Beginning of the Gospel in Western Australia

The Work of the Gospel and Conventions in Western Australia 

The first workers to come to Western Australia from Ireland were Tom Turner, Jim McCreight, Laura Falkiner and. Aggie Hughes in 1905.

The first one to profess in Western Australia was Syd Maynard on the Kanowna Gold-fields near Kalgoorlie, in 1906.

The next to profess was Mrs. Burgess of Bassendean, about 1907.

Sam Jones arrived, from Ireland in 1908 and had his first mission around Rockingham where his companion. Bob Bashford deserted him. Sam went to South Australia in 1909 for the conventions at Woodside. He did not return till March 1909, after his first and only visit to Ireland. He died in the bush at Rockingham on April 14th, 1946. Mr. and Mrs. Jacob came from New Zealand to have an open home about 1910-1911. 

Mr. and Mrs. Higgs professed near the end of 1911 through Bess Pattison and Annie Smith.

Grace Snowball and her mother professed in 1912, through Bess Pattison and Annie Smith.

Mr. and Mrs. Radford professed in 1915 through Emma Mole and Edie Sadlier, after giving his church in Bellevue, where he was a Baptist parson, to them for gospel meetings. Mr and Mrs. Taylor, who were some of his congregation, professed then also Mim Radford(later Mrs. Kemble). Mr. Radford's sister professed about the same time.

Mr. Radford, in his last service in his church, told his congre­gation that he had no sermon for them any more and was sorry to tell them that he had been deceived as to what was God's true way, until now when he heard the Gospel through God's true servants. He closed that service with the hymn being sung, "Oh Jesus I have promised to serve thee to the end." Mrs. Radford died on May 14, 1952. Mr. Radford wrote the hymn, "In times of deepest darkness, of sorrow and distress," the night his wife died.

Theo Karvonikis professed through Laura Falkiner and companion about 1913 after listening to them in open air meetings in Berwick Street, Perth, near the fish shop where he had been working. He went in the work in Western Australia and later he went to Greece to preach the Gospel, where he died. He gave the name of CANEA to the convention grounds in memory of the place on the Isle of Crete where he was born. Mr. Will Gregory professed in a mission held in Baker's Hill first by Edie Sadlier and Ethel Harrison and then by Alice Begbie and Maude Kerns. He professed in July 1914.

The first convention in Western Australia was held between the homes of the Radfords and Jacobs in Bassendean, then known as West Guildford, in March 1915.

Adam Hutchison was the visiting worker. The second convention in Western Australia was held in Jacobs and Radford’s homes in 1916.

Mrs. Dawson and Lily professed through Tom Turner and Oscar Collins at Balance Lee, Donny Brook in 1916. Vicky Dawson (later Mrs. McClelland) and Flossy Dawson (later Mrs. Helms) professed in 1917.

The third convention in Western Australia was held in a butcher shop on Guildford Road, Bassendean in 1917. Adam Hutchison was the visiting worker. The first convention held at "Canea" Gosnells was in Mr. and Mrs. Radford's home in 1918.

Conventions continued there until the last one in March 1950. The first convention on Mr. and Mrs. Radford's property, "Canea,” Helena Valley was in March 1951.

Preparations had begun on the new grounds by Nestor Ferguson, Doug Neale and lan Hebenton in 1950. Mr. Radford then went on a visit to New Zealand, after his wife died in 1952. Mr. Colin Scott of Kellerberrin took over the purchase of "Canea" from Mr. Radford. After Mrs. Radford's death, Mr. and Mrs. Albert Potter came to live at "Canea" on Oct 4th, 1932, and stayed for about seven years. Mr. Radford came to live at "Canea" again about 1939 or 1940. Ray Barnes worked with Mr. Radford and when Ray married Mary Shanks in August 1942, they lived in "Canea" also. A few years later Mr. Radford built the little cottage across the road from "Canea" and called it "KLEMSE." The letters of this name representing the first letter of the names of the people who had a great spiritual influence on his life:

K his wife's name, Kate
L Laura Falkiner 
E Emma Mole 
M Maude Kerns 
S Syd Maynard 
E Edie Sadlier 

Mr. and Mrs. Bob Francis came to live in Canea in 1948. Mr. and Mrs. Nester Ferguson came in 1951. After the convention in 1953, the house at “Canea “ was rebuilt. About 1957 Colin Scott transferred the “Canea” property to Mrs. Nestor Ferguson, owing to his family not professing and wanting it to be preserved for the convention grounds. In March 1973 David and Grace Edleston came to live at “Canea” and Mrs. Nestor Ferguson (Peggy) went to live in Klemse. Mr. and Mrs. Len Denboer took over the tenancy of Canea and shifted in there on Dec. 12th, 1978. David and Grace Edleston shifted into their own house opposite “Canea.”