Richard Edward Rennie (Junior)

Richard Edward Rennie (Junior) was born in Moora on July 23 1914. He was baptised by the Reverend F.W. Gunning at St.James Church Moora on October 21 1917 at the age of three years. He was the elder child of Richard Edward Rennie Sr and Lucy Katherine Rennie (nee Cleary)

Richard attended Moora Primary School and for a short time Goomalling Primary School, leaving school at the age of 14 years.

While at Moora Primary School, he would travel each with his younger sisters and brothers from the family farm 'Hillview' at Dalaroo into town in a cart pulled by Dolly the horse. Dolly would be tied up at the school for the return journey in the afternoon.

Richard and Lucy Rennie with Marie and Richard Jr. c1918

Richard's mother Lucy Rennie became ill while the family was living on the farm at Dalaroo.

For a time Richard's grandmother Sarah Rennie came up to the farm to help look after the children.

Probably because of Lucy's poor health, the farm was sold and the family moved to Goomalling. In December 1926 Lucy Rennie died and was buried in the Anglican Section of the Goomalling Cemetery.

Richard Edward Rennie Jr c1920

In 1929 the family moved to Corrigin where his father Richard Edward Rennie Snr became the agent for Elders Smiths Limited and A.M.P. representative.

By this date Richard (now known as Dick) had left school. He initially went to work for his father, but this father/son arrangement was not successful.

Dick then worked for the Corrigin Co-operative for a short time; from April 15, 1929 to April 2, 1932.

The Rennie family lived in three different houses whilst in Corrigin, ending up in a large house across the road from the railway lines just north of the town centre.

Bob Bunker and Richard Rennie (age 17) Corrigin 1931

Dick moved to Fremantle on May 11, 1932. He began work at the Union Stores 'hardware shop and universal providers' on May 23, 1932.

At this time he boarded with his grandparents Richard and Sarah Rennie at 3 Ord Street, one of the four houses built on this town block by Richard.

Richard Rennie - from the bush 1932

In the late 1930's Dick met Doreen Hannah Clark, who was working in Fremantle as a window dresser for Woolworths in Adelaide Street.

Doreen was the elder daughter of Sydney Clark and Elsie Clark (nee Angove).

Dick and Doreen became engaged in December 1937. They married on June 10 1939 in the ********* church on the corner of Stirling Highway and Queensley  Drive, Claremont.

Richard Rennie and Doreen Clark

With the war coming closer to Australia, Dick was called up for army service in January 1942.

He joined the Australian Army Service Corp as a driver. He was attached to the 13th Field Ambulance in Townsville, and later the 24th Field Ambulance in Darwin. (Documents indicate he was discharged from the 12th Aust Fld Amb.) His rank was Private and his army number was W.47366, Unit 101 AGH

He was discharged as medically unfit in December 1945, the diagnosis being contact dermatitis (?khaki), which manifest itself as dry extremely itchy patches on his feet and shins. The disability was accepted as being due to war service but, as there was no assessable degree of incapacity therefrom, no pension was paid.

Richard Rennie and Bill Higgs at 'Kilburn' Townsville, Queensland 1943/44

Dick and Doreen's first child was premature and stillborn. However over the next 12 years they produced four beautiful sons.

They were:

  • Richard Sydney Rennie born January 22 1942
  • John Edward Rennie born January 7 1947
  • Barry Thomas rennie born July 31 1949
  • Ian Francis Rennie born October 2 1953.

Dick and Doreen initially lived in 1 Ord Street Fremantle. They rented this house from his grandmother Sarah Rennie (widow of Richard Rennie, the builder of the house). It had been their intention to buy this house. However during the war the house was sold, and knowing they would eventually have to move they bought a block of land in East Fremantle for £100.

By 1952 they had built a house on this block and the family moved to 52 Alexandra Road East Fremantle in August that year.

After the war Dick had returned to the Union Stores, eventually becoming manager in 1957. However the Union Stores was taken over, and he decided to leave and join lodge-friend and builder Charlie Walters and the firm A. Walters and Sons. He worked for them for two years before joining Jaxon Constructions in East Perth.

Dick Rennie retired in 1976, moving to the new house he built in Australind for a life of leisure and crabs, which until he had a slight stroke, was greatly enjoyed. 

52 Alexandra Rd East Fremantle c1960

Dick and Doreen planned their final years very well. They reserved a place at the Elanora Villas, a retirement village south of Bunbury. It was there that they spent the remaining years of their lives.

Doreen Rennie died on May 31, 2000 at the age of 83.

Richard Rennie died on July 19, 2001 at the age of 85.

Their ashes were distributed in the garden of peace in the Bunbury cemetery

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