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Benaud, Mabel R. (1885–1911)

No sadder or more painful task can well devolve upon a journalist than that of leaving to place on record the passing hence of one in the full bloom of womanhood, one who was universally beloved and respected by all who ever knew her, and who, in the natural course of events, might well have been expected to have lived to so many years of a useful and well-spent life. Such, however, is the duty which falls to our lot on this occasion in chronicling the death of Nurse Mabel Benaud, eldest (twin) daughter of Mr. L.F. Benaud, proprietor of the 'R. R: Herald,' and of Mrs. Benaud, of Coraki. Though a native of Grafton, Nurse Benaud had resided here from infancy up till some two years, ago, when she left to join the nursing staff in Dr. Pago's Clarence Hospital, South Grafton. Her naturally kind and tender disposition eminently qualified her for the profession she had chosen to follow, and it was not long before her abilities and devotion to duty won the marked appreciation of both medical staff and patients, while her personal qualities gained her the warmest regards of a large circle of friends and admirers. As the South Grafton 'Clarion' on Wednesday very aptly put it, in the course of a very touching tribute to her memory, "she was dearly loved by all who knew her; her disposition being such that to know her meant to love her... There were many sad hearts in South Grafton yesterday when the news went round of the close of this young life so full of promise." And it may be said that there were no more sincere or heart felt tributes to her abilities and kindly characteristics than those which came from grateful ex-patients whom she had nursed in their own critical periods of illness. It was only some four months ago that Miss Benaud gave up nursing, and was looking forward with pleasurable anticipation to rejoining the family circle at Coraki. Before she left the Clarence, however, she was overtaken by an ailment that demanded the surgeon's skill, and though she emerged from the ordeal successfully, developments supervened which defied the best medical skill, the ministrations of a trained nurse, and the unceasing care and attention of a devoted mother. The end came calmly and peacefully at 1.20 p.m. on Tuesday, in the presence of the parents and members of the family circle. The receipt of the distressing news in Coraki, where Nurse Benaud had so many personal friends, created feelings of the profoundest regret and sympathy—feelings that were accentuated by the knowledge that towards the end of the year she was to have been married to a popular and prominent resident of the Clarence, in the person of Mr. George Morrison, of Chatsworth. On Tuesday and Wednesday condolatory messages poured into the office from far and near, the flags on the various buildings and on the river fleet were lowered to half mast, and in other ways the sorrow of the community was made abundantly manifest. The refrains, encased in a leaden shell, within a polished cedar casket with silver mounts, were conveyed by train to Lismore, thence down to Coraki on Wednesday evening by the S.S. Irvington (which was kindly placed at the family's disposal by Capt. Storey), and placed in the Anglican Church. The funeral yesterday morning was attended by a very large number of friends, including numbers from Lismore, Woodburn, and other district centres. Prior to the cortege leaving for the cemetery, Rev. A. S. Homersham conducted a short service in the Church, and the same gentleman officiated at the graveside. The high regard that was entertained for the deceased lady was shown by the numerous magnificent floral offerings that covered the casket, amongst those forwarding particularly beautiful specimens being Dr. and Mrs. Page, the staff of the Clarence House Hospital, the staff of the 'R.R. Herald,' members of the Coraki Philharmonic Society (with which Nurse Benaud had been identified since its inception), members of the Coraki Bicycle Club; Mrs. Sara and family (S. Grafton), Mr. and Mrs. H. O. Hann, Mr. and Mrs. W. H. Jackson, Mr. and Mrs. W. Yabsley, Miss Jennie McLean. (S. Grafton), Mr. and Mrs. C. Page (Grafton), Misses F, and M. Walsh (Coraki), Mr. and Mrs. E. Tysoe, Mr. and Mrs. J. Pursey, Mrs. Luciano (Grafton), Mr. L. H. Robinson and family, Mr. and Mrs. W. Dolby, Mr. and Mrs. Giese and family, Mr. and Mrs. J. Cave, Mr. and Mrs. T. Yabsley, Mr. and Mrs. Stokes, Mr. and Mrs. H. F. Robinson (Bungawalbin), Mr and Mrs. J. Moroney; the Thomas family; Mr. Mrs. Thorold and family, Mr. and Mrs. Slater; and numerous others. Mr. H. H. Sanders had charge of the mortuary arrangements at Grafton, and Mr. Jno. McMullen at this end. We feel sure the whole of our readers will join with us in extending to Mr. and Mrs. Benaud, and those bereaved, the deepest sympathy in the overwhelming loss they have just sustained.

Original publication

Citation details

'Benaud, Mabel R. (1885–1911)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, http://oa.anu.edu.au/obituary/benaud-mabel-r-19889/text31111, accessed 17 October 2019.

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