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Biographical Dictionary - Coorow, Carnamah, Three Springs


Surname

Cyril RAYNER

Born 1 January 1907 in Eversholt, Bedfordshire, England [P7]
Son of farmhand Frederick RAYNER and Sarah Anne VALENTINE [P7]
Spent his youth in Bedfordshire and attended the Eversholt Village School in Eversholt [P7]
After leaving school he worked as a farmhand around Eversholt [P7]
In 1924 his brother Alf, who was working on Warwick Park Farm in Berkshire Valley, paid for his £42 fare to Australia [P7]
     Departed from Tilbury Docks in London, England on the maiden voyage of the steamship Orama on 15 November 1924 [P7]
     Arrived on the steamship Orama in Fremantle, Western Australia exactly one month later, on 15 December 1924 [70]
Farmhand for Frederick C. HAMILTON on Warwick Park Farm in Berkshire Valley near Moora 1924-1932 [P7]
In August 1932 purchased from an insurance company what had been Cecil F. TAYLOR's 1,464 acre Minawaha Farm in Carnamah [P7]
     The farm was just south of the Carnamah townsite and consisted of Victoria Locations 3328, 3353, 3430, 3431 and 3436 [44]
     500 acres of the farm in Victoria Location 3328 is one of the oldest farmed blocks in the Carnamah district [44]
     The Conditional Purchase lease that became Victoria Location 3328 had been taken up by Robert S. PARSONS as early as 1909 [44]
     Victoria Location 3328 had been farmed by William F. H. JAQUES, Silas J. ROWLAND, GREEN Bros and then Cecil F. TAYLOR [44]
Arrived in Carnamah on 7 August 1932 with himself, his pushbike and nothing else [P7]
     For his first few nights in Carnamah he stayed at BROWN's boarding house at 13-15 Caron Street in the Carnamah townsite [P7]
     His first meal in Carnamah was at Arthur PARRY's Fish & Chip Shop in the old Post Office building at 23 Macpherson Street [P7]
Farmer of Minawaha Farm in Carnamah 1932-2005 [P7]
     Retained the farm's name of Minawaha, which was believed to be an Aboriginal word with something to do with water [P7]
     With the farm came 270 acres of crop half eaten by rabbits, some old machinery, eight horses and bachelor's quarters [P7]
     He worked the farm entirely on his own for about seven months before he could afford to employ a workmen [P7]
     Shortly after arrival Stan and Agnes HIDDEN, who owned a shop in Carnamah, took him for a drive around the district [P7]
     Local storekeeper "Fred" Norman W. REYNOLDS allowed him to shop for two years on credit while he established himself [P370]
     In 1933 planted 430 acres of crop on his farm with horses [P7]
     Purchased three young working horses from the Yarragadee Pastoral Company in Mingenew in November 1933 [5: 1-Dec-1933]
     Purchased his first sheep from Winchester farmer W. Thomas WHITE - a mob of ewes with crossbred lambs [P7]
     After buying the sheep he had a cup of tea and then drove the mob to his farm on foot [P7]
     Later walked the crossbred lambs into Carnamah where they were loaded onto a truck and sold at the Midland Market for 16/6 [P7]
     Also kept a few cows and some chooks for fresh milk and eggs [P7]
     To begin with carted his wheat 30 bags at a time to the weighbridge in Carnamah with three horses and a wagon [P7]
     In April 1934 purchased a new Sunderseeder form the local agent Oswald S. SOWERBY [5: 20-Apr-1934]
     Cleared the balance of his farm and erected a rabbit proof fence to keep the rabbits out from the railway line [P7]
     Also erected internal fences on the farm and purchased a rabbit fumigator to help combat the rabbits [P7]
     During July 1934 cows continually broke through his fence adjoining the railway line and ate his wheat crop [5: 27-Jul-1934]
     He placed a notice in the local newspaper that if it continued the cows would be impounded and according damages charged [5]
     In October 1934 purchased a Sunshine binder from Reginald L. BOLLAND who ran the Sunshine Agency in Carnamah [5: 12-Oct-1934]
     Operated his farm with horses until 1938 when he purchased his first tractor [P7]
     He used his pushbike or bicycle to travel into the Carnamah townsite or walked when he had to take sheep into town [P7]
     His first vehicle was a second hand Chevrolet 4 truck which he purchased for £50 [P7]
     Used an old bag safe for keeping food cool at his house on the farm before buying his first kerosene refrigerator for £80 [P7]
Rode his bike into the Carnamah townsite on Wednesdays and Saturdays to collect his mail, which arrived on those days by train [P7]
     Collected his newspaper every Saturday from KENNY's newsagency in Carnamah and while there played billiards [P7]
     Never had a post office box so if he was busy and didn't get to town until later at night he would knock on the Post Office door [P7]
     A telephonist would then answer the door and give him his mail [P7]
     He spent a good part of each Sunday writing letters to his mother, two brothers, cousins and friends in England [P7]
     Also wrote to another brother and his sister who were in Canada [P7]
Travelled down to Perth for the Christmas break in December 1933 and then returned to Carnamah [5: 5-Jan-1934]
Paid a 10/- Vermin Bonus by the Carnamah District Road Board in February 1934 for helping to control vermin by killing a fox [300]
Came 2nd in the Men's Cycle Race at the Carnamah Agricultural Show on Thursday 6 September 1934 [5: 14-Sep-1934]
Won a work basket in the raffle conducted at Parkinson Tennis Club Dance held in Carnamah on 20 September 1934 [5: 28-Sep-1934]
Himself and his workman Karl D. L. BROOK travelled from Carnamah to Perth by train on Thursday 7 February 1935 [5: 8-Feb-1935]
Received word on 6 August 1935 that his brother "Alf" Austin Alfred RAYNER had passed away in Moora from acute appendicitis [5]
     After learning of his brother's death he travelled from Carnamah to Moora later that same day [5: 9-Aug-1935]
     His brother, who was 49 years of age, was buried at the Karrakatta Cemetery in Perth (Wesleyan, FC, 488) [2]
Sold 90 suckers for 10/8 per head at the Midland Market through Dalgety & Co Ltd on Wednesday 28 August 1935 [5: 30-Aug-1935]
Came 2nd in the Handicap Cycle Race at the Carnamah Agricultural Show on Thursday 12 September 1935 [5: 20-Sep-1935]
Himself and Jack BENTLEY returned to Carnamah on Saturday 1 February 1936 after spending a vacation in Perth [5: 7-Feb-1936]
Sold 25 hoggets at 14/10 per head and 14 lambs at 12/7 per head through Dalgety & Co Ltd on 12 February 1936 [5: 14-Feb-1936]
Sold 68 lambs at 12/10 and 12 wethers at 21/5 per head through Dalgety & Co Ltd at the Midland Market on 29 July 1936 [5: 31-Jul-1936]
Employed a son of "Teddy" Edgar J. CLARK who on the first Wednesday night said he was off to baddy, or badminton, in town [P7]
     He'd never been but decided he may as well go too as he'd otherwise be just sitting around with a hurricane lamp at home [P7]
     It was on that night that he first met Mavis A. ROWLAND who was at that time working at the Carnamah Private Hospital [P7]
Member of the Carnamah Social Club, whose main activity was badminton, in 1936 and 1937 [5: 7-Aug-1936, 13-Nov-1936, 9-Apr-1937]
     Played for the defeated Carnamah Social Club in badminton against the Carnamah Badminton Club on 5 August 1936 [5: 7-Aug-1936]
Attended the 1936 Massey Harris 25-40 tractor demonstration at Inverbeg Farm in Three Springs on 22 August 1936 [5: 4-Sep-1936]
Exhibited in the Carnamah Agricultural Show held at Centenary Park in Carnamah on Thursday 10 September 1936 [5: 19-Sep-1936]
     Awarded 1st prize for 2 year old Clydesldale gelding or filly, and received 2nd prize for Border Collie dog or bitch [5]
Sold 9 wethers at 20/10, 30 hoggets at 17/4, and 43 lambs at 16/5 per head through Dalgety & Co Ltd on 5 March 1937 [5: 5-Mar-1937]
Married Mavis Amelia ROWLAND on 19 March 1937 at the Salvation Army Foretress in Perth [P7]
     They were going to get married at the Registry Office but the lady they were staying with arranged the nicer location [5: 12-Mar-1937] [P7]
     Travelled down to Perth with his wife-to-be on Wednesday morning and returned to Carnamah on Saturday of the same week [P7]
     They had planned to get married in the registry office however the person they were staying with arranged a nicer location [P7]
     Coincidentally his 500 acre Victoria Location 3328 in Carnamah had previously been farmed by Mavis' uncle Silas J. ROWLAND [44]
     Following their marriage they were tendered a Social Evening at the Church Hall in Carnamah on Thursday 1 April 1937 [5]
     The Social Evening consisted of community singing, competitions and the rendering of elocutionary and vocal items [5: 9-Apr-1937]
In July 1937 made a request to the Carnamah District Road Board for the closure of the road through his Victoria Location 3436 [5]
     He hoped to obtain water by sinking on the roadway, but he only received permission to place gates across the road [5: 16-Jul-1937]
Sold 98 crossbred ewes at a sheep sale held in saleyards in Carnamah on 29 July 1937 [88]
Member of the Carnamah Cricket Club in 1939-40 [4: 9-Mar-1940]
Had an account with Carnamah blacksmith, wheelwright and general repairers Henry Parkin & Son in the 1940s [53]
His wife purchased two little weaner pigs from Thomas J. BARKER which led to him establishing a large piggery [P7]
     As time passed purchased more and more pigs and began breeding them - at one time having a couple of hundred pigs [P7]
     Had a large shed erected for the pigs and allowed them to graze on green grass during the day [P7]
Always had one to two milking cows and supplied Wells & Wells Pyramid Tearooms with milk in a one gallon and a two gallon tin [P7]
     In exchange for the milk his children of school age had a hot meal at the tearooms at lunch time [P7]
During the war all local men had to go to the Carnamah Hall and be examined for military service [P7]
     As he was married with children and was running a farm he was let off and didn't have to enlist [P7]
During the war he had a terrible tooth ache and the local doctor wouldn't remove the tooth [P7]
     Due to petrol rationing he was unable to get to Perth to have the tooth removed by a dentist [P7]
     A local mechanic had a charcoal burner to run his vehicle and said if he burnt him some charcoal he'd take him to Perth [P7]
     He dug a pit in one of his paddocks, put jam wood in it and lit it up, covering it at a certain stage with tin [P7]
     The mechanic was true to his word and took him down to Perth and he had the tooth removed at a dentist in Midland [P7]
Applied for an Italian Prisoner of War to work on his farm and was supplied with a Sardinian named Nick [P7]
     Nick worked on his farm but wasn't allowed to leave the property or do clearing work, as they weren't allowed to handle an axe [P7]
     LEISHMAN Bros and HAIG Bros also had Italian Prisoners of War and they made it so they could see each other [P7]
     After the war Nick, who he recalled to be "a real good chap, a real good worker" was taken back to Perth [P7]
Donated a pig for the Live Weight Competition at the Carnamah District Agricultural Society's Victory Show in 1945 [13]
Member of the Billeroo Cricket Club in 1948-49 [5: 10-Mar-1949]
Departed Fremantle, Western Australia on the steamship Orontes and arrived in Southampton, England on 21 June 1949 [204]
     He returned to visit his mother and brothers [P7] and on arrival his address was Manor Gardens in Flitwick, Bedfordshire [204]     
     Departed Tilbury Docks in London, England on the Orcades and arrived in Fremantle, Western Australia on 12 October 1949 [63]
Member of the Carnamah Cricket Club in 1949-50 - played for Carnamah Country[4: 4-Mar-1950]
Obtained the telephone in 1951 - was telephone number Carnamah-57 [60]
Financial Member of the Carnamah District Agricultural Society 1952-1958 [13]
From 1956 to 1961 he also owned or held in Conditional Purchase lease the 3,547 acre Victoria Location 9827 in Winchester [3]
     Victoria Location 9827 bounds the west side of the Winchester South Road and the north side of the Dawson-Touche Road [62]
     During the 1960-61 financial year the block reverted to the Crown, and it was re-taken up by James A. THOMSETT [3]
With the creation of the Town Dam the government claimed 75 acres of his best farmland [P7]
     He protested to the Farmers' Union who managed to get 25 acres back but he still lost the remaining 50 acres [P7]
     Received £20 per acre compensation which totalled £1,000 however with taxes and duties it ended up being less [P7]
     The Town Dam, which ended up not working, also took the site of the old brickworks and part of Centenary Park [P7]
     Several years later, after the failure of the dam, he purchased the land back however trees had grown and it needed work [P7]
Attended the "Day of Pioneers" luncheon held at the Shire Council Chambers in Carnamah on 13 October 1982 [253]
In 1992 his daughter Maureen and son-in-law Lindsay MALCOLM took himself and his wife on a holiday to England [P336]
Mavis, his wife of 66 years, passed away on 22 July 2003 and was buried at the Winchester Cemetery in Carnamah [64]
Following his wife's death his good companion and very intelligent sheep dog named Lindy was run over [P7]
He was described as a very loyal and polite gentleman who was always welcoming and hospitable [P370]
Resided on Minawaha Farm in Carnamah until early April 2005 when he shifted to the hospital in Three Springs [P8]
Passed away at the North Midlands Health Service hospital in Three Springs at the age of 102 years [1]
Father of twelve children in Shirley, Margie, Issy, Roy, Maureen, Kay, Lany, Doug, Max, Jan, Vicki and Peter [45]
Died 12 February 2009; buried at the Winchester Cemetery in Carnamah, Western Australia (Row V, Plot 6) [1]


From The Elders Weekly newspaper, Thursday 21 January 1988:
Cyril Finds his Second Wind, by Peter Herkenhoff
   ""A perfect example of the traditional Aussie battler, Carnamah farmer, Cyril Rayner, is living proof that work is the elixir of life. At 81 he is still deeply involved in the everyday running of the 573 hectare farm he took up 55 years ago - his wife, Mavis and their 12 children will vouch for that. Toil was his only option in order to bring up such a large family - eight girls and four boys - on what  is a small property for the North Midlands district and a massive commitment by anyone's measure. Cyril's departure from his native England and his work as a 12-year-old dairyhand, back in 1924, was followed by an eight-year stint on a Berkshire Valley property, east of Moora.
     Then on August 7, 1932, Cyril went out on his own at Carnamah. "Carnamah is a good farming district, the years have confirmed what I was told about the place before I moved here," Cyril said. "Everything has its ups and downs and the place has changed a lot since I started here." He spoke with a tinge of regret - remembering those whose farms or businesses in the district had fallen by the wayside with the inevitable and sometimes painful passage of time. This has meant that there are now less farmers and bigger farms, the inevitable outcome of economies of scale.
     Modern Australian farming has dictated that the Rayner's family farm has had to grow (in stature, if not in size), even though it supported 12 people through thick and thin as it originally stood. Cyril acknowledges that there is always a limit to the production capability of a farm, but diversification has brought his property close to that desirable position. If today's farming hassles were as "simple" to manage as the water shortage problem Cyril vividly recollects from his early days at Carnamah, life - to him - would be a breeze. "In those days you'd finish work, then start carting water - that went on for nearly 20 years," he said. A realist and self-confessed conservative, he has always aimed to "make allowances for the ups and downs of farming, so you can take the good with the bad." Those allowances over the years have seen many luxuries denied from household. But there has been no shortage of happiness, however, for the Rayner definition of that is good, honest work. "It's an old policy, but a good one," Cyril said.
     Grain, Sheep and basically free-range pig production have maintained this large and highly-regarded Carnamah family through those good and bad years. Their original pig production was a saving grace, according to Cyril, a fact backed by Mavis, who had bought the first two pigs for her children with a child endowment cheque! A 600-strong commercial Merino flock, occasionally almost doubled with store sheep during those good seasons, proved itself a worthwhile breadwinner, but pigs still came up trumps. "They really did keep us going, but we couldn't turn them over quick enough in their partly free-range environment," said Peter. Obviously, their potential warranted further investigation and development of a new, $45,000 grower shed followed in March, last year. Turning off their pigs as ideal weight baconers of between 95 and 100 kilograms - more easily achieved with intensive production - Cyril and Peter have trebled their output of 18 months ago. Our ambition is to turn off eight baconers a week from the 35-sow piggery," Cyril said. "We are on the improve all the time and we would like to see the piggery grow at the same time."
     So positive is the piggery expansion, that all wheat, barley and lupin crops grown on the property now formulate the bulk of feed rations. "It's what we get for those pigs that really counts now, so we've got to produce consistent quality," said Cyril. "You can have the best bred stock in the world, but if you don't feed them right they're worth nothing." Sows and liners are carefully maintained during the early stages in Cyril's "maternity ward" - the original pig shed. This care has been repaid with the sows producing a remarkable average of nine piglets per liner. There's a lot to be said for labours of love. "We're working on clearing $100 a pig - anything over that we consider a bonus - and the new piggery has almost paid for itself already," said Mavis. These Landrace/Large White cross baconers are of crucial importance to the Rayner family's aim of maintaining financial independence, as it has done for the last 55 years. Away from the farm, Mavis' golfing prowess is legend - she has won Carnamah's Associate Championship for the last 25 years, beaten only once during that time, by one of her daughters. At 70 years of age she has a remarkable handicap of 13. It is a perpetual challenge for her, as is farming to her tee total, non-smoking husband. Retirement couldn't be further from his mind, for he recalls many who have "ended up pushing sheep around at Midland" after taking the big decision.""


Reference:  Carnamah Historical Society & Museum and North Midlands Project, 'Cyril Rayner' in Biographical Dictionary of Coorow, Carnamah and Three Springs, retrieved 18 September 2021 from www.carnamah.com.au/bio/cyril-rayner [sources]




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