High tea for a truly local lady

A walk down memory lane: Iris McFadyen as the woman in the crinoline dress on the 1951 float next to the birthday cake made in her image. Photos: Supplied
A walk down memory lane: Iris McFadyen as the woman in the crinoline dress on the 1951 float next to the birthday cake made in her image. Photos: Supplied

Family and friends gathered recently for a garden high tea to celebrate the 90th birthday of Iris McFadyen (Deards). 

She’s lived in Gloucester all her life, growing up on the Deards family farm at Forbesdale before moving to “town” with her family as a teenager. Iris attended Forbesdale and Gloucester public schools and recalls riding her horse to school “doubling” with her sister, Dora. 

She worked for many years in the accounts department of Street and Parish (now IGA) and as an usherette for 13 years during the heyday of Gloucester’s Majestic Theatre. 

In 1951, Iris was part of the Majestic Theatre’s float in the Spirit of the Commonwealth Jubilee Parade that ran down Church Street. She was the woman in the crinoline dress and this image was the inspiration for her 90th birthday cake, made by Gloucester’s Gail Ellis. 

Gloucester Advocate article about the float in the April 19, 1951 edition

Gloucester Advocate article about the float in the April 19, 1951 edition

There was a write-up about her in the Gloucester Advocate’s April 17, 1951 edition about jubilee procession.