Bernice Batrouney had the uncanny ability to make every bride feel special.
For more than 70 years, Mrs Batrouney dressed thousands of brides, their wedding parties, families and friends from the Bridge Mall store, Walter Davis.
Sadly, the Ballarat fashion doyen died on the 17th November 2016 aged 98. Born Bernice Elizabeth Bashara on the 23rd December 1917, Mrs Batrouney was the face of fashion in Ballarat for decades and worked every day in the Bridge Mall store, including Friday nights and Saturdays, until her retirement in 2004, at the age of 86.
Despite retiring, Mrs Batrouney kept her finger on the pulse of Walter Davis, which was taken over by her daughters. The shop was her life and she missed being in it after she retired. Mrs Batrouney got great satisfaction out of helping people and making them feel special. She was an exceptional buyer for the store and had knew what people liked and what suited them. Her 4 daughters with a range of other qualifications and other work experiences all worked side by side with their mother.
She commenced work in the store at the age of 14 in 1929. In the 72 years she worked – and eventually owned – Walter Davis, many generations of families sought Mrs Batrouney’s advice about not only wedding fashions, but formal wear and even casual clothing.
Mrs Batrouney had four daughters with her late husband Alf – Noela Dobbyn, Paula Marshall, Susan Verhagen and Lisa Hutton – as well as 12 grandchildren and 23 great grandchildren.
Her funeral was held at St Paul’s Church in Bakery Hill.
Bernice is buried at the Ballarat New Cemetery, Lawn K Row 11 Grave 11