Our Western Australian Home
Being Sketches of Scenery and Society in the Colony
by George J. Webb, Esq., D.A.C.G. (edited and annotated by Geoff Blackburn, Steve Errington and Peter J. Bridge)
ISBN 978-0-85905-636-6, (New, 2016), A4, 44pages, 150 grams
$22 + POST
George Webb lived in Perth from April 1839 until January 1848, working in the commissariat building (where the Supreme Court now stands), and progressing from Assistant Clerk to D.A.C.G (Deputy Assistant Commissary General) by December 1845. He was a ‘young man about town’, organising Assembly balls and Foundation Day regattas, singing at St Patrick’s Day dinners and taking part in Perth’s first amateur theatricals.
To enlighten his family and friends back home about life at Swan River he wrote lengthy ‘sketches’ including descriptions of Perth and its lifestyle plus reports of visiting the Aboriginal prison on Rottnest Island, fighting a bushfire on Mount Eliza, visiting the caves at Yanchep, and sitting in at a session of the Legislative Council. He also included a description of seasonal changes at Lake Monger and a lengthy portrait of an Aboriginal youth called Warrup, his manservant.
The sketches were published in 1847, in monthly issues of the London newspaper the Swan River News, providing us with a snapshot of life in Perth around 1841-43.
Our Western Australian Home is a very useful addition to information about the early colony.