A TOOWOOMBA woman has been reunited with a piece of family history in what she describes as a one-in-a-million coincidence.

After a break over the festive season, Maryann Bougoure returned to her job at Toowoomba's St Vincent's de Paul Society op-shop last Wednesday.

It was there her colleague made a startling discovery.

"I was working in the donation sorting area with another lady when she picked up a dress," Ms Bougoure said.

"She said 'oh, here's a dress that someone's made in the 80s, and look - they've spelt their name like yours on the label'."

"We had a bit of a laugh, and then I thought it looked familiar."

On closer inspection of the applique and label, Ms Bougoure realised the dress was one of her own creations, which she had made 30 years ago for her daughter.

Maryann Bougoure with a dress she made for her daughter 30 years ago. Picture: Kevin Farmer
Maryann Bougoure with a dress she made for her daughter 30 years ago. Picture: Kevin Farmer

"What are the chances? For 30 years this dress has been travelling around somewhere and now it's back where it started," she said.

"It was a one-in-a-million chance - I could have been on holidays or having a day away - if it had come through the day before I wouldn't have seen it.

"It would have been chucked away because it's old and nobody would have wanted it."

Instead Ms Bougoure gave it a new lease on life, paying $2 to bring it home.

"I took some photos and sent them to my daughter, who now lives up in Darwin," she said.

"When I first told her, she thought it was a joke.

"She's quite excited to be getting it back - it's got a lot of sentimental value."

The label on the dress helped Maryann realise the dress was hers. Picture: Kevin Farmer
The label on the dress helped Maryann realise the dress was hers. Picture: Kevin Farmer

Ms Bougoure said she believed she had sold the dress at a market.

She added that it was ironic it had reappeared in the donation bins at the St Vincent's de Paul Society.

"The dress' material came from Vinnies," she said.

"My mum used to work at Vinnies years and years ago and she used to buy the material there, bring it home and I would make the clothes up.

"The dress started there and now it's come back through there."

The handmade dress has stood the test of time and now it will be passed to Ms Bougoure's daughter to keep.

"It's a feel-good thing," she said. "I do wonder where it's been and who has had it.

"If my daughter has anything to do with it, the dress will still be around when her kids grow up."


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