Do you know Edna and Harold?

It is hoped that readers of The Local may help to identify the people in this photograph.

The photo of the couple has ‘Ed & Harold, Waratah’ written on the back. Does anyone recognise the couple who may have lived in Waratah from the 1930s to the 1950s? 

It’s a mystery posed to us by Hilary Oliver of New Lambton. Ms Oliver says the photos were developed from negatives found in a travel trunk belonging to the famous Wagnerian opera singer, Florence Austral. 

In the 1920s and 30s Florence performed in the opera houses of Europe and the United States. She was recognised as Australia’s greatest dramatic soprano of her time.

Florence lived the last 16 years of her life in Newcastle. She died in a Mayfield nursing home in 1968.                     

Amongst other items in the trunk were some negatives and the owner of the trunk had them developed.  The people look very similar and one distinct photo is the lady holding a trident. The photo of the lady reclining in the chair with a book, has ‘Edna, Waratah’ written on the back. Perhaps these people were friends of Madame Austral.

If you can help with any information about the people in these photos  please contact The Local in the first instance by email or phone 0455 210 000.

Ms Oliver has been researching the life and career of Florence Austral, who was the first singing teacher at the newly formed Conservatorium of Music at Newcastle in 1952.  

For more information about Florence Austral, there will be a free presentation held at the Newcastle Digital Library, 12 Stewart Avenue Newcastle West, on 14 July from 6-7 pm. 

Bookings are essential through the library website.  

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