Queen raised funds for Dig­gers’ socks

The Daily Examiner - - NEWS -

SOME­THING that has been part of the fur­ni­ture for most of her life has turned into an in­spi­ra­tion for Grafton woman Jenny Pow­ell.

More than a cen­tury ago, her mother, Bessie Bul­ti­tude was Queen of the Day in a Grafton fundrais­ing drive to raise money for Aus­tralian solid­ers fight­ing in World War I. For her ef­forts, she was pho­tographed wear­ing a splen­did beaded gown and the pho­to­graph has stayed with the fam­ily ever since.

Her grand­daugh­ter said the pho­to­graph had been in her fa­ther, Mervyn Bul­ti­tude’s home and lately has been in her care.

“When I saw it, it made me think how many other peo­ple have things like this at home, which peo­ple would like to see and know about,” Mrs Pow­ell said.

Her grand­mother’s brush with a “royal” ti­tle had passed down the fam­ily tree. “Two of her de­scen­dants, Ali­son Pow­ell (1991) and Tracey Law­son (2000) have been crowned as Jacaranda queens,” she said.

Mrs Pow­ell said it was likely the pho­to­graph was taken some time in 1917. “It was a fundrais­ing drive to raise money for the sol­diers fight­ing over­seas,” she said.

“Women would knit socks to send to the troops and the money raised from this drive was used to buy the wool.”

Her grand­mother was a sig­nif­i­cant fig­ure in the life of Grafton. “She was the first nurse at Grafton Base Hos­pi­tal,” Mrs Pow­ell said.

“She had to give up her job in 1899 when she mar­ried Gus Bul­ti­tude be­cause in those days women had to give their jobs when they got mar­ried.”

Grafton woman Jenny Pow­ell dis­cov­ered this pic­ture of her grand­mother Bessie Bul­ti­tude, who was Queen for the Day.

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