Within the last few weeks "the grim reaper" has been more than busy in our midst and more than one old and respected resident has gone to render his or her last account. Amongst these there was none more popular or better known than Mrs. Johanna Harris, senior, who departed this life on Thursday afternoon last, beloved and mourned of her relatives and deeply regretted by her many friends. Mrs. Harris had apparently been in the best of health only four or five days before, and had moved about with all that energy which had ever been her characteristic, but "La Grippe" had claimed her as its own and, laying its dread hands upon her, added one more victim to its already heavy list. Mrs. Harris had always enjoyed robust health, and many more years of tranquil life seemed to be before her – certainly her sudden decease was most unexpected. She had attained the ripe old age of 79, and was numbered amongst the oldest residents of the district of Wellington, having come here first in about 1854.1 She was a native of Cork, in Ireland, and was there united, at an early age, to the late Mr. Peter Harris. One of the children who survive her was born in the old country, and soon after the young couple and their first-born emigrated to Australia’s sunny shores. After living in other parts of the colony for a time, they came, as above stated, to Wellington 45 years ago. Here, several children were born to them, all of whom are now living. Mr. Harris, senior, met with an untimely end in 1865. He was returning from Ponto on horseback, along the old road which ran along where Bell Park now is, and, when opposite the spot where today stands Messrs. G. E. Wise and Co’s premises, the horse he was riding (a high-spirited animal) threw him against a tree, inflicting injuries from which he succumbed. Since about that time, Mrs. Harris had resided on Wellington Flat, where her children grew up to be highly respected members of the community. She leaves six sons and three daughters, and of the later two are single and the third (Mrs. Tuite of Baker’s Swamp) married. The sons are James, John, Peter, William, Hughie, and Batholomew, all of whom are residents of the Wellington District, with the exception of the later who is in Queensland, and who was the only member of the family unable to be present at the funeral on Friday. In her earlier days in Wellington, Mrs. Harris took a great interest in public matters and the progress of the town, but with advancing years stepped aside to allow the running to be taken up by younger hands. She had at all times the love and respect of her fellow townspeople, and it is safe to say that her demise will be deeply regretted by everyone here.
The last sad rite was performed on Friday, when the remains were followed to the Roman Catholic portion of the cemetery by a very large and representative cortege. At the grave, the impressive burial service was conducted by the Reverend Father Walsh. The funeral arrangements were in the hands of Mr. P. Kelleher.
1 The actual year was 1848
'Harris, Johanna (1820–1899)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, http://oa.anu.edu.au/obituary/harris-johanna-1590/text1675, accessed 24 May 2013.