• Entry type: Person
  • Entry ID: AWE4056

Harding, Florence May

(1908 – 1971)
  • Born 1 January, 1908, Silverton New South Wales Australia
  • Died 24 August, 1971, Broken Hill New South Wales Australia
  • Occupation Naturalist


A talented artist, May Harding was a member of the Field Naturalists’ Society and taught at the Broken Hill Technical College. She devoted years of her life to helping the sick and needy in Broken Hill.


May Harding was the daughter of Florence May Boyle and Frederick Joseph Harding, a foreman and moulder by trade. She had two siblings, Doris and Frederick, both born in Broken Hill. Early in life May developed a passion for the natural world and began collecting and identifying plants. She learnt to draw the various species of flora around her home, and became an accomplished artist.

During World War Two, May held art classes for local children each Saturday and she taught at the Broken Hill Technical College. She was a founding member of the Willyama Art Society and a member of the Field Naturalists’ Society for 45 years. In 1965 she was selected to open the Festival of Australian Wild Flowers in Canberra.

May Harding spent much of her time caring for those in need and was awarded the M.B.E. for a lifetime of service. A section of the Broken Hill Art Gallery was named in her honour and a Field Naturalists’ flower show was dedicated to her after her death in 1971. A portrait of May Harding by C.G. Samuels of Coolabah, South Australia, was presented to the Broken Hill Historical Society and hangs in the museum at the old Silverton Gaol.


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