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Lucy Coppin, a woman of means, determination and compassion

April 27, 2019

Lucy Coppin, the daughter of OCAV founder George Coppin, was a formidable woman. There are facts and anecdotes that paint a picture of a woman who successfully carried on many of her father’s endeavours, including the Old Colonists’ Association of Victoria.

Born in 1873 Lucy was a woman of means, determination and compassion and the Rushall Park village benefited from each of these characteristics. She grew up, not in the shadow of her famous father who was an actor, entrepreneur, politician and philanthropist, but by his side.

Stories about Lucy reveal a woman, who was fearless, but also a woman comfortable conforming to social mores and challenging them at the same time. As a teenager she dived, fully dressed, from the Sorrento jetty, going to the rescue of her friend Ruby Millar, who had been dragged into tidal water by a shark snared in her fishing line. Sorrento was where the Coppins spent a great deal of time at their lovely seaside home, The Anchorage.

Lucy always had a great interest in the OCAV and she joined the Council’s all male ranks in 1934, despite stiff opposition. Lucy wasn’t easily deterred from something she was interested in and in 1937 she was re-elected, along with Council newcomer Miss Annie Todd. The women faced a barrage of opposition, but also garnered admiration and support from unexpected quarters.

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