Who was Nellie Payne?

Exhibitions for Red Cross. World War One and World War Two.

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Red Cross Exhibition 1916
“Ellen Nora Payne – Woodcarver of Australia” by Russell Atkinson

The need for funds for the Red Cross Society — a cause which Mrs. Payne, with a husband and two sons in the forces, had very much at heart — was growing week by week. Everyone did what he or she could, and Mrs. Payne no less than the rest. By March, 1916, she had completed a number of interesting pieces, and she decided to hold an exhibition in aid of the Red Cross. She and Madge were still living at 320 Elizabeth Street, and together they filled two rooms of the house with all the carved objects they could lay their hands on.

It was quite an impressive collection. It included the Westbury honour roll, a blackwood lectern and two stools for the new St. James’ Anglican Church at New Town, a couple of dower chests, a fender stool in walnut, a pierced-work bookcase, the four-fold screen, and a number of gargoyles copied from those that adorn Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, and Lincoln Cathedral, England.

Though it was only a small affair, the exhibition was widely noticed, and the high quality of the work was described by one newspaper as stamping Mrs. Payne as ‘a mistress of her art’. At any rate, the Red Cross gained considerably.

The Mercury, Saturday 19 August 1916, page 10

The Mercury, Thursday 24 August 1916, page 6

Red Cross Exhibition 1940

The Mercury, Tuesday 17 December 1940, page 4
Wood-carving enthusiasts should not miss the opportunity to seeing Mrs. C. A. Payne’s exhibition at her home. 26 Antill St., Hobart, tomorrow. This will be the first public inspection arranged by Mrs. Payne since the Great War, when she held a successful exhibition in aid of war funds. On this occasion the proceeds will be devoted to the South Hobart Red Cross Emergency Companies sewing circle. Mrs. Payne’s woodcarving is well-known not only In Tasmania, but on the Mainland. A feature of the exhibition, which will be opened at 10 a.m., will be the memorial endowment roll for the Westbury church. This is the most recent addition to the wide range of work for which Mrs. Payne is noted.