Red Flowering Gums (1)Elsie Rankine Finlayson was the headmistress of Presbyterian College in Peppermint Grove, Perth, Western Australia from 1923 till 1927. She was a very well loved and respected headmistress but met Wilfred Ogden, an orchardist and after marrying him moved to Enderslea in 1930. She became an active member of the Bindoon Country Womens Association and was always involved in the improvement in education conditions in the rural areas of Western Australia. Her story is told in the play Red Flowering Gums .
Her sister in law was Helen Ogden an early photographer in Western Australia. Together with the local artist Ida Richardson they published in 1929 a book called Flowers of Western Australia. It was one of the earliest books about Western Australian wildflowers and was in print up until the 1960s. This was one of the themes that influenced the writing of the play Red Flowering Gums.