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Crawford, Lady Jessie (1907–1987)

Lady Jessie Crawford, widow of Sir John Crawford, died recently at her home in Deakin, aged 80. She and her husband had had a long association with ANU.

They moved to Canberra in the 1940s where Sir John, a distinguished economist, held several senior government positions before being appointed the first Director of the Research School of Pacific Studies at ANU in 1960. In later years, Sir John was appointed Vice-Chancellor and then Chancellor of the University; the latter post he held until shortly before his death in October 1984.

A former secretary of Sir John and a close family friend, Mrs Pam Chapman, recalls that Lady Crawford was a great support to her husband. 'She had a very acute sense of humour and became very well-known around the University. She attended without fail each Conferring of Degrees ceremony during her husband's terms of office. She was also an active member of the University House Ladies' Drawing Room group, and outside ANU did a lot of work for the Smith Family. She was a generous donor to charities.'

One of Lady Crawford's last public appearances was at the opening last year of the J. G. Crawford building, by the Prime Minister, Mr Bob Hawke.

She was born Jessie Morgan at Rutherglen in Scotland and married Sir John on 18 May 1935. Their only daughter died in the late 1970s. A private ceremony was held for Lady Crawford at the Norwood Park Crematorium.

Original publication

Citation details

'Crawford, Lady Jessie (1907–1987)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 23 October 2020.

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