Kevin Minson

Kevin Minson


    Fremantle Prison Trust seeks help in search for lost piano

    30/12/1996 12:00 AM



    The Fremantle Prison Trust is looking for a lost piano.


    Works Minister Kevin Minson said that the piano was believed to be a direct link to a strong tradition of entertainment at the prison going back to the 1920s.


    The piano is thought to have disappeared before the prison was decommissioned in 1991 and the Fremantle Prison Trust would like to get it back.


    "The Trust is keen to speak to anyone who knows the whereabouts of the piano or anyone who has experience or knowledge of entertainment at the prison associated with the old piano," Mr Minson said.


    "There had been entertainment at Fremantle Prison from its earliest days, but in the 1920s there was a strong push from the prison to obtain its own piano.


    "The Prison Superintendent, Mr A T Badger, responded to this by providing an evening of ‘entertainment to be given by the inmates' to invited guests at his Christmas celebrations at 8 pm on Thursday, December 26, 1929.


    "There was to be a collection taken up in aid of the ‘Piano Trust'.


    "Although there is no historical evidence of the success or otherwise of the fund-raising campaign, it is believed the missing piano is the result of those efforts and the Trust would like to get it back.


    "Over the years, people have donated materials associated with this aspect of prison life, including the official invitation to the ‘Piano Trust' evening.


    "Other memorabilia include several music books given by the daughter of a woman who played regularly at the prison, probably in the 1920s.


    "Over the years the covers of the books became tattered and they were hard-bound for her by the inmates, probably in the prison library.


    "The materials received to date make an interesting collection, but the Trust would like to receive more and it is clear that the piano would make an ideal centrepiece for a future display."


    Anyone with information about the piano, the Piano Trust, entertainment at the prison, or other materials associated with any aspect of the history of Fremantle Prison, should contact curator Anne Brake on 335 9473.


    Media contact: Hugh Ryan 322 6529