Fanny Swan (formerly Wood, nee Poole) came to Gippsland in the 1840s with her first husband, William Wood, where they became proprietors of the Shakespeare Hotel at Stratford. William Wood died in 1855, and in 1856 she married Samuel Swan. Together they acquired considerable property in and around Stratford. Samuel Swan died in 1880 at Stratford, and Fanny Swan died at Stratford in 1895.
This illuminated address which documents the final payment for the Wesleyan Church building in 1892 has historic significance for Stratford Historical Society as it is located in the actual building. It also has social significance for the township as Mrs Fanny Swan was one of the earliest and best known business leaders in the area running the iconic Shakespeare hotel/boarding house for many years. It has aesthetic significance as an example of a illuminated address produced on a printing press with gold ink, rather than the usual handwritten form.
White wooden frame containing an illuminated address to Mrs S. Swan from the Wesleyan Church at Stratford 2 January 1892. It is press-printed in gold ink on what appears to be a blank, pre-printed poster. It reads:
Stratford, 2 January 1892
Mrs S. Swan, Stratford
We, the Minister and Trustees of the Stratford Wesleyan Methodist Church desire to tender you our most sincere thanks for your very generous donation of Fifty Pounds handed to us to-day by Mr George Poole in aid of clearing off the debt on our church.
Thanks to your kindness the Ladies of our congregation have been induced to help, and they have raised a considerable sum by means of a Cake and Apron Sale, so that after our Annual Tea meeting to be held at Easter next at our Church. Debt will then be a "Thing of the Past".
We trust God will keep you in health and strength, long to live amongst us.
Yours Very Tuly
Rev. H.E. MERRIMAN, Minister
Fred J. LITTLE, Secretary