jack" Reginald M. DIAMOND to sink a well on his farm [34]
Took out assistance under the Industries Assistance Board while establishing his farm [34]
After harvesting his 1915 crop he sold 1,000 bags of wheat [34]
In 1916 his wife Janet and two sons, who had remained at Kalgoorlie, joined him on Inchgower Farm in Winchester [P74]
Had 275 acres of his farm under crop in 1916 [34]
Member of the Midland Railway Ready-Made Farm Settlers' Association in 1916 and 1918 [34]
     In August 1916 signed a petition that was sent to the Midland Railway Company requesting the price of their farms be reduced [34]
     Part of a deputation that met with the Midland Railway Company on 3 April 1918 to request the company lower their prices [34]
     Stated that parts of the land had been overvalued in addition to some of the improvements to the farms being faulty [34]
     Some of the fences erected by the Company were of Gimlet posts and had given way while some dams had fallen in [34]
     Recommended the Company revalue the land and lower its interest charge if they wished for their settlers to remain on the land [34]
     In 1920 the Company reduced the price on already sold farms by 40 percent, with his dropping from £1,885 to £1,131 [27] [34]
     He re-signed a contract for his farm at the new price on 28 February 1920, with 20 years to repay the new figure of £1,131 [27]
Inaugural Secretary of the Winchester-Carnamah branch of the Farmers & Settlers' Association in 1917 [39: 25-Jul-1917]
Signed the petition and financial guarantee in 1917 for the Midland Railway Company to provide a resident doctor at Three Springs [34]
Inaugural Secretary of the Winchester-Carnamah Farmers' Co-operative Company Limited in 1917 [39: 26-Nov-1917]
     The co-operative was registered in November 1917 with £1,000 in £1 shares [39: 26-Nov-1917]
     In 1917 the co-operative's registered office was his farmhouse, and was open to the public daily between 12 and 1 p.m. [39: 15-Dec-1917]
     After initial success it changed to the North Midlands Farmers' Co-operative Company Limited in June 1919 [9: 27-Jun-1919]
     Inaugural Director of the North Midlands Farmers' Co-operative Company in 1919 [9: 27-Jun-1919]
Hosted a meeting at his home on Inchgower Farm to discuss the best means of obtaining a public hall at Winchester [10]
     The meeting itself, which doubled as a social evening, kicked things off by raising almost £5 to go towards the hall [10]
     Founding Member of the Winchester Financial and Building Hall Committee in 1919 [10: 9-May-1919]
Won first prize for "Six White Turnips" at the Three Springs Day held in Three Springs on Thursday 25 September 1919 [9: 3-Oct-1919]
On 27 May 1920 purchased from the Midland Railway Company a further 473 acres in Winchester for £1315/16/- [27]
     The 473 acres was Lot M912 of Victoria Location 2023 and was payable by instalments over 20 years [27]
     Lot M912 was half of the rescinded Auchindoir Farm owned by George W. J. REID and Amy C. TAUNTON [19] [27]
In 1920 established a road in Winchester free of charge for the Mingenew Road Board after they did the initial clearing [9: 19-Nov-1920]
Corresponded with the Education Department in an endeavour to have a school a school established at Winchester 1920-1922 [7: page 83]
One of four trustees of the Winchester Hall Committee in 1921 [7: page 23]
Won 1st prize for Peas at the Picnic Race Meeting & Agricultural Show in Carnamah on Thursday 22 September 1921 [9: 30-Sep-1921]
Attended the wedding of Robert A. CALDOW and May I. BYRNE in Three Springs on Wednesday 5 October 1921 [9: 21-Oct-1921]
On 24 January 1922 purchased 1,604 acres of virgin land from the Midland Railway Company - increasing his farm to 2,454 acres [27]
     The 1,604 acres consisted of Lots M1034 and M1308 of Victoria Location 2023 and backed onto the entirety of his existing land [27]
     The 1,604 acres cost £245/1/8 (6/6 per acre), payable by instalments over 15 years, and bounded the Old Telegraph Road [27] [62]
In September 1922 contacted Charles C. MALEY M.L.A. and as a result a school was established at Winchester in November [7]
     The school was run from a vacant house on his Inchgower Farm in Winchester in 1922 and 1923 [7: pages 83, 84]
     For a few months of 1922 it was an assisted State School however in 1923 it was unassisted with his daughter as its teacher [7]
Signed the petition in February 1923 for the Irwin Licensing Court to grant a hotel license for Carnamah [10: 9-Mar-1923]
Judged the Poultry section at the Annual Show & Sports Carnival held in Carnamah on Thursday 20 September 1923 [86: 4-Oct-1923]
Had an account with Carnamah blacksmith, wheelwright and motor mechanics Henry Parkin & Son in 1927 [53]
Father of Edith Bessie, Winifred Muriel, George Archibald and Gordon Burnside [15] [P74]
Died from heart failure on 7 October 1928 in Winchester; buried at the Winchester Cemetery in Carnamah (Row A, Plot 6) [1]
On 14 May 1929 his 2,454 acre Inchgower Farm in Winchester was transferred into the names of his two sons [27]


From The West Australian newspaper, Wednesday 10 October 1928:
Country News - Carnamah
"Mr. John Raffan, one of the early settlers in the Winchester district, died suddenly at Winchester on October 7. Mr. Raffan had been connected with the affairs of both Carnamah and Winchester for a number of years, and his loss will be keenly felt throughout the whole district."


From The West Australian newspaper, Wednesday 10 October 1928:
Carnamah
"Mr. John Raffan, one of the early settlers in the Winchester district, died suddenly at Winchester on October 7. Mr. Raffan had been connected with the affairs of both Carnamah and Winchester for a number of years, and his loss will be keenly felt throughout the
whole district. He leaves a widow, two sons, and two daughters."


From The Irwin Index newspaper, Saturday 13 October 1928:
Death of Mr. J. Raffan
"One of the pioneers of Winchester passed away suddenly on Sunday evening last, in the person of Mr. John Raffan, and although he had been receiving medical attention for some time, his death, which occurred from heart failure, came to a shock to his family and many friends. Mrs. Raffan was alone with her husband at the time of his seizure, but her sons, Messrs George and Gordon Raffan reached home shortly afterwards. The greatest sympathy is extended is felt for the bereaved family who are all widely known and greatly  respected both in their own and neighbouring town ships. The funeral took place on Tuesday at 11 a.m. in the Winchester cemetery."


From The West Australian newspaper, Saturday 13 October 1928:
Deaths
"RAFFAN. – On October 7, 1928, suddenly, at Inchgower, Winchester, Midland Railway, John Raffan M.A., dearly loved husband of Janet Allison, and fond father of George, Gordon, Winnie and Bessie (Mrs. H. R. Phillips, Claremont); aged 68 years."


From The Irwin Index newspaper, Saturday 20 October 1928:
The Late Mr. John Raffan - Funeral at Winchester
"The funeral of the late Mr. John Raffan, of Winchester, which took place on Tuesday of last week at the Winchester cemetery, was largely attended. Mr. C. J. Iffla, missioner in charge of the Presbyterian Church at Carnamah, conducted the service, a portion of which was held at the house and included two of Mr. Raffan's favourite hymns. The chief mourners were Mrs. Raffan widow, Mrs. Phillips, Miss Raffan daughters, Messrs George and Gordon Raffan, sons. Pall bearers:- Messrs J. Lawson, J. Bowman, J. Colpitts, W. Lawson, T. White, J. Armstrong, T. Lawson, C. Kroschel. Among those attended were Messrs Haig bros, A. White, T. Mulligan, Ferguson Bros., A. Cumming, D. Cumming, A. V. Clark, G. K. Ryder, D. Macpherson, H. Haussler, H. Zuegg, Baker, R. Robertson, C. Robertson, H. Hollingsworth, D. Hollingsworth, Mr. and Mrs. G. Catto, Messrs A. C. Bierman, T. Berrigan, F. Badrick, Mr. and Mrs. R. Wylie, Messrs Bowman, Fowler, Nineham, Chapman Bros., J. Knight, Mrs. Pethick and daughters, Miss Booth, Mr. and Mrs. I. Cousins, Miss Hellewell, Messrs L. Watson, S. O'Grady, Mr. and Mrs. Morcombe, Mrs. [Mary] White, Messrs W. Sheridan, E. K. Byrne, D. Power, H. Nairn, J. Lang Snr., J. Lang Jnr., J. K. Forrester, W. A. T. Sargent, N. Bell, Mr. and Mrs. R. Caldow, Messrs R. Clark, J. Tully, A. P. Tucker, J. Leask, G. Waldeck, Mr. and Mrs. Hunter, Messrs J. McIntosh, H. Martin, R. Rowland, J. S. Rooke, J. Frame, F. Lucas, C. Cumming, Bradley, I. Johnson, J. Dixon, T. Johnston, Atkinson and others. Wreaths and floral tributes were sent by:- Messrs Haussler and Zuegg, Mr. and Mrs. Hunter, Mrs. Hankin and family, Mr. and Mrs. A. White, Mr. and Mrs. Sargent, Mr. and Mrs. T. Lawson, Mr. and Mrs. E. K. Wells, Mr. and Mrs. L. S. Wylie and family, Mr. and Mrs. Pethick and family, Win, Mr. and Mrs. Watson and family, Phill, Margaret and Allison, Mr. and Mrs. C. Kroschel, Mr. and Mrs. T. J. Berrigan, Mr. and Mrs. Mulligan, Mr. and Mrs. Bowra and family, Mr. and Mrs. Cousins and Reg, Winchester School Pupils, Bessie, Mrs. [Mary] White, Mr. and Mrs. R. Wylie. The funeral arrangements were in the hand of Messrs H. Parkin & Son, Carnamah."


Reference:  Carnamah Historical Society & Museum and North Midlands Project, 'John Raffan' in Biographical Dictionary of Coorow, Carnamah and Three Springs, retrieved 21 October 2017 from www.carnamah.com.au  [ sources ]




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