Whitehead, Pam (South Australia – dec.)

Pam Whitehead was from Lancashire in the UK, she emigrated to South Australia in the late 1960’s after spending time in Canada.  Pam taught the “traditional North American” style of rug hooking at Adult Education Classes held in the Elizabeth East High School, she used hand-dyed wool swatches and the traditional ‘finger shading’ technique on designs (mostly florals)  which she imported from Rittemere, a rug hooking supply store in Canada. 

Pam’s students went on to form rug hooking groups in Elizabeth, SA and other country towns in South Australia.

Students from Pam’s early classes gathered at her home the first Sunday each month for over 30 years for show and tell and afternoon tea and encouragement on projects.  A lot of information and fabric was shared and Pam imported a stock of rug patterns and fabric dyes, cutting machines, hooks and other tools to sell to the Rug Group.

After Pam was no longer able to teach workshops, Joyce Emery, one of her original students conducted rug making classes around the district and demonstrate the technique at various community events.  Traveling to teach those interested. 

The above post was seen by Pam’s son Peter, who has provided an update of his mother’s interesting life:-

Pam was born near Doncaster, Lancashire, England, June 20, 1923.
She served in the WRAF in WW2 as a radio operator and after WW2 moved to Australia where she married Peter’s father (Lewis) in 1953, in Goondiwindi, Queensland.
In 1955 Pam moved to Canada staying in the UK for about a year on the way. Peter was born in the UK in 1954.

Pam returned to Australia (Elizabeth, South Australia) July 1969 and taught at various locations over time, the main ones being the Elizabeth Girls Technical High School and Nuriootpa High School.
Pam passed away in 2006.

Peter said –  “my mother was involved in many crafts but Rug Hooking was her passion. She would have been so happy to see it continue to flourish in Australia.”