JOAN DOWSON was a ballerina before serving as a nurse in WWII. She later became the third woman to join the RSL executive in WA.
Fremantle heritage expert John Dowson will piece together the memories of his late mother’s life through personal letters and photographs, which he will draw on for a lecture at the RSL’s From War to Remembrance exhibition May 30.
Titled Through the Eyes of a Lady—Joan Dowson and the RSL Mr Dowson’s lecture at the WA state library will explore unknown territory in his own life. Born Dorothy Richardson, Mrs Dowson served the RSL for more than 60 years until her death in 2006, aged 88. The year before, she’d been awarded the title of senior volunteer of the year by Mosman Park town council.
She served in Egypt, Syria and Gaza with the 9th Division and later New Guinea. She put her ballet talents to work to entertain troops, her concerts reaching the attention of high-ranking military staff who encouraged her to hold shows.
by CARMELO AMALFI