More on the story behind the name "Doddi's Beach"


You may remember Paul Jacklin's well researched article, published in our news feed during March last year, about the origin of the name Doddi’s Beach (if not, click here).

Well, we are now fortunate that Tess Evans' friend Bruce Tatham has been able to add some colour to that story by describing his family's connection and knowledge about the origin of the name "Doddi's Beach".

Please enjoy Bruce's story ...

In the late 1970`s we (Tatham family) were operating what is now the Canals Shop, and Tathams Cottages and Caravan Park in South Yunderup.

On no particular day a mildly distressed gentleman entered the shop and asked for assistance as to his valiant motor vehicle that had broken down some hundred metres from the shop.

At that time we had a handyman, mechanic, all round expert that we employed as a trouble shooter for the park. His name was Stan McKercher. He attended the vehicle and was able to repair it but parts would not be available for at least a week.

The gentleman in question introduced himself as Rob Doddemead and had in his company his partner and her two children. He was on leave from the then “Sunday Independent “ where he was employed as their chief investigative journalist.

As coincidence has it, in a previous life I also worked at the Independent on a part time basis and knew Rob from that experience.

Naturally as they were stuck, we offered them free accommodation in one of our cottages for the duration of vehicle repairs.

The valiant was fixed within a week but by then the Doddemeads had fallen in love with the region and refused to leave their new home. After a month’s stay in the cottage Rob had researched business opportunities in the region and subsequently resigned his position at the Independent and proceeded to build on the site now occupied by the Dome, Mandurah’s first A class restaurant, named DODDI`S.

The business flew and attracted clientele from not only the Peel region but from afar.

Being a typical restless journalist Rob decided to sell the business which was bought by the Zimmer family – George (the moneyman), Beth (Maitre`d) and their daughter Anne (table service extraordinaire).

This mix plus the engagement of only top chefs and sous chefs made for one of the top restaurants in WA.

Sadly due to planning issues the Zimmers had to relocate to Mandurah Terrace where they operated for a few years before moving on. A great pity as it had the best wine cellar in WA where they did not cellar price rise each year and the almost average person could afford to have Grange with their Chateaux Briand.

In consequence the beach in front of Dome now pays tribute to one of the hospitality icons of Mandurah.

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