Jessie Mary Halbert, CBE, BA(hon)

Jessie Mary Halbert, CBE, BA(hon)

Female 1897 - 1966

Personal Information    |    Media    |    All    |    PDF

  • Name  Jessie Mary Halbert, CBE, BA(hon) 
    Suffix  CBE, BA(hon) 
    Born  19 Oct 1897  Roma, Queensland, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Gender  Female 
    Education  1921 
    Moreton Bay Girls' High School, Lauriston Girls' School, Methodist Ladies' College (MLC) in Melbourne and the University of Melbourne. She got a BA with 1st class honours. At MLC she befriended Marjorie Vasey and later when her family moved to Kew, they were just around the corner from the Vasey family. 
    Occupation  1940 
    Jessie was the Founder and President of the War Widows' Guild of Australia. During the war she was involved in the Australian Comforts Fund. In May 1940 she became Secretary of the AIF Women's Association, helping soldier's wives. She noted the plight of war widows and, a few days before becoming one herself, spoke with Alan about her work, which he supported. Following his death she sent a letter in Oct 1945 to all war widows in Victoria proposing the formation of a craft guild, using weaving to supplement their income. She was elected president of the War Widows' Craft Guild in Jan 1946. By 1947 there were Guilds in every state and so a federal organisation was formed. She then set out to get an increase in War Widows' pensions. Jessie clashed with both Claude Bernard, Minister for Repatriation and Ben Chifley, Prime Minister overSection 43 of the Repatriation Act. Next she focussed on improving housing, especially for elderly war widows. Starting with 5000 donated by Sir William Angliss (also in the Fiddian family tree!) she got a loan to buy the first property in 1949. The scheme grew with increasing subsidies from the government and she was made Managing Director of Vasey Housing. By 1965 it was housing 250 widows in Victoria alone.  
    Event  1950 
    She was appointed an OBE in the 1950 King's Birthday Honours and a CBE in the 1963 Queen's Birthday Honours. In 1953 she was sponsored to attend the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth by the Australian government. Jessie was also honoured by the 1995 Australia Remembers postage stamps.  
    Death  1966 
    Jessie died from a cerebral thrombosis whilst returning to Melbourne after visiting guild members in Queensland. 
    Buried  1966  Lilydale Cemetery, Victoria, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Died  1 Jan 1966  Grafton, NSW, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Person ID  I5329  Fidgen
    Last Modified  29 Jan 2018 

    Family  George Alan Vasey, CB, CBE, DSO & Bar,   b. 29 Mar 1895, Malvern, Victoria, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 5 Mar 1945, Cairns, Queensland, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Married  17 May 1921  Glenroy, Victoria, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Children 
     1. George Halbert Vasey,   b. 31 Jan 1925, Kew, Victoria, Australia, Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 9 Nov 1959, Lilydale, Victoria, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location
     2. Robert Alan Vasey,   b. 1932, Victoria, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 27 Sep 2008, Victoria, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location
    Last Modified  13 Jun 2014 
    Family ID  F2015  Group Sheet

  • Photos

    » Slide Show
    Jessie Vasey
    Jessie Vasey
    45c stamp
    Mrs Jessie Vasey, CBE
    Mrs Jessie Vasey, CBE
    Mrs Jessie Vasey, OBE
    Mrs Jessie Vasey, OBE
    Attending Queen Elizabeth's coronation