In­june’s 120 years of wed­ding dresses

From 1899 to now, the wed­ding dresses of In­june

The Western Star - - News - Ellen Rans­ley ellen.rans­[email protected]

FOR more than 100 years, the dress has been in the fam­ily. First as an af­ter­noon tea dress 120 years ago.

Since it was first worn in 1899, the dress has been worn twice more and re-styled as a wed­ding dress for Pauline Peart, the great-grand­daugh­ter of the orig­i­nal wearer, when she mar­ried Justin MacDon­nell.

“It’s orig­i­nal wear was as an af­ter­noon frock, she (my great-grand­mother) would have changed into it in the af­ter­noon to meet vis­i­tors. We es­ti­mate the dress is about 120 years old,” Mrs MacDon­nell said.

“It was then my mother’s wed­ding dress when she got mar­ried in 1978, and then I wore it in 2006 when I was mar­ried.

“It’s a sim­ple dress, em­broi­dered linen. It’s noth­ing ex­trav­a­gant, but the needle­work is beau­ti­ful.”

Mrs MacDon­nell, who owns ‘Wal­la­roo’ with her hus­band, con­trib­uted one of about 70 wed­ding gowns to In­june’s Bridal Bash at the week­end, a fundrais­ing ef­fort put on by the Cul­tural Her­itage In­june Preser­va­tion So­ci­ety (CHIPS).

The new­est dress was worn two weeks ago by Sandy Allen, nee Dun­can, who met her hus­band while gov­erness­ing at Wal­la­roo.

“Bren­dan and I ac­tu­ally mar­ried about 800m away from where we first met,” she said.

“To have my dress as part of the Bridal Blast was quite spe­cial, it was re­ally in­ter­est­ing to see all the dresses through­out the cen­tury.

“I found my dress in Toowoomba and fell in love with it; it’s a fit­ted, fine lace gown in ivory with a long train. It’s sim­ple and easy.”

Pres­i­dent of CHIPS, Veron­ica Pringle, said she had heard about sim­i­lar events in In­june over the years, but ran with the idea as a way to drive more fundrais­ing for the so­ci­ety.

“We needed an idea for a fundraiser that was cost-ef­fec­tive for us, and I was try­ing to come up with things I hoped would hit the mark and this did,” she said.

“We raised about $2500 for CHIPS on Satur­day. It was re­ally good to have dresses from around the dis­trict, and we mod­elled the dresses from new­est to old­est.”

Ahead of In­june’s cen­te­nary next year, CHIPS is look­ing to raise money to build a mu­seum as part of the town’s his­toric precinct.

“We have re­ally good com­mu­nity sup­port, we’re also look­ing to do a book. We have an­other few ideas for fundrais­ers over the next few months,” Mrs Pringle said.

“The event on Satur­day was a mas­sive ef­fort by a lot of peo­ple, it’s all for a good cause. A mas­sive thank you to all of our amaz­ingly brave mod­els, with­out whom we wouldn’t have had a show.

“Our singers Karen Sel­lars and Mandy Walker did a great job, as was the piano mu­sic. Daphne Coutts from Roma played through af­ter­noon tea, and Lor­raine Good­child gave her first ever pub­lic per­for­mance dur­ing the pa­rade.”

An­other CHIPS fundraiser will be held next month.

PHOTO: MANDY MCKEESICK

JUST MAR­RIED: Sandy Allen (mar­ried on Septem­ber 19 at Wal­la­roo) was the new­est bride in the Bridal Bash. With her are her sis­ter-in-law Kait­lyn and flow­er­girl and page boy Isla and Struhan MacDon­nell from Wal­la­roo.

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