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Department of Premier and Cabinet

Rhyllis Gertrude Furmage

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Rhyllis Furmage

Awarded for service to the Community

Born: 12 November 1914 Died: 13 August 2009

Entered on roll: 2015


'Fellowship through drama.'

The show always had to go on for Rhyllis Furmage who had many voluntary roles well into her 80s.

Nothing, not even floods that threatened to maroon Rhyl on Tasmania’s East Coast could stop her attending the Deloraine Youth Drama Festival. Rhyl told The Advocate (17 July 1974) it could well be a "catastrophe" if they did not get to Deloraine to "tie up the inevitable loose ends".

The role of Festival Director of the Deloraine Youth Drama Festival was one of the biggest contributions Rhyl made to her community from 1960 to 1975. Hundreds of hours were spent organising events. After the event, Rhyl would phone the adjudicator reports to The Examiner for the next morning’s newspaper. The Deloraine Dramatic Society’s motto ‘Fellowship Through Drama’ possibly explains the reward Rhyl experienced:

"…it was all worthwhile when you looked at the grease paint and happy smiles on the faces of the children"
– Rhyllis Furmage, "Happy Memories revived at Celebrations" The Examiner, 14 December 1972 page 20B.

Rhyl started performing as a teenager. During World War Two she helped raise money for the war effort by singing solo at rally concerts. However, Rhyl was happier organising than acting and was Treasurer of the Deloraine Dramatic Society from its inception in 1952 until she retired to Coles Bay in 1973.

Rhyl’s volunteering efforts were considerable. She arranged banquets and suppers for the Masonic Lodge Installation from 1940 to 1974 (she only missed one); managed the President’s room at the Deloraine Agricultural Show with lunch and afternoon teas; and was Secretary of the Women’s committee of the Deloraine Amateur Cycling Club for six years.

When Rhyl moved to Coles Bay she became Secretary of the Red Cross Coles Bay Branch for 20 years, worked tirelessly to raise money to build the community hall and became the local volunteer librarian after the State Library closed.

 Tasmanian Honour Roll of Women