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'Miss Sunshine' Beauty Pageant, by Sunshine Harvester Works, Melbourne, circa 1940s-1950s

"SUNSHINE HARVESTER WORKS PICNIC 1950: HELD AT FRANKSTON PARK: MISS NORMA BRADLEY - AWARDED THE TITLE OF `MISS SUNSHINE, 1950' WITH APPROPRIATE SASH AND TROPHY"

Image: "SUNSHINE HARVESTER WORKS PICNIC 1950: HELD AT FRANKSTON PARK: MISS NORMA BRADLEY - AWARDED THE TITLE OF `MISS SUNSHINE, 1950' WITH APPROPRIATE SASH AND TROPHY"

Source: Museum Victoria

The search for 'Miss Sunshine' was a feature of the Sunshine Harvester Works' annual picnic. The first company beauty pageant was featured during the 1949 picnic held at Frankston Park. A total of 1,500 employees and their families attended the picnic.

The pageant was staged on the beach, drawing a large crowd. The judges included Mrs S.S McKay, V.R McKay and W.H Thompson. Nine women entered the competition, with Joan Evans emerging as the winner. She was awarded a blue and gold sash and a crystal powder bowl. Barbara Ellingsen came runner-up.

Norma Bradley, an employee in the company's Head Office, was crowned 'Miss Sunshine' the following year. In 1952, Miss Fowler was judged winner of the competition, with Miss Thomson a close second.

During the 1953 picnic, the 'Miss Sunshine' contest was divided into two categories ? the Picnic Girl and Beach Girl. Miss Oatway won the title of Picnic Girl, with Miss Wilkinson as runner-up. Miss Ansty was crowned Beach Girl, while Miss Day came second.

References
'1500 People Attended Harvester Picnic', 1949, Sunshine Advocate, 18 February, p.1.
'Attendance over 2,000 at Harvester Picnic', 1950, Sunshine Advocate, 3 March, p.1.
'Harvester Picnic a Great Success', 1952, Sunshine Advocate, 22 February, p.1.
'Harvester Picnic Popular as Ever', 1953, Sunshine Advocate, 27 February, p.2.
Related Narratives
Social Gatherings at Sunshine Harvester Works

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