James Owen of Penrhos

and his descendants
Click on picture for enlargement

Through the worst

'The Thematic Framework' section of this pdf file (it takes a while to downlaod) contains some photos and an account of the history of the arrival of European settlers in the Denmark area.

114 Sunday School From the early years when the settlers had to work together to clear the land, to build the houses and to share the equipment provided by the authorities, teamwork on the Group Settlements was essential. Once the houses were built and the process of clearing the land was well established the settlers had the time and the energy to think more about communal matters; they sought to create churches and schools (often with only one teacher), to develop leisure activities such as fiercely fought inter-group sports contests and to organise social gatherings such as picnics and dances. A real sense of community had evolved and the newly established Cooperative Society flourished. Newspapers began to be printed in 1929 and dirt tracks became proper, bituminised roads; settlers might occasionally visit the twice-weekly film shows at the picture house in Denmark.

Of course the work continued to be physically demanding. In the long hot summers there was the ever-present threat of bush fires and at times in the winter many roads were still impassable. Just as now, prices for produce were subject to the vagaries of the market place. There were continual challenges to face. The settlers may not have had much free time to appreciate the stunning scenery that surrounded them but, as transport links improved to benefit trade, the railway and better made roads brought tourists, who were able to enjoy it, and this helped to bolster the local economy.

As Christmas 1937 drew near there was every reason for those settlers who had survived the Great Depression to feel optimistic.