Remembering the Manwarings

Residents of Medina 1953 – 1987

Bryan Manwaring 1913 – 1984  and Dorothy Manwaring 1917 –

Joan Manwaring (Mrs Smithson) 1946 –

Diana Manwaring  (Mrs  Hope formerly Mrs Belohlawek) 1949 –

Tom Manwaring 1951 –

Dorothy and Brian Manwaring, c1970s

Bryan Manwaring began working in Medina in March 1953. The State Housing Commission offered  the use of a house in Peake Way  Medina  to operate as a General Store and Post Office. Bryan managed  the store and worked as the Post Master during this interim period while the township was being built. This was to  provide  provisions  for  workers and any of the BP personnel who began arriving in the town. Bryan travelled from his family home in Mandurah every day to work until a house was completed for the family in Medina.  Dorothy  and  the three children  arrived  to live in the town  in  December 1953. Joan attended East Rockingham Government School in 1954 and then transferred to the Medina District High School when it opened in 1955. All three of the children completed their Primary Schooling in Medina and their High Schooling at Kwinana Junior High school.

Bryan moved into a newly completed shop in Pace Road Medina during Easter 1954, where he continued the business that  he  had  started  in Peake Way as a grocery and haberdashery store, as well as selling crockery and glassware and kerosene was “pumped out the back.”   In August 1955 Bryan and  Dorothy sold their business to Boans Pty Ltd of Perth, but they remained as managers of the store. In 1960 Boans built a new store on the opposite side of Pace Road where they conducted business until April 1972 when they relocated to premises at the newly completed Hub Shopping Centre in Kwinana. Bryan and Dorothy continued in administrative roles with Boans until their retirements, Bryan in 1975 and Dorothy in 1978.

Dorothy and Brian Manwaring with Betty Bowden, Medina Shops, 1955.

Bryan Manwaring became the inaugural President  of  Medina  Sub­-Branch R.S.L. in 1955 and held this position until 1959 and then again  from 1962-1964. First meetings were held in a house in Sharman Street. Dorothy served on the Women’s Auxiliary  in  differing  capacities. Dorothy was an active fund raiser for Legacy. The “Crowning Glory Competition” raised funds through cake stalls, lamington drives, raffles  and Balls. Local girls were given the opportunity to represent the R.S.L. Club of Medina.

Bryan served on the Kwinana Roads Board in the 1950’s and was elected to the Kwinana Council in 1970 and served two years. He also was a part of many of the service and sporting organisations in the town including; the Rotary Club of Kwinana in the 1960’s, President of the Kwinana Bowling Club in the late 1950’s and member of the Freemasons in the 1950’s and 60’s. Dorothy was President of the Ladies Bowling Club for a time.

Bryan served the community as a Justice of the Peace  from  the  mid 1960’s to 1984 and was made an Honorary Freeman of the Municipality of  Kwinana  on  June  22nd,  1983  for  excellence  in  Community Service. The park in Ridley Way Medina was renamed The Bryan Manwaring Reserve in his honour.  Bryan and Dorothy lived  with their family  at 14 Crabtree  Way  Medina for the first year in 1953 and then moved to 25 Crabtree Way until December 1963. Their own home was completed  in  1963  and  they shifted to 9 Larkin Court Medina where they lived until Bryan died in December 1984 and eventually Dorothy sold and moved to Kelmscott in 1987.

Joan Manwaring remained in Medina as an adult, building  her first home in Heylmore Road where she lived between  1968  and  1979.  Her  first two sons were born during these years. Joan returned to Medina Primary School as a teacher in 1968 and taught there until 1973.  Diana Manwaring built her first home in Calista in 1969 and lived there until 1985. She also returned to Medina Primary as a teacher and then taught at Calista Primary School from 1979 until 1988.  Her  three daughters were born at Kwinana Maternity Hospital in 1971, 1972 and 1976.

Tom Manwaring lived in Medina until 1969  when  he  was  conscripted into the Australian Armed Forces. Following this his career with Cathay Pacific Airways has taken him to different states of  Australia  and overseas.

Dorothy Manwaring celebrated her 100th birthday at her nursing home in St. James in 2017, receiving well wishes from Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, the Governor General Peter Cosgrove and Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull.

Diana Manwaring, Kwinana Flares, c1960s.


Kwinana RSL in Sybil and George Shaw’s garden, 1956. Brian Manwaring standing behind Sybil Shaw, seated with dog. Tom and Diane Manwaring seated front row, second and third from right. Others present include Syd Glas, Vic Laycock, George Shaw, Joyce Burnett, Bill Burnett, Basil Wilson, Mrs. Glas holding R.J. Glas, Sue Burnett, Jenny Burnett, Carol Burnett, Paula Glas.


Boans shop, c1950s



Dorothy Manwaring with her children at her 100th birthday celebration, 2017.