Last week, avid historian Anne Chappel spoke to the Club about a story that is close to her heart—Anzac Cottage.
Anzac Cottage was built in one day—12 February 1916— and still stands today at 38 Kalgoorlie Street, Mt Hawthorn. The house was built to serve as a residence for a returned wounded soldier and his family.
The ambitious project was initiated by the Mount Hawthorn Progress Association and supported eagerly and enthusiastically by the community with donations and contributions, to ensure that the cottage that was to be built would be a suitable memorial for Gallipoli veterans.
The first resident of this house was Private Cuthbert John Porter, Anne’s grandfather. Private Porter lived in the cottage until his death in 1964.
After Private Porter’s death, there was some disagreement as to who owned the property. In 1991, after being tenanted for some years, the Vietnam Veterans Association of Australia WA Branch Inc. took ownership of what was by then a very rundown cottage.
In cooperation with restoration groups, the Department of Conservation and Heritage and significant financial donations, the house was repaired to its former glory. On the occasion of the 90th anniversary of Anzac Cottage, ownership was transferred to the City of Vincent with a lease on a peppercorn rental arrangement by the Vietnam Veterans Association of Western Australia.