Billie Hughes

Today we remember Mrs Billie Hughes, a former National and State President of the War Widows’ Guild. She recalls how Mrs Jessie Vasey quickly went about setting up a guild for war widows, following the death of General George Vasey during the war.

Billie Hughes — Our motto was that we all belong to each other. We all need each other.

Billie Hughes audio file (MP4 23.87 MB)

Billie Hughes audio script

75th Anniversary of the End of the Second World War

Audio actuality

“Fellow Citizens, the War is over” — (The Hon J B Chifley, Prime Minister of Australia)

On the 75th Anniversary of the End of the Second World War, Australia remembers Mrs Billie Hughes, a former National and State President of the War Widows’ Guild.

Following the death of General George Vasey during the war, his widow Jessie quickly took the initiative and went about setting up a guild for war widows, as Mrs Hughes recalled.

Billie Hughes

Mrs. Vasey wrote to every widow in Victoria. A wonderful reception. She called a meeting at the Melbourne Town Hall, and from there, she went from state to state forming the Guilds. And the idea of the Guild is to watch over and protect the interest of the war widow and her children.

And of course, we had also to find a motto and a badge. And she got a very well-known sculptor to sculpt our badge, which is the kookaburra. And the kookaburra is known to be a very brave bird. So the kookaburra is sitting on the emblem of gum leaves. Our motto was that we all belong to each other. We all need each other.

Saturday, August 15 marks the 75th Anniversary of the End of the Second World War. Let’s pay our respects to that amazing generation of Australians.

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