Freo's View


Posted in fremantle, history, multicultural, netherlands, western autralia by freoview on June 27, 2016


I went to the DUTCH JOURNEYS TO THE WESTERN EDGE  exhibition in the State Library in Perth and highly recommend it to anyone interested in WA’s history or our connection with the Netherlands.

Why report this on a Fremantle blog some might ask, but I believe there are a lot of connections to the Dutch history here in Freo. The wreck of the Dirk Hartog’s ship Batavia is at the Shipwreck Museum and the replicas of the Dutch sailing ships Endeavour, Duyfken and Leeuwin were all built in Fremantle.

The exhibition was curated by Dutch born Nonja Peters who migrated here as a three-year-old child in 1945.

On the train on the way back to Freo I reflected on the ‘stopping the boats’ policy by the Liberal and Labor parties here in Australia when I read at the exhibition that during the second world war 170,000 Dutch people found refuge in Australia, 13,000 of them in WA.

But the Dutch of course fitted in well with the White Australia Policy with their blue eyes and blond hair and were considered to be adaptable, unlike those brown, non-Christians we refuse entry into Australia to at present.

In that context it will be interesting to see how many Brexit ‘refugees’ we will be welcoming in WA without anyone claiming they take jobs away from local people

The Duyfken will be sailing from Fremantle in August to be at Shark Bay on October 25 to celebrate the arrival there of Dirk Hartog 400 years ago in 1616. There will be an exhibition in all the ports she visits; Bunbury, Mandurah, Hillaries, Jurien Bay, Dongara, Geraldton, Denham.

Roel Loopers



Posted in fremantle by freoview on November 15, 2013

Mary Ann Friend was one of the first Europeans to paint images of the Swan River Colony and what is now known as Fremantle. The Western Australian State Library bought her journal during an auction last year for a considerable amount of money. State Library will celebrate the very short life of Mary Ann in a series of lectures at the Shipwreck Galleries, titled  Seven Weeks in the Swan River Colony, that will be well worth attending for those interested in our city’s history. I will for sure.

November 19. 12.30: A Life of Adventure: Mary Ann Friend 1800-1838

November 20. 12.30: At Sea: Mary Ann Friend and the voyage of the Wanstead

November 21. 12.30: The Fremantle Frontier: Mary Ann Friend and early Fremantle

November 26. 12.30: The Picturesque: Mary Ann Friend’s paintings of Fremantle

Roel Loopers

Mary Ann Friend


Posted in fremantle by freoview on October 12, 2012

It was fantastic to hear last evening that the W.A. State Library managed to buy the journal of Mary Ann Friend at the auction at Christies in London on Wednesday. While Christies estimated to get a quarter of a million dollar, the diary sold for a bit under $ 190,000.

Only ten days ago I had the pleasure of attending a function at Notre Dame University to make people aware that the library needed funds to buy the journal which has the earliest paintings of Fremantle in it. Mary Ann and her husband Matthew visited Fremantle in 1830 for six weeks so it is great this piece of history will now come to Western Australia.

Roel Loopers



Posted in fremantle by freoview on October 5, 2012

It was disappointing that not more people came to the lecture on Mary Ann Friend at the Notre Dame University last night. They missed out on an excellent and engaging presentation about the young woman and her husband Matthew by the delightful Associate Professor Deborah Gare.

Mary Ann Friend wrote a journal about her travels in which some of the earliest watercolour paintings of Fremantle are published. The diary will be on auction at Christies in London on October 10 and the Western Australian State Library would like to buy it.

It would be fantastic to have the journal in W.A. but whatever the outcome of the auction I hope Deborah Gare will write a book about Mary Ann and Matthew Friend and their time in the Swan River Colony.

Although only 30 people turned up it was nice to see two candidates for next year’s state election attending in Liberal Matthew Hanssen and Greens Andrew Sullivan.

Roel Loopers


Posted in fremantle by freoview on September 29, 2012

Mary Ann Friend arrived in Fremantle in 1830. The young woman wrote a rather quirky journal observing her fellow ship passengers and early settlers. She also painted the first impressions of the Swan River Colony in her diary. The diary will go on auction at Christies in London in the next two weeks.

The Fremantle Chamber of Commerce and the University of Notre Dame are holding an information evening about Mary Ann Friend this Thursday, October 4 from 6-8 pm at the Santa Maria Lecture Theatre in Mouat Street. It is a FREE EVENT with wine and nibbles.

One of the speakers will be UNDA historian Deborah Gare. I listened to her talking about Mary Ann Friend at Kidogo Arthouse some months ago and became an instant fan of her. Her love for history is infectious and she is such a great speaker that I was disappointed when she stopped. I am very much looking forward to hearing Deborah again on Thursday.

Come along and bring any spare cash you might like to donate to the Western Australian State Library so they can purchase the journal at the auction.

Roel Loopers



Posted in fremantle by freoview on September 26, 2012

The journal of MARY ANN FRIEND who arrived in Fremantle in 1830 and painted the first impressions of Bathers Beach and the Swan River Colony will go on auction at CHRISTIES in London in two weeks.

The Western Australian State Library would love to purchase this very important historic diary but needs financial help, so it’s time for Kerry Stokes, Gina Rinehardt, Janet Holmes aCourt, etc. to go to the ATM and take out some large sums of money to support the Library in their quest to buy Mary Ann’s musings and art.

I listened to Notre Dame University historian Deborah Gare at Kidogo Art House some months ago, when she read from Friend’s journal and it was fascinating. Christies sent over two people to promote the sale of the journal and I believe it should come to Western Australia.

Maybe we can build a less lavish stadium and use some of the money to buy Mary Ann Friend’s journal. Christies expects the diary will sell for around $ 250,000.00

Roel Loopers

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