War Widows’ Guild of Australia 70th Anniversary
Monday 19 October, 2015
October 19 2015 marks the 70th Anniversary of the War Widows’ Guild of Australia. Established in 1945 by Mrs Jessie Mary Vasey, the guild was established after the death of her husband, Major General George Vasey in an aircraft accident near Cairns while returning to operational service in March 1945.
After sending a letter to all Victorian war widows proposing the formation of a craft guild, nearly 300 war widows attended the inaugural meeting. Due to a post-war textile shortage, weaving and crafts were chosen with the income from the sale of these items to be used to help support the minimal pension provided to war widows.
Guilds were then established in all States, and the organisaiton became a powerful lobby group to Government in all issues relating to War Widows. Each state catered for their own member’s needs, with housing as a significant priority.
By 1985 the War Widow’s Guild of Australia had reached 65,000 where today there are 12,000 members across Australia.
For more information on the War Widow’s Guild of Australia, click HERE.