Eight children in fancy dress representing Ireland at the Empire Day celebrations, Shannon, New Zealand, c. 1920.
Back row, left to right: Harry Whibley, Gwen Stuart-Forbes. Front row, left to right: Jacky Charles, Clarry Satherly, Pearl Satherly, Sandy Logan, Athur Satherly & Brian Clayton.
Harry’s mother was a dressmaker (who owned a camera) and his father worked at a flax mill. Harry was wearing a green waistcoat and Gwen wore a green dress and had shamrocks in her hair. Costumes made by Mrs Whibley.
Despite her best efforts, the children look as motley a crew as William and his friends from Richmal Crompton’s William books, favourites of mine then and now. For those interested in finding out more about William, or just feeling low and looking for something cheering-up, some of the best of the books are available free on Project Gutenberg here).
As you can see, all costumes are accessorised with Harry Whibley’s six pet rabbits. Do click on the photo to enlarge and see the children and rabbits properly… well worth it!
Photo courtesy of Horowhenua Historical Society Inc, available through this wonderful New Zealand Digital Images resource here.