Museum volunteer guide, Jacqueline Dale, has been awarded the Legion of Honour – the highest award the French Government can bestow – in recognition of her work in Holocaust education at the Sydney Jewish Museum over nearly three decades.
In an official ceremony held at the Museum on February 21, the 91-year-old French-born survivor was presented the award by the Consul General of France, Anne Boillon.
“Jaqueline’s testimonies every week to the young Australian public, of the dark pages of our national history, are invaluable, because she is a witness committed to speaking for the 1.5 million children who never had the chance to survive.”
Museum CEO, Kevin Sumption PSM said:
“We are all very proud of you Jaqueline, and I hope you will be able to share your amazing story with all of us at the Museum, and with school children throughout Sydney.”
Born in Paris in 1931, Jaqueline enjoyed a happy childhood until war broke out. Her father, Icek, who served in the Foreign Legion in North Africa, was arrested upon his return to France and deported to Pithiviers internment camp, then Auschwitz where he was murdered. Jaqueline and her brother, Charles, hid in a Catholic orphanage until Liberation before settling in Australia.
She said of her work at the Museum: “I feel useful, and I treat it as a memorial to my father, my grandparents, and aunts and uncles who were murdered.”
Cover image: Photograph by Giselle Haber.