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Guild Opening Tuesday 16 January 2018

Report by Helen Parsons.  Scroll for Report, Song and Photos.

Our Patron, Mrs Linda Hurley, officially opened the Embroiderers’ Guild NSW Neeson Murcutt Architects designed building on Tuesday evening, 16 January 2018. 

Architects Rachel Neeson and Tamas Jones attended and were thrilled to show Mrs Hurley the architectural features of the new building. Mrs Hurley was delighted to see the new facilities, and two tutors, Mary Brown and Jenny O’Sullivan were able to show examples of students’ work from their Summer School workshops. Mrs Hurley also met Cathy Jack Coupland and Carolyn Sullivan, the artists for the opening exhibition. 

Hon. John Sidoti, Member for Drummoyne, representing the NSW Government and the Deputy Mayor of City of Canada Bay, Marian Parnaby attended and Tutors, donor and country member representatives and members of the Building Sub-Committee, Capital Campaign and Grant Writing Teams were present. 

Wendy Schmid welcomed Mrs Hurley and referred to this as being an historic occasion with the redevelopment of our 19th century building to the 21st century. Wendy said it had been a great adventure with many stories told and a thousand members each raising a $1000 and more. Wendy said that she felt it was significant when she realised the diamonds of the Guild’s 60th anniversary were reflected in the façade’s pattern of ceramic tile cross stitches and referred to Rachel Neeson’s grandmother who was a cross stitcher and a member of the NSW Guild. 

Mrs Hurley, in opening the building, referred to embroidery as being highly prized with each stitch being made with love. Embroidery, she said, goes back through the generations to our great-grandmothers. On one hand highly prized heirlooms and the gift of love to families, but also made often of necessity.

Mrs Hurley referred to the new building as being a warm, inspiring and contemporary space where embroiderers could gather and celebrate the diversity of member’s talents. Margaret Oppen, a founding member of the Guild would be very proud that the traditions of embroidery would be handed on to future generations.

Mrs Hurley congratulated the Embroiderers Guild and the architects who shared a vision and love for embroidery and the building was a testament and tribute to members. The building was designed and made with love, care and generosity, and she was pleased to be able to open it.

Mrs Hurley surprised the audience by singing the following song she had composed herself, and several members of the audience confessed that it brought a tear to their eye. 

Embroiderers Song
Embroiderers are very special their stitching is a craft
They work their magic talent to create amazing art
With needles and their thread they stitch their own designs
Their patterns and devotion their pieces are divine

Embroidery’s cultural heritage is many centuries old
The pieces stitched with love a story to be told
The skill has been passed down and different styles we see
Companionship and sharing the stitchers help with glee

With love and dedication our stitchers take such care
Heirlooms stitched with joy is history we all share
Generations of samplers and pieces large and small
An embroidered gift of love is treasured by us all



Lizette Campbell thanked Mrs Hurley for opening the building and for the care and genuine interest she had in the Guild and members. Lizette referred to the generosity of everyone in the Guild who had the foresight to secure its future, and thanked them for their contributions, advice and patience.

It was a wonderful evening and everyone was on a high that we had achieved such a momentous project.


Here are some of the highlights. All photos taken by our local photographer Nicole Anderson.  

Click on an image to enlarge. 

Catering by Love Life Cafe next door by Owner AdeleArtist Cathy Jack Coupland and Narrabri Member Winfred Simsauser (in background) and daughterOur President Wendy SchmidArrival of our Patron Mrs Linda Hurley
Mrs Linda Hurley and President Wendy SchmidLocal Member Mr John Sidoti meeting our PatronArchitects Rachel Neeson and Tamas JonesMargaret Smith
Artist Carolyn Sullivan and Mrs Linda HurleyArtist Cathy Jack Coupland
Artist Cathy Jack Coupland discussing works with Mrs Linda HurleyIn the Library with Lizette CampbellWith our Collection Curator Sue Gower
In the Threaded Needle with Monica WondraczWith Tutor Mary Brown discussing her Summer School Workshop
With Tutor Jenny O'Sullivan discussing her Summer School WorkshopGreat Excitement, we now have a lift for our 3 floors!
Janet Davidson our special Accounts and Admin CoordinatorMrs Linda Hurley and her Opening SpeechMrs Linda Hurley singing a song dedicated to the Embroiderers Guild NSW
Annette Meldrum and Cheryl Grant

More about our Patron Mrs Linda Hurley:
https://www.governor.nsw.gov.au/governor/biography-of-mrs-hurley/ 

More about our Architects Neeson and Murcutt  https://neesonmurcutt.com/