Francis Henry William Thomas Winifred Brownrigg Peter Welsh Thomson Margaret Jean Caldow /Hodsdon Frederick Edward Senior James Roger Francis Wyman Clark Richard Robertson Patricia Mae Mulligan Joachim Dido

Biographical Dictionary - Coorow, Carnamah, Three Springs


"Dido" Joachim DIDO

Born C.1880 [321] on or close to Alma Plains Station near Broome, Western Australia [29]
His father was said to be an Aboriginal man named Dido who was originally from Eucla near the South Australian border [519]
He was brought down to Perth as a boy by a Mr CANNING and worked for CANNING's brother as a servant [39: 25-Sep-1890]
     In June 1890 he received a caution after appearing before the Perth Police Court on a charge of street fighting [39: 10-Jun-1890]
     He again went before the Perth Police Court in September 1890 on a charge of throwing stones [39: 25-Sep-1890] [160: 24-Sep-1890]
     At his hearing the magistrate disclosed that he'd been charged with disorderly conduct on two previous occasions [39]
     The Secretary of the Aborigines Protection Board attended his hearing and suggested he be sent to the mission on the Swan [39]
     He was put under the charge of the Secretary to be taken to the Swan Boys' Orphanage and Native & Half-Caste Mission [39] [160]
Arrived at the Benedictine Mission in New Norcia in 1891 [519]
     He was baptised in New Norcia on 14 August 1893 [519]
     The mission gave him the first name of Joachim, presumably after Saint Joachim, his name previously being solely "Dido" [P1]
     He was one of 23 Aboriginal boys living without a family at the Benedictine Mission in New Norcia in 1893 [321]
     Married (1) Mary Ann CACABUT at Holy Trinity Church in New Norcia on 3 October 1897 [519]
     His wife had also been at the Benedictine Mission, being one of 28 Aboriginal girls living there without family in 1893 [321]
     Their first three children Vincent, Joachim and Bernard were all born in New Norcia [15]
     Vincent died aged two years in 1901, Joachim aged one year in 1903 and Bernard at the age of 11 months in 1905 [15]
     He was a member of a New Norcia cricket team of Aboriginal men who visited Perth in 1906 to play three matches [81: 18-Mar-1906]
     Member of the New Norcia Mission Cricket Club in 1908-09 [9: 16-Apr-1909]
He and his wife appear to have shifted from New Norcia to Moora during 1909 [9: 16-Apr-1909, 10-Dec-1909]
     Member of the Warrengabbie Cricket Club in Moora in 1909-10 [9: 10-Dec-1909, 11-Mar-1910]
     Member of the Wanderers Football Club in Moora in 1910 [9: 3-Jun-1910]
     The Wanderers Football Club was an all-Aboriginal team which competed in the Moora Football Association [120: 28-Jul-1949]
He and his first wife had more children but tragically they all died in infancy except for one daughter [5: 25-Aug-1944]
     Four of their children died in Moora between 1911 and 1919 and were buried at the Moora Public Cemetery [116]
     Their son Charles Joachim died at 16 months on 2 March 1911 and daughter Mary Jane at six months on 8 October 1913 [116]
     Their daughter Ellen died aged two hours on 5 December 1914 and son Benedict aged one year on 3 December 1919 [116]
During the early years of Carnamah he worked for the MACPHERSON family as a shepherd on Carnamah Station [P300]
     He appears to have been living in Carnamah by about 1911 [5: 15-Sep-1944]
     Member of the Carnamah Cricket Club in 1912, 1913 and 1914 [9: 2-Feb-1912, 2-Jan-1914, 13-Feb-1914, 23-Oct-1914]
     In 1912 Carnamah storekeeper Joseph E. BROWN provided him and two other Aboriginal men "spirituous liquor" [9: 6-Feb-1912]
     It was illegal to sell or provide alcohol to Aboriginal people and BROWN was fined £62 by the Three Springs Police Court [9]
When most Aboriginal people went further inland he would periodically check on settlers to make sure they were okay [P490]
     On Christmas Eve in about 1911 he called in to Gauntley Farm in Waddy Forest and saw Mrs Beatrice M. WILLIAMS [P490]
     Mrs WILLIAMS was unhappy at having no meat for Christmas and expected her husband home that night or the next day [P490]
     He borrowed a .32 rifle and some ammunition and went towards Lake Nedo, returning a short time later with two kangaroos [P490]
     He'd waited until two kangaroos were feeding lined up and then shot them both with one round of ammunition [P490]
     He gave Mrs WILLIAMS a kangaroo for her Christmas dinner and then rode off with the other one towards Carnamah [P490]
He appears to have shifted from Carnamah back to Moora during 1914 [9: 13-Feb-1914, 24-Jul-1914]
     Member of the Wanderers Football Club in Moora in 1914, 1919 and 1920 [9: 24-Jul-1914, 20-Jun-1919] [10: 20-Jun-1919]
     Member of the Wirrilda Cricket Club at Koojan in the Moora district in 1915 [10: 19-Jan-1915, 5-Feb-1915, 26-Feb-1915]
     Member of the Wanderers Cricket Club in Moora in 1920 [9: 16 & 30-Jan-1920]
     His wife Mary Ann died in Moora aged 41 years on 28 September 1920 and was buried at the Moora Public Cemetery [116]
Along with another two Aboriginal trackers from Moora, he helped search for missing four year old boy Lionel MARTIN in 1917 [10]
     Lionel had been going to a neighbour's house on an errand for his mother but never arrived or returned home [10]
     He and the other trackers gave all their energy in the search, tracking the boy's tracks in the sand until they were lost [10]
     The boy was later found safe and sound in a stable - after spending two days and nights lost in the bush [10: 13-Apr-1917]
John MCGLENCHY was fined £20 for supplying him and another Aboriginal with alcohol in Yalgoo in 1918 [31: 15-Apr-1918]
In 1922 he was employed by the police to help follow the tracks of Coorow bushranger Frank H. W. THOMAS [P490]
     It was remarked years later that he possibly "didn't want to find anyone because he knew the chap he was looking for" [P490]
     THOMAS was caught and imprisoned in May 1922 but escaped and was then on the run again for almost six months [P490]
     Later in 1922 he was working on repairing a section of the Carnamah-Perenjori Road near FORRESTER's Dunester Farm [P300]
     He camped on-site and one night was awoken by a horse - which turned out to be THOMAS, who was caught hours later [P300]
He cleared a paddock on the farm of Anstruther P. TUCKER on the Yarra Yarra Estate in Carnamah [P498]
     TUCKER sold the farm to the HAIG family, who named it Henley Farm, and they referred to the paddock he cleared as 'Dido' [P498]
Worked for a number of years for Donald MACPHERSON in Carnamah [5: 25-Aug-1944]
     He resided in a block of timber between the MACPHERSON's homestead Carnamah House and the Carnamah townsite [P139]
     Member of the Carnamah Cricket Club in 1922-23 [9: 15-Dec-1922]
     Partner of (2) Jessie NEBRONG from about 1926 until his death in 1944 [5: 25-Aug-1944, 15-Sep-1944] [239: Tree 14C]
     Although it wasn't publicly known, Jessie's grandfather is said to have been his employer's father Duncan MACPHERSON [239]
     He was known for his skill as a very good tracker [P300]
     Sent a floral tribute for the grave of his employer Donald MACPHERSON at the Winchester Cemetery in 1931 [4: 22-Aug-1931]
     Following Donald's death he worked for a short time in Three Springs [5: 25-Aug-1944]
In November 1935 he, Jessie and their daughter Mary were receiving rations paid for by the Aborigines Department [59]
     The rations were granted by the local policeman Alan O. FIEBIG and provided by local storekeeper Norman W. REYNOLDS [59]
     He and Jessie each received 10 pounds of flour, four ounces of tea, 1½ pounds of sugar and one stick of tobacco [59]
     Their daughter Mary received five pounds of flour, two ounces of tea and 3¼ pounds of sugar [59]
Farmhand for HOLLINGSWORTH Bros in Carnamah 1936-1944 [5: 25-Aug-1944]
     In 1936 they were no longer receiving rations and he asked local storekeeper Norman W. REYNOLDS if he could help them [59]
     REYNOLDS wrote to the Chief Protector for Natives to raise the issue but received a reply that they were no longer eligible [59]
     The rations had been stopped as he was in continuous employment receiving £1 a week and sometimes as much as £1/10/- or £2 [59]
     At the time he was "recognised as a good worker and was seldom out of employment" [59]
Aboriginal man Ninghan Freddie was chasing kangaroos and emus and shepherding sheep between Carnamah and Perenjori [59]
     Freddie requested Perenjori farmer Roderick A. PIPER write to REYNODLS the storekeeper to pass a message onto Dido [59]
     The message was that he was there and for him to call in and leave the kangaroo dog there [59]
     The letter was undated but is believed to have been from the 1930s [59]
At REYNOLDS' store they sold dates which came once a year from Egypt in a box packed in layers between waxed paper [P99]
     They used to take the dates out from the back of the box but cut a square through the waxed paper so people could see them [P99]
     REYNOLDS got sick of people eating them so took three out, replaced their seeds with cayenne pepper and put them back [P99]
     One day a man started coughing and spitting and REYNOLDS said "he'd never seen an old bloke laugh as much as old Dido" [P99]
     He is said to have responded "you know Boss I got caught the other day but I went outside to do all my sneezing and coughing" [P99]
Father of Maggie DIDO and Mary DIDO [5: 25-Aug-1944] [471]
Died 21 August 1944 in Carnamah; buried in the Native section of the Three Springs General Cemetery in Three Springs [24]
North Midlands Project undertook a series of activities around the life and stories of local bushranger Frank THOMAS in 2017 [P1]
     Dido was featured with police tracking the bushranger in two artworks which were created by Perth visual artist Di Taylor [P1]
     The artworks are now part of the exhibition 10863 Bushranger presented by Act-Belong-Commit [P1]
     10863 Bushranger was launched at The Bank Gallery Space in Carnamah in 2017 and toured to Fremantle Prison in Perth [P1]
     In 2018 Di Taylor and Aboriginal artist Delys FRASER of Perenjori created a joint artwork on Dido's life to add to the exhibition [P1]
     The joint artwork 'Dido' was launched as part of the inaugural Harvest Festival in Carnamah on 6 October 2018  [P1]

From The North Midland Times newspaper, Friday 25 August 1944:
Death of a Native
"Arising out of an altercation between natives at a camp on Messrs. Hollingsworth Bros.' property at Carnamah, the death occurred in the early hours of Monday morning of Joachim Dido (71), an old Aboriginal identity of the Carnamah district. The late Dido, although a full blooded aboriginal, was nevertheless well respected throughout the district, and the news of his untimely demise came as a shock to all who had known him. Originally coming from the North West he spent many years around the Moora district, but eventually migrated to Carnamah, where he was one of a number of natives retained by the late Donald Macpherson. Following the late Mr. Macpherson's death, he spent a short period in the Three Springs district, but for several years past has been employed by Messrs. Hollingsworth Bros. A particularly good worker and entirely trustworthy, he was highly thought of by all who had employed him. Dido was twice married. His first union was a rather tragic one as, although several children were born, they all died with the exception of one daughter, who spent several years in the employ of the Macpherson family, and later returned to the mission, where we believe she also died. Embarking on matrimony a second time, Dido chose for his wife Jessie Farrell, a widow, some years younger than himself. One child (Mary) was born and she, the widow, and a stepson (Arthur Farrell, A.I.F.) are left to mourn the passing of Dido. Vale Dido, a coloured gentleman."

Reference:  Carnamah Historical Society & Museum and North Midlands Project, 'Joachim Dido' in Biographical Dictionary of Coorow, Carnamah and Three Springs, retrieved 25 June 2024 from [reference list]

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