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THE LADIES^ PAGES,
Melbourne Lady's Letter.
"Union la strength," a saying frequently proved to be true, und in no instance more con oxcluslvely than when two societies join in offering an "au rovoir" at home to an Europe wards departing member of both associations. II. was, therefore, a most successful gather ing held in thc charming rooms of the Austral Salon on March 3, when the Austral Salon and the N.C.W.V. entertained Mrs. Donald Macdon ald. Tho meeting was truly united and strong united in feollngs of true friendship, sincere good wishes, regret at coming absence, appre ciation of past services, and strong in art, tho musical programme being of unusual merit, and the dalntly-palnted souvenir programmes presented to Mrs. Macdonald being genuine works of art, painted by Mrs. Horatio "Webb and Miss A. Lynch. Before *he many friends separated, Dr. Mary Page Stone addressed Mrs. Äiucclonald on behalf of the two societies (Dr. Stone is hon. sec. of the N.C.W.V.). Mrs. Macdonald waa one of the founders of the Aus tral Salon, of which she was for many years hon. secretary; for some time she has been Press correspondent of tho N.C.W.V., and lately, lu addition, has acted as minute secretary; so that she will be much missed during her visit to Europe. We all feel glad to think that it is purely a pleasure trip, one that will be so thoroughly enjoyed by mother and daughter.
The gowns of which I spoke last week I saw the ('ay before the sailing of the Mongolia, on the deck of which, I presume, one smart little frock is already much in evidence, as the wearer is a capital sailor. it was of "Black Watch" plaid or tartan, smart coat of dark green cloth, strap ped with the tartan, linen cuffs arid collar.
An Indoor reception Josephine gown was very lovely. You all know this old, yet up-to-date fashion-the high waist, puffed sleeves, and full flowing skirt. The material was heliotrope brocade, with flue tinted lace.
The most elaborate of the gowns was of apricot crepe-de-chlne, over tinted taffeta, the bodice In coat effect, lined with a shaping of lace, over a deep velvet belt, vest of Valen ciennes lace, with bow of velvet, and handsome
Miss D'Archy is always pleased to show her "creations," and it is easy to And her rooms. The new Empire buildings are in Pllnders st**opi. close to Elizabeth-street.
There is just one fault tn find with "The Prodigal Son," and that is, Mr. Bland Holt ls not in it. We are all hoping that perhaps "The Lights o' London" may be presented for the last night of the season, so that all the members of this delightful company may re ceive a big au revoir ovation. I have never liked Mrs. Bland Holt better than as the aunt, Margaret Nellsen. Mr. Arthur Styan, as Step hen Magnusson (Governor-General of Iceland); Mr. Baker, as Magnus Stephensson; and Mr. Albert Norman as Oscar Stephensson, are all just splendid; so, too, is Miss Harrie Ireland ns Helga Nielson; but I do not think, well as Miss Ross acts, that the part of Thora Nielsen really suits her. Every time I see this flne play I like it better and better.
Mr. and Mrs. Bland Holt are giving them selves a month's holiday before opening in Sydney. This will he their Arst real holiday fer fully seven years.
The most charming of our Melbourne girls is engaged-Miss Alison Fairbairn. The lucky man who has won her love, and will ere long claim her as his wife, is Captain Stewart Bal main, A.D.C. to the Governor-General. I hear that the marriage. is to take place within the nine or ten wèelts.
A marriage of Interest to Sydney people will take place in Tasmania towards the end nf April, when Mr. Allan, son of Lady Allan, will wed Miss Grubb, whose father has a beautiful placo a few mllols out of Launceston.
On March 14 Mr. George W. Rudd will be married to Miss Hilda Louisa Butcher, second daughter of Mr. and Mrs. W. J. Butcher, of "Kara," Dalgety-street, St. Kilda.
I hoar that the marriage of Captain Fitz patrick and Miss Armytage will probably take place early in April.
Mr. Isaac Cohen, tho winner of the travelling scholarship, lflOB (National Gallery of Victoria), is holding an exhibition of his pictures from March 13 to 17. I shall go in on March 12 Press day. Tho exhibition, which will be held In the upper hall of the Melbourne Athenaeum, will be opened at 3 o'clock on March 13 by Mr. J. A. Panton, the veteran P.M.
The great Jubilee Statue for Bendigo ls finish ed, and will shortly be the central object of attraction in that city. You will remember my account of the model, which I saw finished In the studio of Mr. G. Douglas Richardson, who designed lt and carried lt through; indeed. I saw lt In all tho stnges, and watched with in tense interest the progress ns tho figures grew under the sculptor's hand. The marble had to be Imported, and one can but hope that In the near future-now thnt Government atten tion has been drawn to the great and valuable deposits of marble found in all the States-the Importation of "statuary marble may not be necessary. The cutting has been done by skilled Italian cutters at-tho large out-door studio at the residence of Mr. Charles F. Sum mers (another well-known sculptor), at Joli mont Terrace, Jolimont, and there a few days ago I had the pleasure of seeing this magnifi cent marble statue just as It was about to bo packed for Its journey to tho Gobion City. lt, is wonderfully beautiful, and will Indeed be "a joy for over."
Every day one henrs of some fresh departures for the old country. Mr. Hamilton Traill,
of Blackrock, Vlctoriu, accompanied by hi» younge'st daughter, Mis8 Jessie Traill, will leave by the Ville de la Ciotat on March 2Ü.
Mr. T. M. Stewart and his daughter, Miss Annie Stewart, sail by the Geelong (Lund's Blue Anchor line), which goes via the Cape.
The Misses Graham, of "Elibank," South Yarra, started for Japan a few days ago, .and intend to be away about two years.
Teas are commencing. That given by Mrs. Reginald Morrison, on March 2, was most en joyable, ft was not overcrowded, and amongst the well-known people one met were: Mrs. Percy Webster, Mrs. Alan Mackay, Mrs. Atkin son Wood, Mrs. M'Mullen, Miss Grace Brush, Mrs. Niall, Mrs, Crawford Mollison, Mrs. Staughton, Mrs. R. G. Casey, Mrs. Herbert Power, Mrs. Dunbar Hooper, and many others.
Among new engagements may be mentioned that of Miss Rona Martelll Syme, youngest daughter of Mr. D. York Syme, of Balwyn, Vic toria, and Mr. Eric V. Chapman, eldest son of Mr. J, R. Chapman, Albury.
A steel-like grass from the volcanic slopes of Oran, Algeria, is so elastic that it can be used instead of springs in the manufacture of