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Gullett, Ruth (1922–1995)

by John Farquharson

Ruth Mary Gullett, wife of Mr Henry Baynton (Jo) Gullett, Canberra grazier, journalist, soldier, politician and diplomat, died on Friday at her Griffith home after a long illness. She was 73.

For most of her married life, Mrs Gullett lived at "Lambrigg", the historic property near Tharwa, where William Farrer conducted experiments which led to the development of a rust-resistant wheat. Her husband had bought the property in 1948 after having won the federal seat of Henty, in Victoria, for the Liberal Party in 1946.

The Gulletts did much to build up and improve the property. Mrs Gullett, an enthusiastic and knowledgable gardener, worked with her husband to build up over 40 years a notable and attractive garden. She often opened the garden to the public for fund-raising efforts in support of charities and other organisations in which she took an active interest — the Children's Medical Research Institute, Dr Barnardos and the National Trust. Her community service in these spheres was recognised when she was awarded an MBE.

She and her husband moved into Canberra seven years ago after handing over "Lambrigg" to their son, Peter.

Mrs Gullett came from the well-known Colman family, of Toorak, Victoria. Her father was Sir Stanley Colman, managing director of the pastoral company Australian Estates. She was engaged and married in Melbourne in 1945, the year her husband won preselection for Henty which he held throughout his parliamentary career.

Apart from raising four children and being involved with the family property, Mrs Gullett gave great support to her husband in his political life and later when he was Australian ambassador to Greece, 1965-68.

She is survived by her husband, her four children, Roslyn, Juliet, Peter and Celia, and 10 grandchildren.

A memorial service will be held on Wednesday, April 12, at 11am at St Paul's Anglican church, Manuka.

Original publication

  • Canberra Times, 9 April 1995

Additional Resources

Citation details

John Farquharson, 'Gullett, Ruth (1922–1995)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 30 September 2020.

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