Joseph J Tovey – A man of many talents !!!

George Rehder

Copied, edited & compiled by JD Schildmann 22/12/2019

A Days Catch

A Days Catch – Joseph Tovey

Back in 2012 I was contacted by Lois Tovey,  the wife of Errol John Tovey. She had been browsing on the Outback Family History web site and came across the following photograph on the Meekatharra page.

Mr Tovey, Photographer Meekatharra

She told me that she had been sent the link to the Meekatharra Photo page by a distant relative of her husband.

She said, “I can confirm at the person in last photo in the pith helmet is indeed Joseph John TOVEY the grandfather of my husband.  He was a professional photographer and kangaroo shooter and miner.   He died of a miners lung disease”

Joseph Tovey

Joseph Tovey

Joseph John Tovey was born on 9 Aug 1883 in Bullengarook, Victoria, the second of seven children born to Joseph Tovey and Hannah Benson, both born in Victoria.  On 2 Mar 1915 he married Gertrude Spencer – he was 31 years old and she was 24 years old.

Gertrude Tovey nee Spencer

Gertrude Tovey nee Spencer

Their children were:
1916     Arthur Joseph Tovey was born at Hill Street, Meekatharra
1918     Ida Lillian
1919    Brian Douglas was born in Perth, WA

Joseph died on 21 May 1922 and is buried in the TB Cemetery, Wooroloo WA Plot 105 leaving Gertrude a widow with three small children aged 6, 4 and 3.   Gertrude never remarried and died on 5th March 1981.  Her funeral was at Karrakatta Cemetery, Perth    Their legacy lives on in their children.

Arthur Joseph Tovey  married Mabel Goddard in Bayswater in 1940 and became a full-time Army Officer until retirement. He died aged 93, on  8 July 2009.  They had two children:

Arthur Alexander Spencer was 5th in a family of nine children whose parents were born in England.
Arthur Alexander was born in White Hills, Sandhurst, Victoria on 1863 as was his wife Margaret Armstrong who was born at Eaglehawk, Victoria 1868.

Arthur-Margaret Spencer with children Lucy-Jessie-Frank-Gertrude-Doris


They had five children:

  • Gertrude 1890 born in Sandhurst , Victoria – married Joseph John TOVEY
  • Arthur Wilfred 1891
  • Isabella 1895 – 1899
  • Lucy 1898
  • Jessie 1904
  • Doris 1908

After leaving Meekatharra the family settled in Royal Street, East Perth and owned three houses in that street.  The last one was bought by the Government and removed when the Education Department was built.
Arthur had a large blacksmith and scrap metal yard in Wellington Street opposite Royal Perth Hospital.  He used to buy scrap metal to sell from the abandoned mines.

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