It took 23 women one year to finish a massive applique of a bullocky carting timber

Kay Maslen, Katina Larsson and Jane Fuhrmann in front of the applique at Mallanganee Memorial Hall.

Susanna Freymark

Thirty-seven years ago, a group of women came together at Mallanganee Memorial Hall and created a huge applique of a bullock team to honour the village’s timber history.

In started in 1975, when Katina Larsson came to Mallanganee from Casino one day a week to teach a TAFE fashion course at the hall.

There was a side room full of sewing machines, Katina said.

Then the Arts Council of NSW decided to support halls to make a backdrop for the stages at country halls.

Some of the women who worked on the applique behind them.

Katina thinks the arts council wasn’t expecting something as grand as the Mallanganee applique.

“We wanted to do a big one on the history of the area,” she said.

“The bullocks are a tribute to the sawmills at Mallanganee.”

An artist came and did the initial drawing, Katina said.

Then bullocky Billy Rankin came and explained to the group how to do the brakes on the wagon.

The women at work on the applique 37 years ago.

Katina was having her fourth child and over the year, the group of 23 women worked on the applique until it was finished.

The applique is 7m x 3m and hangs on the back wall of the stage.

Katina would get it drycleaned every year but after one event when red wine was spilled on it, the group decided to get it framed.

The applique is now safely encased in glass – and it is a magnificent backdrop at the hall.

The women in the group still meet regularly as friends.

The applique is a tribute to the timber industry.

Jane Fuhrmann who is a part of the group said that no other hall in NSW has an applique like this.

“We had busloads of people coming to see it,” she said.

At the Mallanganee Hall today, Saturday, April 27, there was a display of sewing and tapestry items.

On the wall is a list of names of the people who helped with the applique.

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