Wilsie Wilson was always a generous, hardworking woman. Born on Dumaresq Island in 1905 Wilsie went to Stewarts River Public School before attending Taree High School where she studied a Domestic Science course.1 She excelled in needlecraft and even devised a pattern for a divided riding skirt so she could ride her horse to school with decorum.2
After her Croki Regatta win in the Single Ladies’ Scull in 19283, she went on to support her community in many charitable activities. At a fundraiser for St Luke’s Anglican Church at Coopernook, Wilsie won first prize for her costume of a poster advertising Bussell’s White Wings Flour.4 She also made most of the decorations for the Croki Hospital Ball in 1932.5
In 1936 her parents moved briefly to Millers Point where Wilsie worked in a cake shop under the Sydney Harbour Bridge.6 In 1937 she married her sweetheart Clarence Cecil ‘Snow’ Mudford in Sydney before they moved back to the Manning to have their family of three daughters.7
Wilsie was involved with the Taree CWA, Cundle P & C, worker for St Paul’s Hostel and the Hall Committee, and St Thomas’ Anglican Church. She also walked the entirety of Oxley Island encouraging women to form a Red Cross Branch.8
Wilsie died in 1986 aged 80 years and is buried with her husband at the Dawson River Cemetery.9 This story acknowledges her humble and tireless contributions to her community.
Author: Janine Roberts with thanks to Wilsie’s daughter Elaine Rose.
1 NSW BDM, Birth Index for Wilsie A Wilson, No. 28357/1905.
2 Manning River Times, 20 January 2009, 7.
3 Manning River Times and Advocate for the Northern Coast Districts of NSW, 5 January 1929, 7.
4 Northern Champion, 12 August 1931, 3.
5 Manning River Times, 10 August 1932, 2.
6 Ancestry.com.au, Electoral Rolls for 1936-37.
7 NSW BDM, Marriage Index for Wilsie Alicia Wilson and Clarence Cecil Mudford, No. 17274/1937.
8 Manning River Times, 20 January 2009, 7.
9 NSW BDM, Death Index for Wilsie Alicia Mudford, No. 101047/1986; Austcemindex.com.