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image icon Christmas and New Year greetings telegram from John Curtin, 1941

Christmas and New Year greetings telegram from John Curtin, 1941  (opens in new window)
John Curtin Prime Ministerial Library


This is a Christmas and New Year greetings telegram sent on 23 December 1941 by Prime Minister John Curtin in Canberra to his wife, Elsie, at their home at Cottesloe, Western Australia.

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Educational value

This resource is useful because it:

  • This asset is an example of a greetings telegram from the 1940s - telegrams were commonly used for birthday, wedding, Christmas and New Year wishes as well as for urgent communications at this time, when telephones were not commonplace in private homes and before communication options such as mobile phones and email were even thought of.
  • This asset reveals the closeness and love John Curtin felt for his wife Elsie and how much he missed her when away from his home - Curtin spent long periods in Canberra once he entered parliament and especially when he became Leader of the Opposition (1935) and then Prime Minister of Australia (1941-45); Elsie spent some months of each year in Canberra but maintained their family and home in Perth and helped with electoral matters in Curtin's seat of Fremantle in his long absences.
  • This asset reveals John Curtin's strong sense of duty and commitment to the task as Prime Minister of Australia during the Second World War.