Love/Sweetheart Token

Back of Love Token

Perth Hills detectorist and history enthusiast Rhys Hall has recently unearthed an artefact with links to one of Western Australia’s earliest and most influential settlers. Rhys, and his son Jack, were metal detecting on private property with the owner’s consent, in a rural area near Perth when he found what appears to be a ‘love token’ or ‘sweetheart token’.

Front of Love Token

The token bears the words S. STANLEY PARKER 1837. The letters are stamped on a 1797 Cartwheel Penny. The effigy of King George III has been rubbed off the coin but the cartwheel chariot design and some letters are visible.

The token is reminiscent of well documented convict ‘love tokens’. However, convicts did not arrive in WA until 1849.

Stephen Stanley Parker was born in 1817 and came to WA with his family in 1830 and is therefore amongst some of the State’s earliest settlers. He married in 1844 and farmed in York. In 1859 he erected a steam flour mill in that town. In 1882 he moved to Perth and served on the Legislative Council for 8 years. His good relations with local Aborigines saw him become a member of the Aboriginal Protection Board. At his death in 1904 the Western Mail (5 March) recorded that ‘he was esteemed as one of the prominent men of the country’.

Judge Stephen Henry Parker

Parkerville, in the Perth Hills, is named after his son, Stephen Henry Parker,(above) who became a Chief Justice of the Supreme Court.

The token has important historical and research value. It is highly likely it was made by Stephen Parker when he was 20 years old.

The artefact can be added to a growing list of exciting finds being made by metal detectorists in Western Australia and further strengthens Heritage Detection Australia’s calls for the introduction of a Portable Antiquities Scheme.

References –

Western Mail 5 March 1904

W B Kimberley. History of Western Australia


Did you know that the Carnaby Cockatoo is named after Ivan Carnaby who was a well known resident of Parkerville from 1922. Carnaby’s black cockatoo, also known as the short-billed black cockatoo, is a large black cockatoo endemic to southwest Australia. It was described in 1948 by naturalist Ivan Carnaby. Measuring 53–58 cm in length, it has a short crest on the top of its head. Wikipedia

Carnaby Cockatoo


Scott has finished his 4th volume of his Railway Hotel book. This book talks about Railway Hotels in Western Australia. Scott will be at the Boya Library, Scott Street, Boya on Thursday the 8th August at 5.45pm to 7pm. Light refreshments will be available for a gold coin donation.

Although this event is free, bookings are essential. Bookings will be live on Eventbrite on Thursday the 18th July, 2019.


Three minutes is not a lot of time when you are trying to cram in a history lesson. Yet that will be the challenge for those would be history slammers at the Mundaring and Hills Historical Society’s History Slam.

Come and join us for our inaugural History Slam. No experience necessary, just the ability to say a lot in a short period of time. Three minutes to be exact.  We want to hear your poem, song or just plain-spoken memory of life in the hills. If you have an interesting historical object or photograph to show, we would love to see it.

We will be buzzing with anticipation for a fast and furious storytelling or show and tell session. To be held at the Glen Forrest Octagonal Hall, 52 McGlew Road Glen Forrest at 2pm on Saturday 6th July.

Wow! That 3 minutes went quick!

Afternoon tea provided for a gold coin donation.                                                
For further information please contact:  
Mundaring and Hills Historical Society Inc. or (08) 9295 0540




Charles and Frencenne Lauffer with three of their children – 1903

It was 9.10 am Wednesday the 4th February 1903 when the picnic train puffed into Smith’s Mill Station, and a party of eight French picnickers alighted. They made their way to the Glen Hardy Cellars in Smith’s Mill (now known as Glen Forrest). After drinking most of the six bottles of wine that they had purchased, they made their way to Charles and Frencenne Lauffer’s vineyard, Helena River Nursery.

Charles and Frencenne had lived at their vineyard for sixteen years and together with their four children, were well known and respected by all that knew them.

Nobody could have predicted the tragic event that occured on that sunny Wednesday in February 1903. After a minor argument about the purchase of wine, a pistol was produced by one of the picnickers and Charles was fatally shot. Police were contacted and all the picnic party were shackled to a tree at the railway station, while waiting on the train to take them to Guildford lock-up.

To know more about this story, don’t hesitate to contact us at Mundaring and Hills Historical Society.


Bailup is located on Toodyay Road, north east of Noble Falls in the Shire of Mundaring. Although not well known, from 1840 to 1861, it was home to a police station and the Wayside Inn.

The Police Station was a cluster of mud-brick buildings on the west side of the road. The inn had several licences but in 1861, the licence lapsed and the sly grog trade began. This did not last long as the last person dispensing the sly grog was charged with theft and incarcerated.


In 1956, an Olympic year, the world was beset with Cold War anxieties. Tensions between East and West had been heightened less than a month before the Games when the USSR invaded Hungary to crush an uprising. Then Israeli, French and British armies invaded and occupied Egypt’s Sinai and Suez Canal Zone. Would the Melbourne Olympic Games be remembered as the “friendly” Games, a sea of tranquillity in a stormy world, or would they become a victim of the Cold War? Would our moment in the sun be blown away by revolutions and wars raging over 15,000 kilometres away?

Reporting on the Olympic Games for The New Yorker Magazine, sports writer John Lardner suggested that Melbourne had found the antidote for the tensions that plagued the rest of the world. “Australia is enjoying almost a world monopoly on peace, harmony, civility, understanding, and other such symptoms of civilization and good breeding, while Europe is behaving like someone you would think twice about introducing to your sister.”

Keeping Australia safe from the frigid winds of the Cold War was ASIO. However it had never faced a challenge like the one posed by the Olympic Games. Its forte was hunting down “reds under the beds”: local comrades in the universities, unions and the media who might be run as agents of influence by Soviet spies. In 1954, Australians discovered just how real the threat was when Vladimir Petrov defected, as did his wife. He was Third Secretary at the Soviet Embassy in Canberra, as well as being a lieutenant colonel in the KGB.

I was only one year old for these Olympic Games, but I certainly remember while I was growing up, the dread of “reds under the beds”.


Sheena helping with set-up

People chatting at information stalls

Great day out yesterday at the Volunteer Expo, hosted by Swan Volunteers. Elizabeth and her enthusiastic team created a fantastic event with many stalls vying for their share of the volunteer pool. Well done Swan Volunteers for such a successful networking event. I hope this is the first of many more to come.


Mary Delaney

Mary Delaney was born on the 15th may 1700. Her stunning works are often mistaken for watercolours, but they are in fact delicate collages – each flower could be made of up to 200 tiny paper petals. She is worth a google to see her beautiful work. At first glance her pictures look like watercolours, but when viewed closely the viewer can see the intricate patterns of miniscule paper petals that make up the flower of choice.

One of Mary’s incredibly delicate works
Another beautiful piece