Australian Women's Register

An initiative of The National Foundation for Australian Women (NFAW) in conjunction with The University of Melbourne

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    Lulu Benstead, courtesy of Outback Family History.
    Details

Exhibitions

  • Karlkurla Gold: A History of the Women of Kalgoorlie-Boulder

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Benstead, Lulu (1891 - 1983)

Born
5 February 1891
Alice Springs
Died
1983
Occupation
Opera singer and Performer
Alternative Names
  • Benstead, Lucille

Summary

Lulu Benstead began her singing career in Coolgardie and performed from 1907 until 1911 throughout the goldfields and New South Wales. She retired in 1934.

Details

Lulu Benstead was born in Alice Springs the daughter of goldfields pioneer Bill (William) Benstead and Triphenia Benstead. She studied with Mrs Jack Wilson in Coolgardie and performed regularly in the goldfields. Indeed, the Western Mail newspaper described Coolgardie as the '...musical centre of the goldfields'. She also toured Australia, performing in Sydney and in country areas with the Lulu Benstead Company.

The Coolgardie Lulu Benstead Continental Musical Education Fund Committee was set up in 1907 to raise money for Lulu's further musical education. In 1911 Lulu travelled to Paris and Berlin with the assistance of money raised from benefit concerts in Western Australia and donations from her Western Australian supporters. A report of one benefit concert in 1909 described her performance thus: '...a brilliant display of her beautiful soprano voice, and added another laurel to her luxuriant wreath of success'.
A successful entertainer, Lulu performed in the USA, Canada and England singing vaudeville, comedy, comic opera, burlesque and revue. She retired from the stage in 1934, married Englishman Mr Stelling and lived in England.

Sources used to compile this entry: 'Lulu Benstead', Sunday Times (Perth, WA : 1902 - 1954), 31 May 1908, p. 7. Also available at http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article/57581422; 'Lulu Benstead', Sunday Times (Perth, WA : 1902 - 1954), 19 December 1909, p. 7. Also available at http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article/57596393; 'Miss Lulu Benstead', Sunday Times (Perth, WA : 1902 - 1954), 05 December 1909, p. 22. Also available at http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article/57595769; 'Miss Lulu Benstead', Western Mail (Perth, WA : 1885 - 1954), November 12 1925, p. 19. Also available at http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article/37644972; Criena Fitzgerald and National Foundation for Australian Women, Karlkurla Gold: A History of the Women of Kalgoorlie-Boulder, Australian Women's Archives Project, December 2012, http://www.womenaustralia.info/exhib/wikb/wikb-home.html; King, Norma, Daughters of Midas. Pioneer Women of the Eastern Goldfields, Business and Professional Women's Club of Kalgoorlie-Boulder &​ Hesperian Press, Victoria Park [W.A.], 1988; NSW Registry of Births Deaths and Marriages: Index to Births and Marriages; Commonwealth of Australia Electoral Rolls "England and Wales Death Registration Index 1837-2007," database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:QVZQ-R8ND : accessed 31 July 2015), Lucille Stuart Benstead, 1983; from "England & Wales Deaths, 1837-2006," database, findmypast (http://www.findmypast.com : 2012); citing Death Registration, Westminster, London, England, General Register Office, Southport, England.

Digital resources

Title
Lulu Benstead
Type
Image
Source
Outback Family History

Details

Criena Fitzgerald

Site-wide information and acknowledgements

National Foundation for Australian Women The University of Melbourne, eScholarship Research Centre

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