29. Fred Instone (1865-1934), manufacturer
Fred Instone is remembered for his handsome wood-stoves, some of which are still in Fremantle houses today. Instone was a Staffordshire man who came to Fremantle in 1889 on a three-year contract to manage the large Fremantle engineering factory, W. Sandover and Co. When his contract was up, he began manufacturing plumbing supplies and stoves in Croke Street. His timing was good, as the rushes to the eastern goldfields generated a building boom in Fremantle.
As a young man with a strong voice, Fred Instone was prominent in musical and dramatic groups. Soon after his arrival, he joined St John’s Church choir as the tenor soloist. He was briefly (1892-95) a member of the Fremantle Town Council before retiring to concentrate on his business. He was also a member and chair of the Fremantle Hospital Board and, when he retired in 1912, was invested with the “freedom of the hospital”.
At Fred Instone’s funeral, Canon E. M. Collick referred to his sense of justice and kindness. His wife, Evelyn, was also noted for her philanthropic work – together the Instones had provided support for many returning soldiers from World War I.