In 1906 the Western Australian Seventh-day Adventist Conference decided that an SDA College was needed so that students did not have to leave WA for their education. Friends of Charles Ashcroft suggested that he donate his property in the Heidelberg Valley to build a college. It was an ideal location including 100 acres of fertile land, an established farm, orchard, garden, vineyard, and water which was easily accessible through high quality perpetual springs. Unsure of what decision to make, Ashcroft asked God to give him guidance in the form of a specific sign. He asked for two claps of thunder if God wanted him to donate this property1. It was summer at the time, so thunder was not likely to occur. However, a few days two loud clear claps of thunder erupted from the clear sky. Whether these details are fact or Adventist folklore, in response to Ashcroft's offer, the executive committee voted to accept Ashcroft's generous offer2.
Ashcroft made an agreement with the church to pay him $200 and accept liability for a $400 loan he had taken out with the Agriculture Bank. In that the property was worth more than double this amount, it was certainly a "most generous offer."3.
1. Record, December 5, 1997, page 9.
2. WA Conference minutes, October 25, 30, 1906
(Sourced from page 17, 100 year book 2007)