Summary

One of a pair of woollen bed socks was knitted by Mrs. Ruby Tyler in Queensland. Mrs. Tyler, a former resident of Mt. Waverley in Victoria, knitted 6 pairs of similar socks and sent them to the Burns Unit of the Alfred Hospital a week after Black Saturday 2009. She hoped they would be given to bushfire victims with burned feet. The hospital distributed the socks to patients and one of them later wrote a letter of thanks to Mrs.Tyler.

The letter read:
'Dear Ruby,
My name is Peter Anderson. I am writing to thank you for your generous donation of bed socks. I am now a proud owner of a red pair. I have recently been discharged from the Alfred Hospital after I was airlifted from my brother's property after the fires. I stepped into an ember pit and required skin grafts to my legs and hands. I am now recovering at home. Your work and thoughts help with the recovery.
Thank you again,
Kind regards, Peter. '

Mrs.Tyler donated the socks to the Victorian Bushfires Collection as a sample of the gifts she sent to the Alfred Hospital.

Physical Description

One of a pair of woollen bedsocks handknitted in variegated wool in shades of pink through burgundy.

Significance

Hand-knitted bedsocks convey a message of home, of comfort and of caring. All of these messages were in the socks that Ruby Tyler sent to the Burns Unit of the Alfred Hospital with the wish for them to be given to victims of the Black Saturday bushfires. Domestic items like these are a traditional response to times of trouble and Ruby was calling on a long heritage of women who have knitted socks in response to war and natural disaster. They are a point of connection not only between the survivors of Black Saturday and the wider community, but also between Black Saturday and other times of difficulty, when extraordinary bonds are forged between unlikely people.

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