Gumnut memories of Joan Brown and Jackie Bowhey.
I have just had a phone call from the Vic. President – asking me to let all Gumnuts know that Joan Brown passed away in the early hours of this morning. She was holidaying in Wangaratta, I am told. She suffered ill health for many years, so I hope the poor dear is peacefully at rest now. She will be sadly missed.
That is sad news, Liz. Joan was a Gumnut – so this is the first death of one of our members.
Joan also reached the 25 years in the Guild and received her 25 year bar at the last AGM in Fremantle. We both received our badge at the AGM in WA last year. I think I have known Joan almost all that time. Mallee Lacemakers and Victorian Lace began at the same time, not sure which is the older but think Mallee Lacemakers may be. In the early years this group organised a Lace Weekend in Swan Hill, did that for 11 years. Joan and several other Melbourne members supported this venue for every one of those years. We gave up because more groups around Melbourne were forming and more Lace Weekends involving less travelling were being organised. Joan gave us some of her patterns, which we have in our library, for our group to use, she was a kind and generous lady, and always made us feel welcome if any of our group were able to attend a Vic Lace Day, also offered billets when needed. Our Friendship was one of kindred spirits rather that of bosum pals and I will miss her.
I’m sorry to have to tell you all that I’ve just heard that Jackie Bowhey has died. I’ll be sending a card to her family on behalf of us all.
I first met her about 12 years ago, when she and her mother were visiting relatives in NE NSW. We met up at Marie Mesmer’s house at Morpeth – I had gone up there with a car load of tatters from the Tatters Guild in Sydney, and Marie had invited a great group of lacemakers from the Hunter Valley area to meet us and Jackie.
I can still picture Jackie, dressed in shorts and an Arachne T-shirt, stealing away to the kitchen to have a cigarette. And her trying to stop Marie’s husband feeding more wine to her mother, who was getting tipsy. All in all a wonderful day, and a very vivid memory.
I first met Jackie in Darwin in the 1990s, when we visited up there. She organized a workshop for me to give to the group. That was my 2nd visit in 1995. I can’t remember if she was there for my first visit in 1990, when they held a get-together to meet me, and after telling them about our lace group, and the Lace Guild Lace days etc, the decided there and then to form a formal group. They later made me an Hon. Member of the N.T. Lace group, and I have a suitable engraved bobbin – of which I am Very Proud. I think Jackie had a hand in that!
I first met Jackie in Melbourne too… she, Coral Westley and I were asked to count the votes when we all voted on the ‘Articles of Association”! The 3 of us had quite a giggle in a little “side room” in between the more serious vote counting!