Submitted by jays on 22 January 2014 - 11:00am

This small cloisonné enamel brooch, 4cm long, belonged to Mary Helen Grace (Helen) Macgregor (1881-1973), one of five daughters of Roderick Macgregor and his wife Mary Susan Thorburn. Helen was born in Cambewarra in the Shoalhaven district of New South Wales where her father was the local schoolmaster. She had the opportunity of a high-school education, winning prizes at Madame Wallrabe’s Nowra High School in 1892, and then went on to train as a nurse at the Coast Hospital, Sydney. Helen did not marry, although she had suitors, and chose instead to pursue a career as a private nurse. In 1919 she was involved in converting Nowra Public School into a temporary hospital to care for victims of the pneumonic influenza epidemic. Some years later she moved into the Thorburn family home Meroogal in Nowra, helping to care for her aging Thorburn aunts. Helen and her sisters Margaret Steel and Elgin Macgregor inherited Meroogal after their Aunt Tot Thorburn’s death in 1956 and Helen lived there until shortly before her own death in 1973. 

Photograph: Jamie North, 2013
 A brooch made of cloisonné enamel on brass with a design of blue, pink and red flowers and green leaves. A brooch made of cloisonné enamel on brass with a design of blue, pink and red flowers and green leaves Back view of a brooch made of cloisonné enamel on brass.  A brooch made of cloisonné enamel on brass with a design of blue, pink and red flowers and green leaves.
Portrait
Meroogal
0

M86/1216