I had the honour of knowing one of the most incredible people to ever walk the planet. His name was William John Dunbar and he introduced me to the big wide world outside of Sydney’s western suburbs. Johnny was a Scottish war hero who lived two doors up from my childhood home and was one of my best friends. He often shared his stories of war, life in the navy, and survival as he endured the Second World War, and fought to come home to his sweetheart wife in Sydney, Marie.
Marie was a beauty queen. She was beautiful, and she knew it. In fact, Marie was one of the first to proudly flaunt her sassy little figure in a two-piece bikini on Sydney’s iconic Bondi Beach, and be publicly shamed for it in the local paper. She was a model with unbreakable confidence. I remember the day she flicked through this magazine that I’ve photographed for this post, and told me that she thought it was just too plain. She complained that old magazines had no stories about travelling to New York, and Paris, and that it was too ‘housewifey’ for her. I always felt fuzzy looking at all the branding of food institutions that made the test of time, and wondered about how different this stuff tasted back then.
When I lost my uncle Johnny in May of 2006, and Marie in December 2011, I inherited a handful of these print publications. This inheritance sparked a massive interest, and with the help of a good friend who is a vintage buyer and seller, I have actively started my search for more of these magazines. I find it so fascinating that only 50 years ago, women were encouraged to simply - eat their protein, dress ‘cool casual’, and always be prepared to serve a ‘marvelously nourishing’ lunch or dinner…and don't forget the perfect dessert.
So much has changed, but somehow it's still the same...