Valentine Goodchild Rennie was born on July 14 1893 at Havelock St Ballarat (Ballarat Birth Registration 45809/1983).  He was the second child of Richard and Sarah Rennie.  At this time Richard Rennie was described as a bricklayer.

To Family Tree of Richard and Sarah Rennie

The name Valentine came from the name of his Grandmother Elizabeth Brown's second husband James Valentine.  (Her first husband Richard Brown died in 1873.)

To Family Tree of Sarah Rennie

The origin of the name Goodchild was for some time difficult to trace.  Goodchild was originally the maiden name of the wife of Wild Rennie; that is, Valentine's great grandmother (from Buninyong Marriage Registration       /1888).

Valentine Goodchild Rennie c1920

Valentine (also known as Val) came to Western Australia from Victoria in about 1896 with the rest of the family.  He grew up in Fremantle.

He was involved in the early days of motion picture projection in Western Australia.  In the silent film era he had his own projection equipment and travelled about as a picture show man showing movies.  Later he was a projectionist at the Majestic Theatre in High Street Fremantle.  (This theatre has long been converted into shops, but the wrought iron balustrade on the second story balconies still bears the initials M.T. for Majestic Theatre.)

Several reference books belonging to Valentine Rennie related to motion picture theatres and projection equipment, and electric circuit wiring, still exist.  All date from around 1911-12 and those with Valentines writing in them suggest he was quite young when he owned them, possibly no more than twenty years old.

It is said that he met his wife-to-be Olive Amelia Pearl Carroll when he was a projectionist at the Majestic Theatre; Olive was an usherette at the theatre.

Olive Carroll

Valentine Rennie married Olive Carroll at Christ Church Claremont.  Olive was the youngest daughter of T.H. Carroll of Riverside Road East Fremantle, near the Stirling Bridge.  'Carroll House' is a large solid two story house on the river front which after years of neglect was being restored in 1990 as the Left Bank cafe/bar.

According to the book 'Gin Gin 1830 - 1960', in 1916 Valentine's father Richard purchased the farming property 'Moondah' from J. Musk, then a contractor of Stirling Street Fremantle.  Valentine moved from Moora (where he had been working with his brother Richard on Hill View) to live in Moondah House.

At first he had a dairy at Moondah, but later ran cattle and sheep.  He planted an orchard of about 7 acres with current and sultana vines.  He became the agent for the stock firm Elders.

In 1936 Valentine's father Richard Rennie died leaving the Gin Gin property to him.

Val and Olive wedding

Valentine Rennie was also involved in local government.  He was elected to the Gin Gin Road Board in April 1926.  He was elected chairman in January 1931 and held this position for three 2-year periods between 1931 and 1939.  He tendered his resignation in March 1939 giving business and health reasons.

"Since being in Gin Gin he had played an active role in local affairs, being a member of the Road Board for 14 years, and his impartiality as a chairman had been especially appreciated by other board members" - from Gin Gin 1830-1960


Valentine Rennie died on February 26 1943 aged 49 years, and was buried in the same grave as his father in the Fremantle Cemetery.  He had no children.  Olive carried on with the farm for a while with the help of brother Ray Carroll, and with Mr and Mrs Doug Ferguson who had come in 1939.  Olive later leased the property with right of purchase to Mr John Russell Clarke, and he bought it in 1951.

Olive Rennie returned to Perth living in East Fremantle and in Attadale. 

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