On Saturday, 22 December 1900, the first annual Jandakot Christmas Tree was held at the newly-built Jandakot Agricultural Hall for the children and families of the young farming district.

The Jandakot Agricultural Hall, 1902

Mr and Mrs William Bateman and other pioneers of the Jandakot area arranged for a beautifully decorated tree, presents, and games and entertainments for the 45 children and their parents who turned up to celebrate a hot Christmas in an unforgiving district.

Some of the settlers lived in huts like this (1910) – no wonder the Christmas Tree was a welcome event!

By 1906, what Mr Bateman had hoped would become ‘an annual institution’ had done just that: the ‘annual Jandakot Christmas Tree festival’ was a wild success, with an evening’s entertainment provided by local volunteers, an enormous tree, and a jolly Father Christmas handing out presents to over 100 children. The adults enjoyed dancing to a band, and an extravagant dinner was put on for all involved, with prize-winning grapes and other fruits grown by local market gardeners for dessert.

Some of the prize-winning grapes grown in the Jandakot district, 1902

The Christmas Tree festival became a solid fixture of the Jandakot district, giving isolated settlers a chance to gather and enjoy themselves in what was otherwise a difficult and demanding life, and to congratulate each other on another successful Jandakot year.

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The first Jandakot Christmas Tree, 1900