Camp­bell an in­spi­ra­tion to all

Central and North Burnett Times - - NEWS -

ELSIE Camp­bell was an ab­so­lute in­spi­ra­tion to her fam­ily, friends and in­deed to all those who knew her.

She was an en­er­getic, op­ti­mistic, fun-lov­ing per­son and had many friends. She was a moral woman, loved her God, was hon­est, ex­tremely loyal, hard work­ing and al­ways straight­for­ward in her opin­ions

Elsie Camp­bell nee Row­den was born on Oc­to­ber 11, 1917, and died on May 26 last year after spend­ing the past 10 years at Noosav­ille. To­mor­row her fam­ily will have a cer­e­mony at the Dal­larnil ceme­tery for the place­ment of her ashes with her late hus­band Bruce.

Elsie was born in Bris­bane where she un­der­took her school­ing be­fore gain­ing em­ploy­ment at Overells Depart­ment store in For­ti­tude Val­ley were she worked as a sales as­sis­tant in the hosiery depart­ment.

Elsie met her fu­ture hus­band, farmer and axe man Bruce Camp­bell, through her cousin Archie John­stone (also an axe man) at the Bris­bane Ex­hi­bi­tion in the late 1930s. When Bruce won a tree-climb­ing event at the Ekka in 1940 he bought an en­gage­ment ring with the win­nings.

After their mar­riage on April 25, 1942, they moved to Coringa with the Bur­nett River their back­drop to the or­chard Bruce bought from his fa­ther.

Their first-born child, Jan­ice Marie, lived for just three days. It was heart­break­ing time for Elsie to lose her first baby and to have no parental sup­port at hand. Five more chil­dren fol­lowed: Noela, Rod­ney, Ge­of­frey, Lind­say and Philip. Elsie taught her three el­dest chil­dren via cor­re­spon­dence school

In April 1954, Bruce died and Elsie was faced with the dif­fi­cult de­ci­sions of a young wid­owed mother of five.

With the help of good friends and neigh­bours she chose to stay alone on the farm with her five chil­dren rather than move back to Bris­bane and nearer to her fam­ily.

Around this time, Bruce’s brother Ted moved down from North Queens­land to help Elsie run the farm. They started a school bus for their chil­dren (and the other lo­cal chil­dren) to at­tend Coringa pri­mary school. Elsie was tena­cious in her ef­forts to achieve this fa­cil­ity and at one stage per­son­ally lob­bied the Ed­u­ca­tion Min­is­ter in his Bris­bane of­fice.

Elsie and Ted mar­ried in 1957 and Ash­ley was born in 1958. Ted died in 1992 and is buried in Proser­pine Lawn Ceme­tery.

On the farm, cit­rus fruit was the main pro­duc­tion but the cat­tle herd grew more and more. Elsie worked along­side Rod­ney and Ge­of­frey and later on with their wives, Petronella and Toni, pick­ing, wash­ing, pack­ing and bag­ging fruit in the sea­son and send­ing fruit by rail all over Queens­land. The first qual­ity fruit packed into hand-nailed boxes were railed to the mar­ket in Bris­bane and be­yond.

After the two fam­i­lies took over the farm Elsie was able to in­dulge in her love of travel and un­der­took many in­ter­est­ing trips both in Aus­tralia, in Europe and the United King­dom. The West Aus­tralian wild flower tours were a favourite.

Elsie was a con­sci­en­tious cit­i­zen and spent many years on dif­fer­ent com­mit­tees in the dis­trict. She was awarded Biggen­den Shire Coun­cil’s Cit­i­zen of the Year in 1989.

In 1985 she was elected onto Biggen­den Shire Coun­cil where she served two terms. She was pres­i­dent of the His­tor­i­cal So­ci­ety for 20 years and was also a mem­ber of the Coun­try Women’s As­so­ci­a­tion, Catholic Ladies Com­mit­tee and Hos­pi­tal Vol­un­teers.

Through the His­tor­i­cal So­ci­ety she took a keen in­ter­est in the ar­chae­o­log­i­cal dig of Par­adise Town­ship prior to the Par­adise Dam be­ing built on the Bur­nett River, and in the his­tor­i­cal book writ­ten about the turn of the cen­tury gold min­ing town called Par­adise.

This in­ter­est in lo­cal hap­pen­ings con­tin­ued right up to the day she died, with her avidly keep­ing up with pol­i­tics and so­cial events in the Noosa area.

Where her fam­ily were con­cerned, Elsie was a de­voted and car­ing mother, grand­mother of 21 and great grand­mother of 23.

She al­ways took a great in­ter­est in what ev­ery mem­ber of her fam­ily was do­ing and was im­mensely proud of each and ev­ery one of them, as ev­i­denced in the photo gallery in her room

She al­ways loved good clothes, shoes and hats, and was al­ways “dressed to the nines” when­ever she left the house. She was al­ways wear­ing a hat. Elsie left be­hind quite a re­mark­able col­lec­tion of frocks and hats.

Elsie had a won­der­ful, long life and de­spite re­ceiv­ing a curve ball so early in her life, she lived that life to the ab­so­lute fullest.

Her fam­ily can only ad­mire this great lady for the ex­am­ple she set them all through­out her 98 years.

PHOTO: ERICA MURREE

BUSY CIT­I­ZEN: Elsie Camp­bell and fam­ily mem­bers at the launch of the book Par­adise.

The late Elsie Camp­bell was in­volved with the Biggen­den His­tor­i­cal So­ci­ety for 20 years. She is pic­tured with Chris­tine Holder ac­cept­ing a framed cer­tifi­cate of ap­pre­ci­a­tion.

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