Historical information

An apron made to celebrate 75 years of the War Widows Guild in 2020. The Kookaburra is the symbol of the Guild due to its laugh.
From the War Widows' Guild of Australia website: 'the Guild badge would feature the kookaburra, an industrious and cheerful bird who mated for life, was fearless and aggressive in the defence of its young and the area of territory it regarded as its own. The bird also had a unique call, not a song but a laugh; a chortle of rollicking mirth (to bring the widows back to laughter). Also, the kookaburra is a typically and completely Australian symbol, one that could be worn proudly by every widow whatever her creed or ideals. The kookaburra was also the mascot of the 7th Division of the 2nd AIF, commanded by Mrs Vasey’s husband, Major-General Vasey.
Mrs J M Vasey was the founder and president of the War Widows Guild. During the second world war she became secretary of the AIF Women's Association, a body which sought to help soldiers' wives. Her work with this body drew her attention to the plight of war widows. After her husband Major-General George Alan Vasey died in an aircraft accident on 5 March 1945 she became a widow herself. At the end of the war Mrs Vasey founded the War Widows Guild, established on 22 November 1945.
The Victorian War Widows Guild closed in 2021. Some items, including this apron, were donated to the Legacy archive for preservation. It was possible for a widow to be members of both Legacy and the War Widows Guild. Both organisations helped war widows in various ways.


A celebration of the 75 years of work done by Jessie Vasey and the War Widows Guild.

Physical description

Dark navy cotton apron with a white stencilled Guild kookaburra logo and text saying 'Celebrating 75 years'.