Mrs E A Collins, OBE
A jewell amongst the scraps of paper found when the Nott Street School “Old Boys” Memorial was moved from the school to the Port Melbourne Town Hall was a visiting card belonging to Mrs E A Collins, OBE.
Mrs Elizabeth Ann Collins was appointed as an Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (OBE) by King George V in October 1920. The exact details of the citation are unknown at this stage but no doubt it is a result of her work during WWI. We do know that Mrs Collins was the Honourable Secretary of the local branch of the National Welcome Home Federation and in the years immediately following the war she was Secretary of the ladies committee of the Port Melbourne Branch of the Returned Sailors and Soldiers’ Imperial League of Australia, the forerunner of today’s RSL.
Elizabeth, or Lizzie as she was known to her family, was married to David Henry Collins who enlisted in January 1916 at the age of 39.
Of course describing the cache of Nott Street School papers as scraps is being very dismissive. The papers were part of the process of compiling the Nott Street School Roll of Honour and are very important in giving us an insight into that process. In this case the card was used to record the details of Elizabeth’s brother, Private William James Stephens who was Killed in Action on 20 September 1917. Prior to the war he resided in Raglan Street.
1920 ‘EMPIRE ORDER.’, The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 – 1957), 16 October, p. 21. , viewed 09 Jan 2019, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article4577514
1918 ‘Advertising’, Port Melbourne Standard (Vic. : 1914 – 1920), 9 November, p. 2. , viewed 11 Jan 2019, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article88369583
1920 ‘SOLDIERS’ CLUB PIANO.’, The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 – 1957), 24 July, p. 18. , viewed 09 Jan 2019, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article4594163
1917 ‘KILLED IN ACTION.’, Port Melbourne Standard (Vic. : 1914 – 1920), 27 October, p. 2. , viewed 09 Sep 2019, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article88369433