St Gabriel's Debutantes' Ball

St Gabriel's Debutantes' Ball



In the words of Bishop Ash, of Rockhampton, St Gabriel's debutantes' ball outrivalled all other functions of a similar nature that he had witnessed during his recent tour of the Dawson and Callide Valleys, and he had attended four similar functions within the three previous weeks.

The interior decorations, certainly had transformed the Biloela School of Arts. The whole building was covered with white material, the ceiling being similarly treated, whilst the walls were covered at intervals with brackets containing beautiful hand-made roses and foliage. The windows were draped and window boxes installed, which also contained a profusion of artificial flowers. In all, over 1000 roses were made and distributed. Large baskets of flowers were suspended from the ceiling (the work of Mr G. Kemp, of Biloela), and the stage, decorated with massive pillars, was representative of the ancient Roman Forum. The whole of the decorative ideas were the suggestions of Mrs F. D. Elliott and Mrs N. D. Router, assisted by Mr C. Reedman and an enthusiastic hand of helpers executed the ensemble.

The large attendance, which was representative of all classes of the community of the Callide Valley, formed a guard of honour in the hall as His Lordship was escorted to the stage by the matron of honour, Mrs W. Cochrane. Then followed Rev. Mr Lavender, accompanied by the hostess, Mrs J. D. Spence. The ladies in waiting, Mesdames Stephenson and Pitter, subsequently presented the debutantes to His Lordship and Mr J. D. Spence escorted them to their respective partners. Misses B. Pitter and M. Rathjen acted as flower girl and page respectively.

His Lordship declared the ball officially opened and congratulated the committee on the excellence of the presentation and expressed himself as highly gratified with the Church work in the Callide Valley, which he claimed made for good citizenship of the State and the Empire, and in this he referred to the work of all denominations who were all doing their part so well.

The debutantes presented were: Misses Coralie Brown, Mavis Anderson, Ann Stanley, Elsie MacGregor, Lottie Funk (Thangool), Ivy Woods (Callide), Nancy Perino, Gwladys Askew, Marie Briggs, and Bernice Mathieson.

Following the debutantes' waltz the large audience joined in an excellent evening's entertainment to the accompaniment of Moller's orchestra.

The ladies' committee, directed by Mrs Lloyd Hodge, excelled themselves in the supper presentation. Bishop Ash presided.

An aeroplane was responsible for the presence of Mrs Lyons, of Brisbane, who, though approaching 80 years of age, delights in flying and flew from Brisbane to be present at the function. When interviewed, she stated that it was her fourth long flight and she longed for further flights and entertains no fears whatsoever as to the safety of this method of transport.

Notwithstanding the heavy expense in presenting the function, the committee is sure of a net profit exceeding £50, which will augment the church funds.

The Heralds, Bettie Pitter as flower girl and Norma Rathjen as page, looked charming, the former in a robe of pink and the latter in a robe of pink and black.

The hostess, Mrs .T. D. Spence, wore black mariette and lace; Mrs W. Cochrane, matron of honour, purple ripple crepe relieved with green velvet and a wood fibre spray of violets; Mrs Stevenson, lady-in-waiting, floral silk crepe; Mrs Pitter, lady-in-waiting, dusty pink delustered crepe relieved with black.

The debutantes presented a charming spectacle in their courtly robes. Miss Bernice Mathieson wore white georgette relieved with a silver camellia; Miss Gladys Askew, shadow printed white organdie; Miss Anne Stanley, white satin relieved with silver; Miss Nancy Perino, white ivory silk velvet; Miss Lottie Funk, white snedette relieved with silver buttons; Miss Marie Briggs, crystal spotted net and tulle over lacquered satin; Miss Ivy Woods, white crepe mastetron with a silver girdle; Miss Mavis Anderson, jewelled net over white satin; Miss Elsie MacGregor, white mariette, with silver trimmings; Miss Coralie Brown, white georgette.

“Morning Bulletin” 8 May 1937 p11