Corowa Catholic Ball 1947


[This item is published on the website marking the occasion of the Coreen Golden Jubilee of St Pius X church. It is a reminder of the many people who assisted in raising monies for the parish in earlier times – perhaps when the plans for the Coreen church were beginning to be aired in the parish. Many of those involved in the Catholic Ball of 1947 were Coreen residents, giving their ‘all’ to support St Mary’s Parish.]

[From The Free Press Friday September 5, 1947]

In spite of wet weather which prevailed on Tuesday last, the annual Catholic Ball at the Rex Theatre that evening proved an outstanding success, over 600 being present.

Door takings amounting to about 150 pounds, and a queen competition run in conjunction also raised over 990 pounds. The function would represent over 1,000 pounds being raised for the church funds, which must be considered a noteworthy effort indeed.

Great preparations had been made for the ball and the presentation of 31 debutants. Under the direction of Mrs W Bryant and helpers the stage was transferred into a beautiful setting of spring blossoms and flowers and the girls and their partners emerged from the stage to the dance floor which was specially illuminated with fluorescent lights.

The presentation was made to dean Slattery of Albury with Mrs T.P. Lane acting as matron of honour. Also in the official party were the president, Mr T.P. Lane, the Mayor and Mayoress (Ald. and Mrs. G. Eberle), Rev. Father Lane and Misses Alice Gleeson and Doris King (secretaries).

The debutants were preceded by Master Jimmy Fears as page boy, dressed in dinner suit and top hat, and little Mary Cavanagh as flower girl, wearing organdie over pink satin, and who presented posies to Mrs. Lane and Mrs. Eberle. The debutantes and their partners, who were announced over a microphone by Mr. Clarrie Plunkett, were as follows:-

Miss Kathleen Reid ([Partner] Mr Jim Evans), white marquisette, French braded, over pale pink nylon, Bertha collar.

Miss Pat. Filliponi (Mr. Alan Whitty), white D’eep net with heart shaped neck line, pointed bodice with covered buttons to waist, full skirt.

Miss Thomasina Doyle (Mr. John Evans), white taffeta, shirred bodice, with kilted trimming and white fur cape.

Miss Margaret Talbot (Mr Bill Talbot), white brocaded satin, folded neckline, full puff sleeves, high waistline with skirt shaped to flare.

Miss Barbara Murdoch (Mr. Tom O’Brien), lace and net over taffeta, tissue neckline and cap sleeves, peaked waistline and gathered skirt.

Miss Maisie Chisnall (Mr. Ken King), silk net over satin. Heart-shaped neckline, puffed sleeves and a full circular skirt.

Miss Margaret Johnson (Mr Kevin Seymour) white silk lace bodice, heart-shaped neck, covered buttons from neck to waist, net skirt over flat crepe.

Miss Betty Hughes (Mr. Laurie Hughes), chalk white silk pique, gathered bodice and skirt.

Miss Aileen Clohessy (Mr. Kevin Hennessy), white silk lace over taffeta, heart-shaped neck, tucked bodice, trimmed with sequins.

Miss Eileen Yates (Mr. Alan Roach) brocaded satin over taffeta, puffed sleeves, heart-shaped neckline, tight beaded waistband and full gathered skirt.

Miss Marion Spencer (Mr. Max Roach) lave over taffeta, featuring heart-shaped neckline, self-bows on each side, full skirt with peplum.

Miss Kathleen Bryant (Mr. Keith Thomason), silk net over taffeta, silvery embroidery round neck, puffed sleeves and self-frilling.

Miss Eileen Hennessy (Mr. Tom Hennessy), brocaded silk frock, heart-shaped neck and gathered bodice trimmed with edge of kilting. Circular peplum trimmed with deeper kilting, tying large bow at back even full skirt.

Miss Betty Cook (Mr. John Voss), white grain art silk, heart-shaped neck, pleated peplum, circular draped skirt.

Miss Mary Kingston (Mr. Bryan Filliponi), long waisted frock of white taffeta, full circular skirt, net yoke, heart-shaped trimmed with clusters of silver.

Miss Peggy Nixon (Mr Ted Lavis) rucked marquisette bodice with rucked lace skirt, stiffened lace cape sleeves and covered with marquisette buttons to waist.

Miss Elsie Roe (Mr Stan Richardson), white net with lace inserts over white taffeta, with heart-shaped neckline.

Miss Barbara Pearce (Mr. Keith Montgomery) white silk net over embossed taffeta, trimmed with very fine lace and insertion with very full circular skirt.

Miss Marie Smoothey (Mr. John Buggy), white maine taffeta featuring Peter Pan collar, puffed sleeves and flared peplum, trimmed with self-kilting and rosettes of satin ribbon.

Miss Margaret Smoothey (Mr. Baron Lethbridge), white embroiderer French Crepe, sweetheart neckline, semi-cape sleeves and long bodice trimmed with frilling, circular skirt.

Miss Joan Shanahan (Mr. James Duan), silk net over taffeta, self-frilled square neck finished with pearl clips.

Each of the debutantes carried a small posy of carnations, violets and heath, made by Mrs. R. Crisfield.

Visiting clergy included Rev. O’Donovan (Albury), Rev. Kiniry (Wangaratta) Rev. J.E. Lane (Tocumwall) Rev. J. Lawless and Rev. Forster (Rutherglen) and Rev. B. Hayden (Howlong).

After the presentation the couples danced the Valetta waltz.

Great credit is due to Miss Leonie Adriaansen who trained the couples and supervised what was undoubtedly a very charming ceremony.

At the conclusion of the presentation, Rev. Father Lane announced the result of the Queen of the Ball competition, which had been in progress for about two months before the ball.

The results were as follows:-

Miss Peg Filliponi (Coreen), 268 pounds.

Miss Pat Gleeson (Corowa), 244 pounds

Miss ‘Tommie’ Creeper (Corowa), 195 pounds.

Miss Bev. Graham (Balldale), 100 pounds.

Miss Peg Nixon (Ringwood), 98 pounds.

Each of the queens was then presented by Dean Slattery with a gift to mark the occasion, and Father Lane briefly congratulated the debutantes and wished them happiness in the future social life.

For the remainder of the evening, continuous dancing was thoroughly enjoy by the large crowd, music being supplied by the Mulwala orchestra and Gordon’s orchestra.

A delicious supper was served in relays at the Catholic Club rooms where the tables were decorated with bowls of spring blossom and flowers. At the first sitting were the official guests, the debutantes and their partners and relatives. During this sitting, Mr. Baron Lethbridge, on behalf of the debutantes, extended thanks to Miss Adriaansen and also to Miss Monica Stoll for her assistance with music. A beautiful debutante cake made by Mrs L. Parkin, was cut by the Queen of the Ball, Miss Filliponi, who was also presented with a memento of her victory as Queen.

The success of the ball was due to the energies of a large committee headed by Mr. T.P. Lane as president, and Mr J. Shanahan and Misses Alice Gleeson and Doris King as secretaries, and credit is due to these and the many others who assisted with the preparation of the theatre, decorating, providing supper and in many other ways, and especially to those who so generously supported the various queens and generally helped to make this annual function such an outstanding financial success.


The successful Coreen Queen (Miss Peg Filliponi) and committee wish to extend their thanks to all who helped in any way to make their campaign such a great success. Many enjoyable social events were held, including Mrs. Alf Kingston’s house party (15 pounds & 10 shillings), Lowesdale golf gymkhana (36 pound, two shillings and sixpence), Coreen Catholic Ball (28 pound, 15 shillings and threepence), Mrs Rintoule’s card party (10 pounds), Coreen house party and euchre (10 pounds), street stall (11 pounds 18 shillings and threepence. Buraja dance and euchre (10 pounds 5 shillings), Coreen golf gymkhana (26 pound 15 shillings).

Donations were also accepted from J.F. Conroy, P. Carroll, Kingston Bros., J.K. Doyle, S.D. Filliponi, G. Tenney, D. Carroll, A. West, Mr. and Mrs J.H. Kingston, R.F. Hudson, Kingston Bros., J.F. Talbot Mr & Mrs T. Talbot, R. Devlin, Mrs L. Bird, H. Sheridan, J. Martin, Mrs. C. Martin, Jim Collins, Dave Forbes, Simmons, Miss J. Tenney, Miss D Carroll, Miss May Talbot, Mrs. Maidment, J.F. Izon, Alan Taylor, Frank Fitzgerald, Mrs B Hall, Mick Walsh. (Amounts and donations of sheep omitted from this list).