NPWHF0164 - Stroud Berlin upright piano



circa 1920

The Pianola Company, New York


This well travelled piano was bought second hand by  Eileen Kathleen Kempe in the early 1920's when the Kempe family were living in Adelaide.

It then moved with the family to Mecumba station near Oodnadatta where Patricia (b. 1919) learnt to play.

The piano moved with Patricia when she moved to Alice Springs in  early 1947 when she was appointed the first kindergarten teacher in Alice Springs . 

She married stock agent, Doug Lillecrapp in 1949 and raised children  in the house they built on the east side of Alice Springs. The piano lived there too where their children, and many pupils learnt to play.

The piano and the family moved in 1962 to Balaclava in South Australia where Doug managed the Dalgety Stock and Station Branch. 

In 1963 another transfer family and piano make the long haul to Winton in western Queensland and in 1968 they moved to Townsville where Patricia had spent the war years. A year later Doug was transferred back to Alice Springs in the 1970's the piano came too.

The piano found itself back at Giles Street in Alice Springs. Later one of Patricia and Doug's daughters, Mary, took over as custodian of the family piano. 

It was moved to Mary's house in Andrews Court, Alice Springs and later to her Stuart Terrace house opposite the National Pioneer Women's Hall of Fame. The house is now a massage parlour. 

The piano had two more moves, first to the family home Sonder Court where it wasn't used. 

The owner, Mary Hessling thought that its historic connection with Central Australia should be preserved and the best place for that would be at the Pioneer Women's Hall of Fame, now the Women's Museum of Australia, which is now "Aunty Pat's Piano" final resting place.

You can watch a short video Aunty Pat's Piano made by local film maker David Nixon for the ABC Open program HERE

Read more about Patricia Lillecrap's life in HerStory HERE

Object ID: NPWHF0164 - Stroud Berlin upright piano

Materials: wood, ivory, metal, brass

Dimensions: (a) 135 cm height, 152 cm width; 67 cm depth. (b) 22 cm height; 58 cm width; 27.5 cm depth.

Maker: The Pianola Company