The Australian elocution, etiquette and modelling circles grieve for June Dally-Watkins, whom shall forevermore remain synonymous with elegance, grace, etiquette and poise. The doyenne of Australian etiquette, the Amy Vanderbilt of her time, she inspired men and women to aspire to good manners, humanity, eloquence and kindness throughout the decades. In doing so, she created a legacy that etiquette teachers such as myself aspire to furthering. My thoughts are with her family at this time. (Picture from jdwbrisbane)
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Etiquette, the art of being polite, eloquent and kind, has many proponents globally. If you've ever wondered if there is a repository of articles related to etiquette, or about the extent of the etiquette network and the wide range of fascinating aspects of this art, then let me introduce you to Maura Graber.
I first came across Etiquipedia Blogspot when seeing a post on Instagram by Maura Graber talking about an silver orange holder I was instantly fascinated. At her recommendation, I took a further look and was instantly captivated by her website. Everything I could know about etiquette was there: its history and evolution, the forms of etiquette that exist in other countries and so much, much more...
When I asked Maura Graber more about Etiquipedia she stated, "It's fun though. I'm always learning new things. I love the etiquette history. It gives a much clearer picture of where etiquette is today, and legitimises its importance in the world. In late 2012, I started the Etiquipedia Etiquette Encyclopedia with a trainee of mine, the late Demita Usher, she encouraged me to start the site as a way for me to dispel etiquette myths and etiquette misinformation that runs rampant on social media." Etiquipedia evolved into a project of the heart that saw Graber posting posting hundreds of articles annually.
"Now, with nearly 1,700 articles posted, there is still much more etiquette information needed," Graber says. "And I do call out the promotion of bad etiquette, I just do not name anyone specifically. It is not easy to keep up. I devote a lot of time to the site. But it is rewarding work and I want it to remain free of ads as long as possible."
"I encourage select etiquette professionals who I meet online to contribute articles who readily contribute terrific articles. Some come up with an article that I need to expand on. What I look for and explore are relevant etiquette and etiquette history articles. They are generally well worth the read."
I wondered whether her information had a wider readership beyond other etiquette teachers. Graber clarified that, "I have a lot of students email me directly, from all over the world. They want help with school projects or papers they're working on. So I have a lot of people who are doing school work using Etiquipedia as a reference. One large segment of followers are historical romance writers and those interested in the French royals and Versailles, Roman Empire etiquette, and other diversionary subjects." Weekly Etiquipedia has hundreds of interested readers from across the globe, from Russia, Kuwait, Australia, UK, Canada, Ukraine and Brazil to India, France, Germany, US, South Korea and Trinidad & Tobago!
One of the items that is currently in Graber's possession is the well preserved original seating chart for the Duke of Gloucester's visit to Australia in 1934. The Duke of Gloucester was the uncle of Prince Charles and whom Prince William is named after. Additionally, Graber has a photo of a full place setting in sterling silver, used by Queen Elizabeth II during royal visit to Australia in 1954 including the original menu. I was so intrigued by this since I teach dining etiquette!
I encourage those who love etiquette and history to save Graber's blogsite and cherish it! She continues to devote hundreds of hours to building it. Her dedication and love for etiquette is evident - after all, etiquette really is the art of thinking about others, being considerate and kind. Thank you, Maura Graber.
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