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Biographical Dictionary - Coorow, Carnamah, Three Springs


Surname

Rupert Hyacinth LAFFAN

Born 25 March 1892 in Adelaide, South Australia [16]
Son of "Frank" Francis LAFFAN and Mary Jane PERRY [55]
In 1917 he was working as a Bank Official and residing in Goodwood Park, South Australia [94]
Enlisted in the Australian Imperial Force on 14 August 1917 in Adelaide, South Australia [30: item 7375485]
     On enlistment was described as being 6 feet rall, weighing 152 lbs. with brown eyes, dark brown hair and a fresh complexion [30]
     Embarked, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia for active service abroad on the H.M.A.T. A71 Nester on 28 February 1918 [30]
     After further training in England proceeded to France on 30 September 1918 [30]
     Sapper 21499 in the Australian Imperial Force's 1st Divisional Signal Company in France during the First World War [30]
     Discharged from the A.I.F. in London, England on 16 Oct 1919; received the British War and Victory Medals [30]
     He had served 2 years and 64 days with the A.I.F. - 1 year and 231 days of which were spent in service abroad [30]
Following his discharge from the Australian Imperial Force he worked at the Commonwealth Bank in London, England [30: item 7375485]
By 1922 he was working at the Commonwealth Bank in Mackay, Queensland, Australia[30]
In 1925 he was a Bank Manager and was living with his wife on Water Street in Cairns, Queensland, Australia [50]
Married Joyce Conyngham USHER [19] [4: 30-Nov-1929]
Worked for the Commonwealth Bank of Australia until starting up his own business in Carnamah in 1928 [4: 3-Nov-1928]
Along with his wife moved to Carnamah, Western Australia around October 1928[4: 3-Nov-1928]
In 1928 purchased a block of land on the corner of Macpherson and Boojerabba Streets in Carnamah [4: 3-Nov-1928]
     Had premises erected on the corner block, which he is believed to have purchased from Robert PALFREYMAN [4: 3-Nov-1928] [--]
     Construction of his premises were completed on about 28 November 1928 and were then filled with stock [4: 17-Nov-1928]
     The corner block was 16 Macpherson Street, Carnamah (Lot 68 of Victoria Location 1936) [3]
Property Salesman, Auctioneer and Commission Agent in Carnamah 1928-1934 [6] [4: 3-Nov-1928]
     Initially worked in Carnamah as a property salesman, auctioneer, sworn valuator, auditor and agent [4: 3-Nov-1928]
     The agency portion of his business in Carnamah, which regularly changed, opened on Monday 3 December 1928 [4: 1-Dec-1928]
On 31 January 1929 he held a Massey Harris Willis tractor demonstration on Gregorfields Farm in Winchester [4: 2-Feb-1929]
In February 1929 had an extensive machinery shed erected at the rear of his business premises in Carnamah [4: 16-Feb-1929]
By late March 1929 he had converted his premises in Carnamah into a farmers' Supply Store [4: 30-Mar-1929]
At his premises he sold asbestos sheeting, ball taps, belting, bore casing, Lister separators, forges, drills, the Alston mill, [4: 6-Apr-1929]
     wire, troughs, tanks, Lister sheep-shearing machines, gates, chaff cutters, circular saws, iron, belts, oil, tyres and tubes [4: 6-Apr-1929]
Also sold hardware supplies and motor accessories as well as Mobil, Shell and Castrol oils in 1929 [4: 1-Jun-1929]
In 1929 was an agent for a number of firms including Malloch Bros, Massey Harris Ltd, NZ Insurance Company, [4: 16-Feb-1929]
     Whippet and Whillys Knight cars, Perpetual Trustees and Executors Agency Company Ltd, John Darling and Son, [4]
     Musgrove's Music Warehouse, Harley Davidson and B.S.A. Cycles and Mutual Life and Citizens Assurance Company [4]
Later in 1929 he also become an authorised Ford dealer for the large area between Carnamah and Gunyidi [4: 17-Aug-1929 & 28-Sep-1929]
His business premises in Carnamah were telephone number Carnamah-34 [60]
Conducted a trade exhibit of his business at the Carnamah Show in Centenary Park on 19 September 1929 [4: 28-Sep-1929]
     At his exhibit he had on display many of the items he sold through his agencies, including a Fordson tractor, [4: 28-Sep-1929]
     Fordor Sedan car, 30 cwt Ford truck, Massey-Harris Wallis tractor, Massey-Harris binder, B.S.A. motorcycle, [4: 28-Sep-1929]
     Mays fertiliser with Massey tandem disc harrow and drill, Massey kerosene engine, oils, wires, netting etc [4: 28-Sep-1929]
Conducted a demonstration of the Fordson tractor at E. C. ANDREWS' farm in Carnamah on 7 October 1929 [4: 5 & 12-Oct-1929]
In October 1929 expanded his business by opening a Ford Service Station and employed the services of a mechanic [4: 19-Oct-1929]
     His Ford Service Station in Carnamah was known as "Laffan's Garage" in 1930 [4: 3-May-1930]
     His garage at Carnamah was "open any hour, day or night, for repairs to all makes of cars and trucks" [4: 4-Oct-1930]
     The garage was situated towards the back of 16 Macpherson Street, its entrance being on Boojerabba Street [4: 27-Sep-1930]
     Also sold used cars and trucks and accepted the same as a trade-ins for new Ford vehicles [4: 4-Oct-1930]
     At his Ford Service Station he kept on hand a large stock of spare parts for cars, trucks and tractors [4: 19-Oct-1929]
     Leased his garage via Boojerabba Street to local mechanic Charles E. I. THOMPSON in September 1930 [4: 27-Sep-1930]
Within the first two weeks of November 1929 sold eleven trucks and one car to residents of Carnamah and surrounds [4: 16-Nov-1929]
In December 1929 gained permission from the Carnamah District Road Board to erect a Petrol Bowser at his premises [4: 14-Dec-1929]
In 1930 he extended his Ford dealership to cover all districts between Gunyidi and Bokara [4: 18-Jan-1930]
     By July 1930 he had an office in Three Springs in addition to his office, store and garage in Carnamah [4: 19-Jul-1930]
     In 1930 sold Ford cars and trucks to people as far away as Mingenew, Strawberry, Dongara and Irwin [4: 19-Apr-1930, 10-May-1930]
In 1930 he also was an agent for George Willis & Co Ltd, Massey Harris Co Ltd and New Zealand Insurance [4: 4-Oct-1930]
He had agencies of his business at Mingenew, Dongara, Coorow and Winchester in 1930 [4: 29-Mar-1930]
Expanded his agency business in September 1930 to also represent Elder Smith & Co Ltd in Three Springs [4: 4-Oct-1930]
During December 1930 he took over the agency business belonging to K. B. JOHNSTON [4: 13-Dec-1930]
     On doing so he represented Elder Smith & Co Ltd throughout all of the North Midlands, from Mingenew to Marchagee [4]
On 27 February 1932 held the first ever "Carnamah Market"; later markets were known as Laffan's Market [4: 27-Feb-1932] [5]
     His first Carnamah Market was an abundant success attracting buyers from throughout the Midland and Wongan lines [4: 5-Mar-1932]
     Shortly afterwards held a market in Three Springs and then other centres in the North Midlands [4: 5-Mar-1932 & 28-Jan-1933]
     Conducted markets and auctions in Carnamah, Three Springs and Mingenew in 1932 and 1933 [5: 30-Sep-1932] [4: 16-Apr-1932, 4-Mar-1933]
     The inventory of the markets included horses, sheep, cattle, farm machinery, household furniture and sundries [4: 28-Jan-1933]
As an agent for Elder Smith & Co held sheep and horse sales in Carnamah at Donald MACPHERSON's sale yards [4: 4-Feb-1933]
Advertised his business in the Schedule of the Carnamah District Agricultural Society's Annual Show in 1933 [13]
     "R. Laffan, Auctioneer and General Agent, Carnamah - Auction Sales and Periodical Markets [13]
      Representing (in districts Marchagee to Mingenew): Elder, Smith & Co., Limited; Palatine Fire Insurance Co., Ltd.; [13]
      Batyphone Wireless Sets - Telephone 34 Carnamah, Telephone 39 Mingenew" [13]
Conducted livestock sales in Three Springs at stockyards belonging to Three Springs farmer Robert A. CALDOW [5: 2-Feb-1934]
Member of the team of married men who defeated a team of single men at cricket in Carnamah in November 1928 [4: 24-Nov-1928]
Member of the Carnamah Ratepayers & Citizens Association 1928-1932 [4: 10-Nov-1928] [5: 11-Nov-1932]
Convened a meeting at the Carnamah Hall on 19 April 1929 to discuss the establishment of flour mills in Carnamah [86: 20-Apr-1929]
Had an account with Carnamah blacksmith, wheelwright and motor mechanics Henry Parkin & Son from 1929 to 1931 [53]
Vice President of the Carnamah Cricket Club in 1930 [4: 4-Oct-1930]
Member of the Carnamah Golf Club 1930-1934 [4: 10-May-1930, 30-Jun-1934]
Foundation Member and Vice President in 1930 and President in 1933 of the Carnamah Golf Club [5: 5-May-1933] [4: 10-May-1930]
Attended the funeral of "Father of Carnamah" Donald MACPHERSON at the Winchester Cemetery on 14 August 1931 [4: 22-Aug-1931]
In 1932 he was the owner of a Ford car with license plate CA-117 [4: 12-Nov-1932]
Made a donation to the Carnamah branch of the Country Women's Association in 1932 to help them purchase premises [5: 29-Jul-1932]
In October 1932 donated some cyclone fencing wire to the Carnamah Country Women's Association for their rest room [5: 28-Oct-1932]
He was one of 77 ex-servicemen who attended the Sailors & Soldiers Reunion Dinner in Carnamah on 22 October 1932 [86: 29-Oct-1932]
Convened a meeting in Three Springs on Friday 18 November 1932 about the formation of a local Chamber of Commerce [5]
     The Chamber of Commerce was to safeguard the interests of the North Midlands - from Coorow to Mingenew [5: 11-Nov-1932]
Elected Chairman of the Carnamah Ratepayers & Citizens Association in November 1932 [5: 11-Nov-1932]
Pallbearer at the funeral of Arrino farmer Hugh A. F. MCNEILL at the Three Springs Cemetery on 23 November 1932 [5: 9-Dec-1932]
Member of the Carnamah Sub-Branch of the Returned Soldiers League - was Vice President in 1932 and 1933 [5: 5-May-1933] [52]
On 9 February 1933 attended the meeting in Carnamah at which Federal Member A. E. GREEN, M.H.R. was entertained [5: 17-Feb-1933]
Attended the Anzac Day Commemoration Service at the Carnamah War Memorial on 25 April 1933 [5: 5-May-1933]
Attended the send-off social and dance to Charles S. MACDONALD at the Three Springs Hall on Thursday 29 June 1933 [5: 30-Jun-1933]
Winner of John KENNY's first Billiard Tournament conducted within Mackie's Buildings in Carnamah in 1933 [5: 2-Jun-1933, 30-Jun-1933]
Attended the Valedictory Dinner tendered to Alexander B. GLOSTER at the Coorow Hotel on Monday 3 July 1933 [5: 7-Jul-1933]
Attended the Official Opening of the Carnamah Golf Course at Centenary Park in Carnamah on Sunday 23 July 1933 [5: 28-Jul-1933]
Donated the "Club Championship Cup" to the Carnamah Golf Club in 1933 [5: 28-Jul-1933]
Attended the Coorow-Waddy Agricultural Show at Maley Park, Coorow on Thursday 7 September 1933 [5: 15-Sep-1933]
He was among those from Carnamah who attended the R.S.L. Reunion Dinner held in Morawa on 28 October 1933 [5: 3-Nov-1933]
Retired as President of the Carnamah Ratepayers & Citizens Association in January 1934 [4: 13-Jan-1934]
In January 1934 purchased Ivan JOHNSON's Ford Roadster car [5: 19-Jan-1934]
Attended the funeral of Mrs Christina B. D. FORRESTER of Carnamah at the Winchester Cemetery on 31 August 1934 [4: 8-Sep-1934]
Attended the "Yandanooka Day" in September 1934 where he made a donation to aid the Yandanooka Hall's finances [4: 8-Sep-1934]
During his time in Carnamah resided within his premises at 16 Macpherson Street and was telephone number Carnamah-34 [19] [60]
In September 1934 sold his Elder Smith & Co business and Macpherson Street premises to William B. SHERIDAN [5: 28-Sep-1934]
Conducted a clearing sale of the entirety of his household furniture and effects at 2 p.m. on Saturday 29 September 1934 [5: 28-Sep-1934]
Included in the items he sold by auction at the clearing sale were two double bedsteads and mattresses, large oak wardrobe, [5]
     oak dressing table and wash stand, oak dining table and chairs, upholstered settee and two easy chairs, leather settee and [5]
     two lounge chairs, 4 valve Batyphone, wireless set, Panatrope gramophone and records, three burner blue flame stove, [5]
     stretchers, mattresses, blankets, rugs, sheets, kitchen safes, coolers, Singer sewing machine, linoleums, verandah chairs, [5]
     mats, kitchen utensils, crockery, glassware and sundries[5: 28-Sep-1934]
Farewelled and presented with an inscribed fountain pen from the members of the Carnamah Golf Club on 30 September 1934 [5]
Left Carnamah in early October 1934 to go on an extended holiday to the Eastern States of Australia [5: 5-Oct-1934]
Himself and his wife were living in the suburb of Hamilton in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia by May 1935 [5: 17-May-1935]
In 1936 he was working as a Manager and living with his wife at 57 Upper Lancaster Road in the Brisbane suburb of Ascot [50]
Sent a floral tribute for the grave of William B. SHERIDAN of Carnamah at the Winchester Cemetery on 27 January 1936 [5: 31-Jan-1936]
Resided in Clayfield, Queensland, Australia prior to enlisting in the Australian Army in Queensland on 22 July 1940 [16]
     Major QX42667 in the Australian Army's AASC DAD S&T 2 L OF C SUB AREA during the Second World War [16]
     Discharged from the Australian Army on 23 November 1943 [16]


From The Irwin Index newspaper, Saturday 3 November 1928:
New Business at Carnamah
"Mr. R. Laffan announces, per medium of our advertising columns, that he is starting in business at Carnamah as a property salesman. Mr. Laffan was a banker for about 21 years, the last 14 of which have been spent with the Commonwealth Bank. Mr. Laffan will also practise as an auctioneer, sworn valuator and auditor, and will carry on a number of agencies. At present he is largely engaged in developing the land sales portion of the business. He has purchased land at the corner of Macpherson and Boojerabba Streets, where business premises are in course of erection, a portion of which will be let to a chemist, who is starting at Carnamah. Mrs. Laffan assists in the business and will shortly open a circulating library."


From The Irwin Index newspaper, Saturday 1 December 1928:
New Business at Carnamah
"Mr. R. Laffan is opened an agency business at Carnamah for which his advertisements will appear later, on Monday, December 3. His agencies will include such well know firms as Massey Harris Ltd., Wippet, Willys-Knight, Falcon-Knight and Strearns-Knight cars, Manchester Metallurgical Works, Perpetual Trustees & Agency Co. W.A. Ltd., Mutual Life and Citizens' Assurance Co. Ltd., Musgroves' Music Warehouse, Harley Davidson & B.S.A. Motor Cycles, Gemmell and McDougall Ltd. (Sports Requisites), Exide Batteries, Remington Tyewriters, Patrol, Tyres etc. Mr. Rutledge is also opening a chemist's business in Mr. Laffan's buildings on the same date."


From The North Midland Times newspaper, Friday 28 September 1934:
Business Change - Laffan's Agency
"Mr. W. B. Sheridan the well-known representative of the Westralian Farmer's Co., Ltd. in the North Midlands districts has purchased the premises and business of Mr. R. Laffan in Macpherson Street, Carnamah, and will in future operate for Elder, Smith & Co. Limited in the Road Board districts of Carnamah, Three Springs and Mingenew. This stock agency will be conducted from the present premises and in conjunction therewith Mr. Sheridan will also handle the agencies of Nicholsons and Co. Ltd., Palatine Insurance Co. and other agencies now held by Mr. Laffan."


Reference:  Carnamah Historical Society & Museum and North Midlands Project, 'Rupert Hyacinth Laffan' in Biographical Dictionary of Coorow, Carnamah and Three Springs, retrieved 22 July 2019 from www.carnamah.com.au  [ sources ]




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