In October 1934 a great air-race was planned from London to Flemington, Melbourne. From a field of 20 planes just 12 arrived. The winner took a whisker under 3 days; the last entrant arrived in February 1935. The best known tale is of the Dutch plane, Uiver, which made an emergency landing in Albury during a wild storm; the locals used the town’s lights to flash morse code to the plane and then lit the race-track, a make-shift aerodrome, with their car-headlights. Flight was one of the last frontiers and all the tales are unashamedly romantic and full of derring-do.
The daughter of Prime Minister Alfred Deakin, Vera Deakin studied music in the Habsburg Empire on the eve of the Great War. Driven by British imperial fervour on her return to Australia, she bypassed the government’s restrictions on women’s participation in the war effort by serving with the fledgling Australian Red Cross. Aged only 23 in 1915, she became the founding secretary of the Australian Red Cross Wounded & Missing Enquiry Bureau in Cairo and later London. Narrowly avoiding replacement by a man, she showed outstanding leadership and was appointed OBE.
In 1909 Jessie Stobo Watson Webb was not only an original Historical Society of Victoria member (membership No. 30) and the first woman but she also provided rooms in Block Arcade in which our first meeting was held. She was a passionate historian and a true individual who lived by her own rules. She and her friends exemplified the ‘new woman’: intelligent, emancipated women who led rich intellectual lives.
We want to honour Jessie’s legacy, and her impact on the RHSV which is still felt over 100 years later, by naming our bequest society after her. The Jessie Webb Society, like its namesake, is there to make a difference and its members understand the power of a legacy.
Author and historian, Jennifer F. O'Donnell, invites RHSV members and friends to celebrate the launch of her latest history, Coragulac House. Drinks and light refreshments will be served in the RHSV's Gallery Downstairs. In the early 1870s, George Pringle Robertson built “Coragulac”, nestled in the shelter of Red Rock near Colac. Built of bluestone quarried on the land and designed by architects Davidson and Henderson, it was an unexceptional mansion with a wide verandah and lacking a tower, so common…