One of Local Studies’ treasures is the program for the 1918 film Cupid Camouflaged. Made by the Red Cross Committee to raise funds during the First World War, it was filmed at several locations around Sydney, including scenes in the gardens of Yaralla at Concord West.
The story of Cupid Camouflaged involved a budding romance between Rosita Manners and Tony Martin. Rosita’s ambitious mother, however, hopes to see her daughter married to Lord Valentine Loring but it turns out that Loring is an impostor, nothing more than a dress designer with social pretensions!
Cupid Camouflaged was presented as the highlight of a special charity evening at the Theatre Royal, Sydney on the 31 May 1918. It was later screened at the King’s Cross Theatre. Like many early Australian films, it apparently has not survived.
City of Canada Bay Museum holds a rare album of photographs of the film Cupid Camouflaged. The photograph shows a scene from the film at Yaralla, owned by Eadith Walker. Eadith along with other members of the Red Cross Committee were extras in the garden party scenes. Committee members were a roll call of Sydney society’s best known names of the period. Also among the extras was Mrs Victor White (Ruth White), mother of the author Patrick White.