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    Margaret Watts, President, CGASA, courtesy of Eleanor M. Hinder - papers, 1837-1963, together with the papers of A. Viola Smith, ca. 1850-1975 (MSS 770/26).
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Watts, Margaret Sturge (1892 - 1978)

MBE

Born
1892
Liverpool, England
Died
1978
Occupation
Migrant community Advocate, Welfare worker and Peace activist
Alternative Names
  • Thorp, Margaret Sturge (maiden name)

Summary

Margaret Sturge Watts was involved with numerous organisations working for women, peace, children's welfare and displaced persons. She was founding President of the City Girls' Amateur Sports Association.

Details

Margaret Sturge Watts was born Margaret Sturge Thorp, daughter of James Herbert Thorp, a medical practitioner, and his wife Anne Sturge, née Eliot. The Thorp and Eliot families were Quakers and Margaret was raised and educated in the Quaker tradition. In 1912 she travelled to Australia with her parents.

During World War I Margaret was involved in peace movements in Australia and in 1919 travelled to Europe where she undertook postwar relief work with the Society of Friends. After returning to Australia she was appointed first welfare superintendent at Anthony Hordern's department store. She was involved in the formation of the City Girls Amateur Sports Association and was the first president. In October 1925 she married Arthur Watts, and in 1930 was appointed welfare officer to the New South Wales Society for Crippled Children, a position she held until 1946.

In 1947 Watts volunteered for service with the Quakers in the postwar reconstruction of Europe and during 1948 she worked in Germany. On her return to Australia she was appointed Executive Secretary to the Good Neighbour Council, working for many years with migrant groups around Australia. In 1957 she became a Member of the Order of the British Empire (Civil) on 13 June 1957 for her work in the 'assimiliation of new settlers.'

Before her death in 1978 Margaret Watts donated her personal papers to the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) in Australia. These papers, now held in the Mitchell and Dixon Libraries Manuscripts Collection (State Library of New South Wales), relate to her work with the Society and with many other organisations working for women, peace, children's welfare and displaced persons. They include material about Margaret Watts which was collected by others interested in her work.

Sources used to compile this entry: Foley, Meredith and Radi, Heather, 'Hinder, Eleanor Mary (1893 - 1963)', in Australian Dictionary of Biography Online, Australian National University, 2006, http://www.adb.online.anu.edu.au/biogs/A090310b.htm; Rutledge, Martha, 'Watts, Margaret Sturge (1892 - 1978)', in Australian Dictionary of Biography Online, Australian National University, 2006, http://www.adb.online.anu.edu.au/biogs/A160604b.htm.

Related entries

Colleague

Founding President

Membership

Archival resources

Mitchell and Dixson Libraries Manuscripts Collection, State Library of New South Wales

  • Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) in Australia - papers concerning Margaret Watts, 1914-1982, 1914 - 1982, MLMSS 7097; Mitchell and Dixson Libraries Manuscripts Collection, State Library of New South Wales. Details
  • Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) in Australia - recording of Margaret Watts reading two chapters of her unpublished autobiography 'Faith My Shield', ca.1970, c. 1970, MLOH 454/1-2; Mitchell and Dixson Libraries Manuscripts Collection, State Library of New South Wales. Details
  • Ros Bowden - interviews conducted for radio programmes and documentaries, ca.1975 - 1989, c. 1975 - 1989, Z MLOH 304; Mitchell and Dixson Libraries Manuscripts Collection, State Library of New South Wales. Details

Digital resources

Title
Margaret Watts, President, CGASA
Type
Image
Source
Eleanor M. Hinder - papers, 1837-1963, together with the papers of A. Viola Smith, ca. 1850-1975 (MSS 770/26)

Details

Clare Land

Site-wide information and acknowledgements

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