Henry John Aubin

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A settler's house in the Jandakot Agricultural District

Early settler in Western Australia

Jersey Archive contains a contract for Rembours de Rente between Philippe Jacques Gibaut, son of Philippe, of the first party and Jean Monnamy, administrator of the goods of Henry John Aubin, of the second party. It recites that 1 owes 2 the sum of 4 cabots, 3 sixtonniers of wheat of rente. Records the payment from 1 to 2 of £10 2s 6d sterling to remove the annual payment of rente. Registered livre 274, folio 274.

This contract is dated 27 November 1880.

This was the same Henry John Aubin who was an early settler in Western Australia and leased agricultural land in the City of Cockburn, which was formerly part of the rural locality of Banjup and was developed in 2003 to create Aubin Grove, a new residential area.

Henry John Aubin Married Lillian Touzel, and it appears that straight after their marriage they left for Australia: Victoria and then NSW, as indicated by the birth of their children. One was born in Victoria and three in NSW. Ilma Alice, the last child, was born in 1885 in NSW. In Henry John's grandmother was Elizabeth Monnamy.

Aubin Grove

Part of the Jandakot Agricultural Area, Aubin Grove is named after Henry John Aubin, who was a market gardener

The land allotments in the Jandakot Agricultural Area were designed to entice gold-rush migrants to Western Australia to stay and improve the colony. The scheme was opened in 1890, and Aubin probably took up Lot 212, which was 160 acres with a frontage on Lyon Road, in around 1898.

Aubin had been a storekeeper in Coolgardie, but had not succeeded in his business dealings and declared bankruptcy in 1897. He turned his hand to market gardening instead, having taken up a block of land at Jandakot for free under the Homestead Act

The site of his land corresponds very closely with the borders of today’s Aubin Grove, though the suburb is larger than the original Lot 212 and slightly further south. On the east his land bordered Lyon Road, on the west it shared a boundary with James Hammond's land, and Gibbs Road was its southern border.

Aubin and Hammond were neighbours, friends, and friendly rivals for the vegetable-growing prizes at the annual Coogee and Jandakot Agricultural Shows. They both grew the local stalwarts: onions and potatoes, along with many other crops like cauliflower, pumpkin, beetroot, and more, and they both won multiple awards each year for their best vegetables. When Hammond died in 1914, Aubin was one of his pallbearers.

Aubin was the first gardener to install a sprinkler system in the Jandakot region in 1914, though it would have been run by a pump system as Jandakot did not have electricity connected until the 1950s.

Aubin died at Fremantle in 1926, and his land at Jandakot was auctioned off in 1949, along with a block he had owned in Hamilton Hill. Even in 1949 the land was still being advertised as suitable for ‘dairying, market garden, and poultry farm'.

Disastrous fire

From the Trove newspaper, 19 February 1926

Mr H J Aubin's homestead destroyed

Fanned by a strong east wind, a bush fire of unusual severity swept the south-east portion of the Jandakot district early last week. Originating in the Peel Estate, where a great deal of timber and scrub has been cleared in preparation for cultivation, the fire quickly spread into adjoining paddocks, causing much anxiety amongst settlers of the Banjup ward.

The property of Mr J Lyon was for some time in jeopardy, but by persistent efforts the jumping flames were eventually subdued, a portion only of the stables being damaged. Much less fortunate was the fate of Mr H J Aubin, who was absent on business at the port. Assisted by dry grass, the fire crept up to the house, which was soon a mass of flames, igniting in turn the outhouses forming the homestead.

Much sympathy is felt for this respected settler in his misfortune, and an appeal has been launched by friends, with the object of raising sufficient funds to erect a simple dwelling, the Fremantle Roads Board having headed the lists with a donation of £5 5s.

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