Who is Mrs Millace? The mysterious portrait sent to Hāwea Flat School

by Lauren Pattemore - Jan 24, 2024

No one has come forward to collect an early 1900's photograph sent to Hāwea Flat School, with the sender hoping to return the picture to the "Millace" family.

Hāwea Flat School principal Tania Pringle says the photograph was mailed by the granddaughter of another early Hāwea resident and school teacher, named Emily Webber.

The woman in the photo, who Ms Pringle believes is "Mrs Millace" boarded with Emily Webber whilst she was teaching at Hāwea Flat School from 1914 to 1917. 

The granddaughter discovered multiple copies of the photo whilst having a clear-out of her grandmother's belongings. 

Ms Pringle says the incidence was "very strange", and this week posted the photograph to the school's Facebook page hoping it'll reach members of the family.

It's been shared around quite a bit since then, but with no luck so far. 

A message written on the back of the photograph.

Upper Clutha Historical Society volunteer researchers Margaret Tomlinson and Erena Baker have spoken to Crux and say they have not uncovered any mention of the name "Millace" in their records.

Both women say it is the first time they have had someone come to them with a historical photograph in an attempt to reconnect it with a family. 

Normally, the society will have people bring in photographs of their own family members for the society's records.

Main image: The photograph of 'Mrs Millace' sent in to Hāwea Flat School.

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