150 years of Local Government in Western Australia

Published on Friday, 16 April 2021 at 10:22:47 AM

On 17 January 1871 the Road Districts Act was gazetted. This divided the State into Districts. On 29 January of the same year, the Toodyay Road District boundaries were described and on 15 February the first election for membership of the Toodyay Road Board was held.

Toodyay is one of only 13 local government entities that retains its original name, even though its boundaries are now significantly smaller than they were in 1871. York is another Shire that retains its original name.

On 21 February 1871 the Municipal Institutions Act was passed. This created six original municipalities in addition to Perth - namely Fremantle, Guildford, Bunbury, Albany and Geraldton. The following month the town of York was also declared a Municipality but at this time Newcastle didn’t qualify. This happened six years later in September 1877.

So though we can claim to be one of the original Road Districts we cannot claim to also be one of the original Municipalities.

To mark the 150th anniversary of local government in Western Australia we are pleased to be working once again with the Toodyay Historical Society. We are creating a Toodyay Local Government Virtual Portrait Gallery of people whose names are recorded on the three honour boards hanging in the Shire Chambers. These boards are titled Toodyay Road Board 1871-1961, Newcastle Municipal Council 1877-1910 & Toodyay Shire Council.

Our plan is to have an individual page for each person named with a photograph (if can be found) and some very basic information such as birth and death dates, service information (role, span of role), occupation, district represented and some limited additional information. The virtual galleries, when completed, will be shared on the Shire’s webpage.

We very much appreciate Beth Frayne’s work compiling this information including gathering photographs and formatting the bio pages. Thanks as well to Doris Martin who is also helping us to find photos of early families. Soon, when all avenues are exhausted, we will be putting out a call via the Toodyay Museums Facebook group page for individual names.



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