Recently Queensland Library Foundation donor Ben Kehoe kindly donated a number of Her Majesty’s Theatre programs to SLQ, where they have enriched our extensive theatre program collection. Ben tells the story behind his gift.
“These programs were originally the collection of Minnie White (nee Walsh) (1882-1943) and Ted White.
It appears Minnie was a collector of programs. As a young woman, on the staff of Dunlop Rubber Company, Minnie “enjoyed a great social life making her debut at the Irish Ball in 1904. Many were the balls, dances and parties, which followed. Dance programs were the fashion and many have been kept as souvenirs of those happy occasions. The theatre was very popular and at times they would go to special shows several times – two shillings for the stalls and one shilling “in the Gods” and also The Cremorne. Friends would come from surrounding areas and stay overnight” to attend the shows.
The above quote has been taken from a story my mother, Cecily Kehoe (nee White) (1914-2004) wrote about her mother – Northern Stars to Southern Cross –the story of John and Mary Ann Walsh and their Descendants. 2nd Edition –edited by Wyn Coghlan and Judith Gardiner
Minnie married Ted White and together with their five children they were regular attendees at Her Majesty’s Theatre. In the stories my mother told, “We had our regular seats and we knew everyone in the theatre”. After Minnie died, Ted continued to attend the theatre. Sometimes his adult children accompanied him.
These programs I suspect were collected by my grandmother, Minnie; added to by my grandfather, Ted and passed down to my mother, Cecily Kehoe. These 50-60 programs came into the possession of my brother, Dermot and I when my mother died in 2004.”