Studio portrait of Anne Fraser Bon. Born in Dunning, Perthshire, Scotland in 1838, Anne Fraser ...

Accession Number P09491.001
Collection type Photograph
Object type Colour - Digital print
Maker Unknown
Date made c 1920
Conflict First World War, 1914-1918
Copyright

Item copyright: Copyright expired - public domain

Public Domain Mark This item is in the Public Domain

Description

Studio portrait of Anne Fraser Bon. Born in Dunning, Perthshire, Scotland in 1838, Anne Fraser Dougall married John Bon, a wealthy pastoralist from 'Wappan' (Wappang) on the Delatite River near Mansfield, Victoria. Following his death in 1868, Anne Bon took over the management of Wappan, in addition to raising her five children, and eventually became one of the wealthiest women in Victoria. She was a noted philanthropist, with a keen interest in Aboriginal welfare, various charities, the Salvation Army and mental health. During the First World War, Anne Bon donated an ambulance to the Belgian Army. Her cockatoo 'Cocky' was hatched at 'Wappan' in 1878. He already had an extensive vocabulary of 'polite' English phrases, when he was lent by Mrs Bon, to No. 1 Rest Home at Wirth's Park in Melbourne in late 1917 and remained there for two or three years. The home housed wounded convalescent returned soldiers, who were undergoing rehabilitation and retraining before being discharged. Cocky was lent by Mrs Bon to cheer the men up and was the mascot of one of the wings of the house. 'Cocky', coached by the soldiers, rapidly acquired the ability to speak more 'picturesque' phrases, as well as some German words. Each Christmas, from 1919 until her death in 1936, she gave every Victorian soldier who had been blinded in the war a gift of twenty pounds. She died, aged 98, on 5 June 1936 and is buried in Kew cemetery. See also RELAWM08024, P11660.001 and H04150.