War Widows' Guild of Australia. (1947-)

Function
Community organisation
NLA Persistent Identifier
http://nla.gov.au/nla.party-752072

Biographies

The War Widows' Guild Of Australia was esdtablished in Victoria by the late Mrs Jessie Mary Vasey CBE, OBE. The broad aims of the Guild were to watch over and protect the interests of war widows. Qualification for membership of the Guild was restricted to widows of men who were killed on active service or whose deaths were accepted as being war-caused and were therefore in receipt of a war widow's pension. Later, widows of interned civilians who received a repatriation war widows' pension were included, as were widows of allied ex-servicemen.

The Guild began in Victoria and was founded by the late Mrs Jessie Mary Vasey CBE, OBE. Her husband, General George Alan Vasey, an army officer, commanded Australian forces in Greece and New Guinea during World War II. While on leave in 1945 he called on the widow of one of his men and was appalled at her living conditions. It was Major-General Vasey's wish that after he returned from the battlefields he, with the help of his wife, would look after the families of the men who were killed while serving with him. On 5 March 1945, aged 49 years, Major-General Vasey was himself killed in an aircraft accident.

Jessie Vasey formed the War Widows' Guild of Australia on 22 November 1945. Qualification for membership of the Guild was restricted to widows of men who were killed on active service or whose deaths were accepted as being war-caused and were therefore in receipt of a war widow's pension. Later, widows of interned civilians who received a repatriation war widows' pension were included, as were widows of allied ex-servicemen.

The broad aims of the Guild were to watch over and protect the interests of war widows. While maintaining that every woman whose husband's death was due to war service should receive adequate monetary compensation from the Government, so that she and her family could maintain a dignified standard of living, Mrs Vasey believed that the surest way to rehabilitation was through self-help. To this end she organised the formation of craft groups. The women involved in these craft activities not only enjoyed the company of others in the same sad position as themselves, but they experienced the thrill of satisfaction that creativity brings and, by the sale of their work, were able to supplement the meagre compensatory pension at the time doled out to them by the Government.

Through Mrs Vasey's leadership, Guilds were formed in all States during 1946-1947 plus the Australian Capital Territory in 1966. All were united in a National Guild over which Vasey presided until her death in 1966. During this time she inspired the respect and devotion of a group of very able women in all States and through her efforts the lot of the war widow became better: many improvements took place in pensions, housing, children's allowances and hospital care. In November 1947 Jessie Vasey called a conference of National Body delegates from all States to meet in Melbourne to form a federal body. While each State body is autonomous in domestic organisation, the Conference achieved unity and biennial congresses have been held ever since.

We all belong to each other. We all need each other. It is in serving each other and in sacrificing for our common good that we are finding our true life.

'

The badge, made of silver and designed by Andor Meszaros, was introduced in 1951. The badge featured the kookaburra, an industrious and cheerful bird who mated for life, was fearless and aggressive in the defence of its young and the area of territory it regarded as its own. "The kookaburra goes for what he wants and fights for its family. Isn't that what we are doing?" Mrs Vasey asked her girls. The bird also had a unique call, not a song but a laugh, a chortle of rollicking mirth. It was a call to win the war widow back to laughter.'

View the full record at Australian Women's Register

Related people and organisations

Australian Women's Register

  • (Corporate Body) War Widows' Guild of Australia (Queensland) Inc (1947 - )
  • (Person) Gordon, Margaret Bracken (1917 - )

    <p>Foundation member</p>

  • (Person) Vasey, Jessie Mary (1897 - 1966)
  • (Person) Mayo, Edith (Janet) Allen (1915 - 1995)
  • (Person) Healy, June Marie (1934 - )
  • (Corporate Body) War Widows' Guild of Australia NSW Limited (1946 - )
  • (Cultural Artefact) Australian Ex-Prisoners of War Memorial

    <p>June Healy OAM represented the War Widows' Guild of Australia at the dedication of the Australian Ex-Prisoners of War Memorial</p>

  • (Person) Healy, June Marie (1934 - )

    <p>June Healy OAM reoresented the War Widows' Guild of Australia at the dedication of the Australian Ex-Prisoners of War Memorial</p>

  • (Person) Lane, Ethel Marion (1918 - 2007)

Resources for War Widows' Guild of Australia.

Selected resources (4)

Australian Women's Register

  1. War Widows' Guild of Australia
    Published: National Foundation for Australian Women
    Series: IspartOf The Australian Women's Register
  2. No mean destiny : the story of the War Widows' Guild of Australia 1945-85
    Clark, Mavis Thorpe
    [South Yarra, Vic.]
    Published: Hyland House
  3. War Widows' Guild of Australia
    Series: Private Hands (contact Australian Women's Archive Project)
  4. Kookaburra Badge

No user comments for this organisation

Add a comment


Show comments and reviews from Amazon users

Possibly related

Digitised newspapers and more

Searching...

Minimise

Diaries, letters, archives

Searching...

Minimise

Archived websites (1996 – now)

Searching...

Minimise

Pictures, photos, objects

Searching...

Minimise

Books

Searching...

Minimise

Music, sound and video

Searching...

Minimise

People and organisations

Searching...

Minimise

Journals, articles and data sets

Searching...

Minimise

Maps

Searching...

Minimise

Lists

Searching...

Minimise

Government Gazettes

Searching...

Minimise
  1. War Widows' Guild of Australia (Queensland) Inc (1947-)
    ... War Widows' Guild of Australia (1947 - ) ... The War Widows' Guild of Australia was formed in 1945 in Victoria by the late Mrs Jessie Mary Vasey ...
    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 0.63)

    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 0.63)

  2. War Widows' Guild of Australia NSW (1946-)
    ... War Widows' Guild of Australia (Queensland) Inc (1947 - ) ... In June 1946, following the establishment of a War Widows' Craft Guild in Victoria, a Guild was ...
    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 0.364)

    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 0.364)

  3. Vasey, Jessie (1897-1966)
    Community Worker; founder of the War Widows' Guild of Australia
    ... founder of the War Widows' Guild of Australia ... War Widows' Guild of Australia (1947 - ) ... Jessie Vasey founded and became President of the War Widows' Guild of Australia. For her work in ...
    This resource is likely to be relevant to your query (score: 0.183)

    This resource is likely to be relevant to your query (score: 0.183)

  1. No peacetime cinderellas : a history of the War Widows' Guild of Australia in New South Wales 1946-2006 / Roslyn Burge
    Burge, Roslyn (Roslyn Amy)
    [ Book : 2007 ]
    At 61 libraries
    No peacetime cinderellas : a history of the War Widows' Guild of Australia in New South Wales 1946-2006 / Roslyn Burge
    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 3.265)

    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 3.265)

  2. No mean destiny : the story of the War Widow's Guild of Australia 1945-85 / Mavis Thorpe Clark
    Clark, Mavis Thorpe
    [ Book, Audio book : 1986-1988 ]
    At 48 libraries
    No mean destiny : the story of the War Widow's Guild of Australia 1945-85 / Mavis Thorpe Clark
    This resource is likely to be relevant to your query (score: 1.258)

    This resource is likely to be relevant to your query (score: 1.258)

  3. [War Widows' Guild of Australia : Australian Gallery File]
    War Widows' Guild of Australia
    [ Book ]
    At State Library VIC
    This resource is likely to be relevant to your query (score: 0.908)

    This resource is likely to be relevant to your query (score: 0.908)

  4. Many hearts, one voice : the story of the War Widows' Guild in Western Australia / Melinda Tognini ; foreword by the Hon. Dame Quentin Bryce AD CVO
    Tognini, Melinda
    [ Book : 2015 ]
    At 32 libraries
    Many hearts, one voice : the story of the War Widows' Guild in Western Australia / Melinda Tognini ; foreword by the Hon. Dame Quentin Bryce AD CVO
    This resource is likely to be relevant to your query (score: 0.859)

    This resource is likely to be relevant to your query (score: 0.859)

  1. Website: Monument Australia
    monumentaustralia.org.au
    Matching pages:
    • War Widows Guild of Australia (Queenslan... - 23/11/2016 and on 23/5/2015
    • ... commemorates the foundation of the War Widows Guild of Australia (Queensland) in 1947 and all war widows.  The War......monumentaustralia.org.au/themes/culture/community/display/90856-war-widows-guild-of-australia...
    View 27 matching archived pages
    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 0.255)

    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 0.255)

  2. Website: War Widows' Guild of Australia (Qld) Inc.
    www.warwidowsqld.com.au
    Matching pages:
    View 29 matching archived pages
    This resource is likely to be relevant to your query (score: 0.164)

    This resource is likely to be relevant to your query (score: 0.164)

  3. Website: Australian Women in War
    www.womenaustralia.info
    Matching pages:
    View 34 matching archived pages
    This resource is likely to be relevant to your query (score: 0.14)

    This resource is likely to be relevant to your query (score: 0.14)

  1. War Widows' Guild of Australia (Qld) Inc
    War Widows' Guild of Australia (Qld)
    [ Periodical, Archived website : 2000-2016 ]
    View online
    At 4 libraries
    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 2.591)

    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 2.591)

  2. Guild digest : the War Widows' Guild of Australia NSW
    War Widows' Guild of Australia (New South Wales)
    [ Periodical : 1900-2016 ]
    At 4 libraries
    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 2.391)

    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 2.391)

  3. War Widows' Guild bulletin (1981)
    War Widows' Guild of Australia (Queensland)
    [ Periodical : 1981-2016 ]
    At 2 libraries
    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 2.25)

    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 2.25)

  4. War Widows' Guild magazine
    War Widows' Guild of Australia (South Australia)
    [ Periodical : 1994-2016 ]
    At 2 libraries
    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 2.155)

    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 2.155)

  1. 31st Annual General Meeting 1978 of...
    Sharpe, Ray O. ...
    [ Photograph : 1978 ]
    31st Annual General Meeting 1978 of the War Widows' Guild in the theatrette, Anzac House
  2. War Widows' Guild annual fete 1971,...
    Gorman, Les O. ...
    [ Photograph : 1971 ]
    War Widows' Guild annual fete 1971, Paddington Town Hall
  3. Princess Alexandra, accompanied by ...
    Hickson, Jack
    [ Photograph : 1978 ]
    Princess Alexandra, accompanied by her husband Angus Ogilvy, opens the War Widows' Guild block of home units Princess Alexandra House, Potts Point
  4. Annual General Meeting 1975 of the ...
    Hickson, Jack
    [ Photograph : 1975 ]
    Annual General Meeting 1975 of the War Widows' Guild in the theatrette, Anzac House
  5. Annual General Meeting 1971 of the ...
    Gorman, Les O. ...
    [ Photograph : 1971 ]
    Annual General Meeting 1971 of the War Widows' Guild in the theatrette, Anzac House
  6. 33rd Annual General Meeting 1980 of...
    Sharpe, Ray O. ...
    [ Photograph : 1980 ]
    33rd Annual General Meeting 1980 of the War Widows' Guild in the theatrette, Anzac House
  1. The prince / Niccolò Machiavelli ; translated with an introduction by George Bull
    Machiavelli, Niccolò, 1469-1527
    [ Book, Audio book, Microform, Map : 1640-2015 ]
    Languages: English;Italian;French;Latin, [14 others]
    Read online at Open Library/Internet Archive
    View online
    At 144 libraries
    The prince / Niccolò Machiavelli ; translated with an introduction by George Bull
    This resource may be of limited relevance to your query (score: 0.103)

    This resource may be of limited relevance to your query (score: 0.103)

  2. Returned Services League
    Returned Services League of Australia. South Australian Branch
    [ Microform, Map, Sound, Unpublished, Video : 1899-2014 ]
    At State Library S Aust
    This resource may only be vaguely related to your query: matching terms may only have been found in the full text contents of the resource (score: 0.053)

    This resource may only be vaguely related to your query: matching terms may only have been found in the full text contents of the resource (score: 0.053)

  3. The shadow of the wind / Carlos Ruiz Zafón ; translated by Lucia Graves
    Ruiz Zafón, Carlos, 1964-
    [ Book, Audio book, Map : 2001-2014 ]
    Languages: English;Spanish;Polish;Italian, [14 others]
    Read online at Open Library/Internet Archive
    View online
    At 132 libraries
    The shadow of the wind / Carlos Ruiz Zafón ; translated by Lucia Graves
    This resource may only be vaguely related to your query: matching terms may only have been found in the full text contents of the resource (score: 0.034)

    This resource may only be vaguely related to your query: matching terms may only have been found in the full text contents of the resource (score: 0.034)

  1. WAR WIDOWS TO THE EDITOR
    The Swan Express (Midland Junction, WA : 1900 - 1954) Thursday 4 August 1949 p 1 Article
    ... WAR WIDOWS TO THE EDITOR Sir,—The War Widows of Western Australia, whose husbands have all paid the ... , widow of General G. A Vasey, to unite W.ar Widows for their common good, to train them in handicrafts ... 152 words
    This resource is likely to be relevant to your query (score: 1.664)

    This resource is likely to be relevant to your query (score: 1.664)

  2. Countrywomen's Interests Australia's War Widows Must Not Says Forgotten, Says Guild President
    The Farmer and Settler (Sydney, NSW : 1906 - 1955) Friday 3 October 1947 p 13 Article Illustrated
    ... [?] I Australia's War Widows Must Not Be Forgotten, Says Guild President ''?pilE war widows have ... . Vasey, In her address to the annual meeting of tho N.S.W. War Widows' Craft Guild on Tuesday. ? . 'In ... 681 words
    This resource is likely to be relevant to your query (score: 1.662)

    This resource is likely to be relevant to your query (score: 1.662)

  3. Barrier Miner SATURDAY, SEPT. 27, 1947 Some War Widows To Get More
    Barrier Miner (Broken Hill, NSW : 1888 - 1954) Saturday 27 September 1947 p 3 Article
    ... Mrs. Vasey, president of the War Widows' Craft Guild, took the   leading part in an Australia ...   a decision at last in the case of the pension of war widows. War widows with one or two children ... 340 words
    This resource is likely to be relevant to your query (score: 1.25)

    This resource is likely to be relevant to your query (score: 1.25)

  1. FLEGG, NORMA June
    FLEGG, NORMA June
    Created by KEVING., 20 items.

    Leonard James Flegg (d. Feb 1990 - educated at Sydney Church of England Gramma School: Entered Term i., 1928. I.C. 1931; D.C. 1933. B. A. Uni of Sydney 1948. He had a daughter Sue), Flegg, Ronald Ro...

    This resource may have relevance to your query (score: 0.018)

    This resource may have relevance to your query (score: 0.018)

  2. Women and the War
    Women and the War
    Created by SLQLD, 152 items.

    These articles describe the impact the war was having on Queensland women, everything from going to work, to modifying recipes.

    This resource may have relevance to your query (score: 0.01)

    This resource may have relevance to your query (score: 0.01)

  3. CURTIN Family
    CURTIN Family
    Created by MBates, 321 items.

    Newspaper entries relating to the Curtin family of Norwood, South Australia (descendants of Thomas Curtin of Hull Yorkshire).

    This resource may be of limited relevance to your query (score: 0.006)

    This resource may be of limited relevance to your query (score: 0.006)

  1. No mean destiny : the story of the War Widow's Guild of Australia 1945-85 / Mavis Thorpe Clark
    Clark, Mavis Thorpe
    [ Book, Audio book : 1986-1988 ]
    At 48 libraries
    No mean destiny : the story of the War Widow's Guild of Australia 1945-85 / Mavis Thorpe Clark
    This resource is likely to be relevant to your query (score: 1.258)

    This resource is likely to be relevant to your query (score: 1.258)

  2. Plain tales from the hills / by Rudyard Kipling
    Kipling, Rudyard, 1865-1936
    [ Book, Audio book, Published : 1800-2014 ]
    Languages: English;French, [1 other]
    Read online at Open Library/Internet Archive
    View online
    At 78 libraries
    Plain tales from the hills / by Rudyard Kipling
    This resource may be of limited relevance to your query (score: 0.452)

    This resource may be of limited relevance to your query (score: 0.452)

  3. The taming of the shrew;
    Shakespeare, William, 1564-1616
    [ Book, Sound, Audio book : 1631-2016 ]
    Languages: English;German;Japanese;Chinese, [9 others]
    Read online at Open Library/Internet Archive
    View online
    At 169 libraries
    The taming of the shrew;
    This resource may be of limited relevance to your query (score: 0.314)

    This resource may be of limited relevance to your query (score: 0.314)

  4. Madame Bovary / Gustave Flaubert
    Flaubert, Gustave, 1821-1880
    [ Book, Audio book, Sound : 1857-2015 ]
    Languages: English;French;Chinese;Arabic, [23 others]
    Read online at Open Library/Internet Archive
    View online
    At 174 libraries
    Madame Bovary / Gustave Flaubert
    This resource may be of limited relevance to your query (score: 0.308)

    This resource may be of limited relevance to your query (score: 0.308)

  1. Plain tales from the hills / by Rudyard Kipling
    Kipling, Rudyard, 1865-1936
    [ Book, Audio book, Published : 1800-2014 ]
    Languages: English;French, [1 other]
    Read online at Open Library/Internet Archive
    View online
    At 78 libraries
    Plain tales from the hills / by Rudyard Kipling
    This resource may be of limited relevance to your query (score: 0.451)

    This resource may be of limited relevance to your query (score: 0.451)

  2. Opening address to National Conference of War Widows' Guild
    Dunstan, Don
    [ Published : 1975 ]
    Possibly online
    At Flinders University
    This resource may be of limited relevance to your query (score: 0.228)

    This resource may be of limited relevance to your query (score: 0.228)

  3. Statement: War Widows Guild national conference
    Dunstan, Don
    [ Published : 1975 ]
    Possibly online
    At Flinders University
    This resource may be of limited relevance to your query (score: 0.206)

    This resource may be of limited relevance to your query (score: 0.206)

  1. MERCHANT SHIPPING ACT.
    New South Wales Government Gazette (Sydney, NSW : 1832 - 1900) Wednesday 21 March 1855 [Issue No.44 (SUPPLEMENT)] p 723

    Government Gazette Notices

    ... , Wardens, and Assistants of the Guild, Fraternity, or Brotherhood of the Most Glorious and Undivided ... Excellency the Governor General is pleased to direct fi$f * * general information, of u The Merchant Shipping ... 114634 words
    This resource may have relevance to your query (score: 0.003)

    This resource may have relevance to your query (score: 0.003)

  2. No. 7. LIST OF UNCLAIMED LETTERS FOR THE MONTH OF MARCH, 1876.
    New South Wales Government Gazette (Sydney, NSW : 1832 - 1900) Thursday 4 May 1876 [Issue No.141 (SUPPLEMENT)] p 1751

    Government Gazette Notices

    ... ., Australia-st. 41 Perry Walter, care of Walter Long 42 Peters Mrs. W., Parramafta-st. 43 Peters Fred, 4 ... General Post Office, Sydney. 1st April. 1876. No. 7. LIST OP UNCLAIMED LETTERS FOE THE MONTH OF ... 11416 words
    This resource may have relevance to your query (score: 0.002)

    This resource may have relevance to your query (score: 0.002)

  3. THE SCHEDULE TO BY-LAW 600. No officer or employee of the commissioners has any anthority to dispense with or vary any of the provisions of the By-laws of the Commissioners. Defini...
    Government Gazette of the State of New South Wales (Sydney, NSW : 1901 - 2001) Wednesday 4 January 1922 [Issue No.2 (SUPPLEMENT)] p 43

    Government Gazette Notices Illustrated

    ... Mwftli # %xy any of the provision® ©ftheBy4aw3 of the Commissioners. Definitions and interpretations adopted by ... ElifiS... •« , % distkwt COMMODITY EiTEe ..? vMimn Bpp ra?r»HT chabgb ... DePINITIOK OB ItfTJJEIPEETATiOF ... 109241 words
    This resource may have relevance to your query (score: 0.002)

    This resource may have relevance to your query (score: 0.002)