Hand-made bonnet

Hand-made bonnets to honour New Norfolk’s convict women

SEWING sessions will be held in New Norfolk over the next two months to make bonnets in memory of female convicts who spent time in the New Norfolk Asylum, now known as Willow Court, during its time as a convict hospital in colonial times.

In support of the larger “Roses from the Heart” bonnet project, the Friends of Willow Court and Glen Derwent are hosting weekly session to make bonnets to commemorate the convict women of New Norfolk. The bonnets will be displayed at Willow Court as part of an event organised by the Friends of Willow Court, to mark the 20th anniversary of the closure of the hospital site in November.

“Currently it is known that 200 women were convicts at the asylum, and it is expected more will be identified,” Friends of Willow Court spokeswoman Anne Salt said. “Further bonnets will be created by next year, so that each of the transported convict women can be remembered, and their bonnets displayed within New Norfolk through the ‘Roses from the Heart’ bonnet project,” Mrs Salt said.

People wanting to take part in the weekly sewing sessions, to be held from 10.30am-2.30pm on Mondays until November 30, need only to bring scissors and a needle. “If attendees have any buttons, ribbons, lace, doilies etc that they would like to donate to the Roses from the Heart project, they will be greatly appreciated to be used in embellishing the bonnets,” Mrs Salt said.

For further information contact friendsofwillowcourt@gmail.com or call 0419213232, or contact Glen Derwent on 0427 480 057. Participation can be registered on Facebook.

3 Comments

  1. At the moment I’m trying my best to do the math here after reading this story. There are potentially 200 needed …”200 women were convicts at the asylum…”. I’m taking that fact & this fact …. “weekly sewing sessions, to be held from 10am-2pm on Mondays until November 30″. Break it down into eight (8) Mondays times 4 hours 32 hours in the old math.

    I do not want to make this sound selfish but there are two very important elements that are fundamental related to participation. Both are part of… what it is to be human. Here is the first ” What is in it for me? I will feel good about myself. The other element is economical. I’ve answered the first question therefore the project is then competing for my free labor.

    Once all the volunteers are assembled. Here is how the math plays out. For the exercise if ONE can be produce in one hour 4 x 8 = 32 & 200 – 32 = 168. Sure sounds like the old saying ” many hands make light work.” I’m in on this..0h what a feeling!!!

    1. Great team work during the first bonnet making session produced 40 bonnets ready for sewing, and about 10 are already sewn and ready to be decorated. The aim is to have at least 100 on display in November and all 230 on display during 2021.

  2. Great team work during the first bonnet making session produced 40 bonnets ready for sewing, and about 10 are already sewn and ready to be decorated. The aim is to have at least 100 on display in November and all 230 on display during 2021.

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