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Eight Christmas note cards from Mrs Laura Wilkins to Mrs Elizabeth Chifley


Eight Christmas note cards from Mrs Laura Wilkins to Mrs Elizabeth Chifley

Object information

Physical description

Seven hand painted colour Christmas note cards and one letter and envelope, featuring floral designs, from Mrs Laura Wilkins to Mrs Elizabeth Chifley. The cards are attached to two side of a pale green sheet of graph lined paper. The note and envelope are dated 1961 whilst the cards on the first side are dated 1952, 1954 and 1960. The cards on the second side are from the years 1949, 1953, 1956 and 1958. Some of the note cards are tri-fold whilst others are single fold. The notes contain handwritten greetings and well wishes, in black or blue ink.

Statement of significance

The objects in the Ben Chifley Collection refer to the lives of Ben and Elizabeth Chifley, primarily from the Chifleys' days as Prime Minister and Prime Minister's wife, but stretching beyond Ben's death in 1951 until Elizabeth's death in 1962. Significant objects include a letter of condolence to Elizabeth Chifley from Elsie Curtin (former PM John Curtin's wife) on the death of Ben Chifley (above), photos of Chifley as a young boy and a bible on which Chifley was sworn in as minister in the short-lived Scullin government of 1931.

Joseph Benedict Chifley was Australia's sixteenth Prime Minister, leading the Australian government between 1945 and 1949. This period was one of particular importance in Australian history, being the time during which many of the contours of post-War Australian social and economic development were established. Chifley also articulated the values of the reforming Labor Party in his "Light on the Hill" speech of 1949. However, the election of December that year saw the beginning of a drastic re-alignment of political allegiances in voting behaviour, leading to over twenty years of conservative dominance in Australian politics. An understanding of Ben Chifley, in both his private and public guises, illustrates much about this crucial era in post-War Australian history.

Object information

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