by Margaret Vinci and Janice Calcei
Updated 22 May 2023
- Waterloo Hall
- Waterloo Railway Station
- Waterloo Racetrack
- Recreation Grounds
- Catholic Church
- Uniting Church
- Waterloo Land Army Girls
- Air Observatory
- Cattle Sale Yards
The first Waterloo Hall was built In 1897. The opening dinner dance in 1898 was a great occasion, the new hall lit by oil lamps.
Waterloo’s second hall was built in 1951 and completed in 1952. It was a brick and iron construction with jarrah floorboards. The new hall took a year to construct and was opened on 11 July 1952. It cost £5470. Three hundred locals attended the opening Dinner Dance. The Women’s Committee raised £185, by cooking and serving afternoon teas at stock sales. This money was used to buy a piano, crockery and cutlery.
Waterloo was a very sociable place and people would come from miles around to attend dances, balls, parties and card nights, badminton and table tennis and of course the annual Guy Fawkes night. The Christmas concert and party, weddings, birthdays, anniversaries and church services were among the hall’s many uses. The supper room was also used as a classroom for Years 1, 2 and 3 for many years.
The second Waterloo Hall was demolished in 1990s because of structural problems. However, the foundations were deemed too hard to remove and were left under the third hall building. These foundations had been built on top of cobblestones from the original hall.
The most recent (third) hall building was named the Waterloo Community Centre, and opened in 1992. It is a brick and iron construction and is still used today.
Waterloo Railway Station
The Waterloo Railway Station was located behind the Hall, General Store and Fire Shed area. Beside the Station was a goods shed, which burned down, and a little hut for the caretaker to live in, a Mr Catt. The goods shed was also used for morning and afternoon teas on cattle sale day. The Station was a focal point of the Waterloo community; transporting goods, livestock and people. The existence of the station supported businesses in the townsite including the Post Office/General Store and the Sale Yards.
Waterloo Race Track
The Waterloo Race Track and Race Club started at Tyrrell’s farm. ‘Brumby’ race meetings occurred annually on New Year’s Day with 1906 being the first registered event. In that year, eight races were held, with the first race being the Brush Hurdles. The main event was the New Year Gift with first place receiving £10. The race meetings were a major social event for the district with bookmakers coming out from Bunbury and residents of the district gathering for the day.
The racetrack later moved across Waterloo-Dardanup Road to behind the headmaster’s house. A racetrack drawn on plans for the Waterloo Recreation Ground was never constructed, however, the races held at the Waterloo-Dardanup Road location were a huge success with people coming from Bunbury, Perth and many other places.
The Waterloo Recreation Grounds included tennis Courts, for weekly tennis games, a cricket pitch that can still be seen and an oval used by schools for sports day. Waterloo and other nearby small schools would gather to compete annually at a sports day. The tennis courts were relocated to near South Western Highway in early 1960. The Recreation Grounds were used for a variety of sporting and social purposes and were an important meeting point for community members.
The Waterloo Catholic Church was originally St Matthew’s Church at Wellington Mills. It had been built there and opened in 1903 when the Mill town was home to between 800 and 1000 people. The large mill closed in September 1919 and the population rapidly declined, as did the congregation. The Church was dismantled in 1924 and transported to Waterloo where it was rebuilt by Mr Potter, a carpenter from Wellington Mills, on land donated by Terence Hynes, opposite Wireless Road. The bell that can be seen in front of the building was unique as it had a very clear ring. It is believed to be now somewhere in Dardanup or Boyanup.
By the late 1960’s the close proximity of churches at Bunbury and Boyanup made the provision of services impractical. The building gradually became unsafe and was pulled down by L A Hynes in May 1968.
The Waterloo Uniting Church was built in 1956. It was originally a Methodist Church to service the large number of Methodists that had settled in the area. It was renamed as the Uniting Church after the national amalgamation of the Congregational Union, Presbyterian and Methodist Churches in 1977. It is one of the only remaining buildings that once formed the original Waterloo townsite.
The Waterloo Land Army Girls
In 1943, during World War II, a one thousand acres of land on the Waterloo – Dardanup Road, across Wild Rose Road, became home to a hard-working group of Land Army girls (all volunteers) when demand for fresh and canned vegetables for the Australian and Allied fighting forces greatly increased. The farm was set up by Plaistowes. See more on the Waterloo Land Army Girls.
An Air Observatory hut was also built during World War II, at the Perth end of Clifton Road. Residents took turns on the duty roster working in shifts as spotters. When the site was deemed unsuitable it changed to Edwards’ Farm and Matilda Edwards was the main observer until Roger Edwards left the Army and took over.
The Cattle Sale Yards
The cattle yards at Waterloo were built in 1949 by Victor and Jim Depiazzi adjacent to the railway and south of where the Fire Brigade shed now stands. The yards were constructed entirely of timber, including the gates. The agents operating at the time were Elders, Dalgetys, Goldsborough Mort and Wesfarmers. The sale yards became a meeting place each month for men in the community. Ladies from the CWA served light lunches and drinks from an old railway building opposite the original goods shed (which later burned down). The Cattle Yards and Station ceased operating in 1965 and were later demolished.
- Australind Family History Society; The Hynes Family of Waterloo, 25 March 2020, Extracted from the AFHS Skeleton Newsletter Sept 2012, https://www.facebook.com/AustralindFamilyHistorySociety/posts/597150824347753, viewed 4 January 2022.
- Shire of Dardanup, Local Heritage Survey, November2016 – Final, https://www.dardanup.wa.gov.au/wp-content/uploads/sites/105/2014/05/LHS_2016_final-issue_November_2016.pdf. Accessed online on 12 December 2021.
- End of a Church; South Western Times, Thursday May 30, 1968, p. 2.
- Staples, A C; They Made Their Destiny, History of Settlement, Shire of Harvey, 1829 – 1929 (1979), Shire of Harvey, Harvey.
- Vinci, Margaret: Notes on the history of Waterloo, 2021.
- 1897 Opening of the Waterloo Hall, from Ken and Kerry Tyrrell
- Other images used on this page were sourced from Margaret Vinci (nee Hynes)