Who was Nellie Payne?

Honour roll, Hobart Town Hall. Carved 1921.


In his book “Ellen Nora Payne – Woodcarver of Tasmania”Page 70 Atkinson says
“some of the honour boards completed about this period were elaborate and quite impressive.  Among them were …… Hobart Town Hall ………”
“Some of these contained hundreds of names, and Mrs Payne carved or painted every one, for she regarded that labour as her special contribution to the honouring of those men”
“The designs, too, were all hers, with the exception of the great honour roll for the Hobart Town Hall.  That had been designed by her friend and colleague Mr Louis Dechaineux, head of the Hobart Technical College, amateur painter and artist of considerable repute.”

From the following newspaper report there is no mention of Nellie, but it does mention Messrs Gillham Bros who were the carpenters who built it.  However Nellie is mentioned in the court case which surrounded this honour roll, and it is from here that we learn that she actually carved it.

The Mercury (Hobart, Tas. : 1860 – 1954), Friday 27 February 1920, page 2

There were many articles in Mercury between 1920 and 1921 about how names should be included on the roll – alphabetical order, whether New Town residents should be included, whether 3,000 odd names would be too many and spoil the artistic effect and maybe difficult to read individual names, whether it should only record battalions, units, etc. with their colours, names of famous battles in which they participated, honours won, important dates, etc. and that individual names to be copied into a parchment book to be kept in custody at the Town Hall.
And there was also a Supreme Court Case regarding the Carving of the Town Hall Honour Roll!!!  It is only here that we read that it was Nellie who actually carved the Hobart  Honour roll, at the expense of another female carver, but one that was married to a German!

The Mercury (Hobart, Tas. : 1860 – 1954), Thursday 3 March 1921, page 3
Examiner (Launceston, Tas. : 1900 – 1954), Tuesday 8 March 1921, page 5