Historical information

William Scott Purves Godfrey (1872-1953) designed the chairs and Miss Gladys Hawkey (1886-1974) carved them.

W.S.P Godfrey was born in Toorak on 6 April 1872. He was was the cousin of Ethel Godfrey. Educated in Brussels and at Melbourne Grammar, he studied Architecture at the University of Melbourne.
He and Henry Howard Spowers established the architectural firm Godfrey & Spowers, known for the design of the Argus building, around 1901.
W S P Godfrey retired from practice in 1944. He died in August 1953, aged 81.
He's buired in the St Kilda Cemetery with the Godfrey family.

Gladys Hawkey was a member of the Guild. (photographed during the Norla Fete). She was born in Sandhurst, Bendigo and is buired in the Bendigo Cemetery. Little is known about Gladys Hawkey. She may have been a student of Robert Prenzel. Another mention of her work is made in an article in 1915 where her escritoire is offered in a raffle to raise funds for the Australian sick and Wounded.

The chairs were donated in 1919 when the Flinders Street mission was open.


In a style of Robert Prenzel with Australian Flora, the chairs are in the typical Arts and Crafts style. Like many women from the early 1900s, she was likely to have been inspired by the Australian exhibition of women's work and other female woodworkers of the time.

Physical description