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Obituaries Australia

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Isaacs, Lady Deborah (Daisy) (1870–1960)

Daisy Isaacs, with her husband, c1934

Daisy Isaacs, with her husband, c1934

State Library of New South Wales

The death of Lady [Deborah] Isaacs on 18th June, 1960, broke a link with the earlier days of the Melbourne Jewish community and with the years before the Second World War when Sir Isaac Isaacs was Governor-General of the Commonwealth.

Lady Isaacs, who was 90 at the time of her death, was a daughter of Isaac Jacobs, of Melbourne, a communal personality who was most foreceful in expressing his opinions on many matters, particularly those relating to the reform of Jewish ritual.

In the Sydney Morning Herald on 26th June, 1960, a columnist printed these appropriate words from one of his correspondents:

Daisy Isaacs was a very real and dynamic person in her own right. She was a much admired figure in Melbourne society when at 18 she married the young Victorian Attorney-General in 1888.

Cultured, travelled and beautiful to look at, in later years she outshone almost all the ladies by her wit, sparkle and charm. Besides possessing the usual attributes of graciousness and tact required of a successful hostess, she was an excellent public speaker – far more accomplished than most of the male dignitaries I had to listen to in my years of journalism. She always had something to say and knew how to say it.

Forgotten by a new generation, so remarkable and fascinating a personality should not be allowed to pass into oblivion without a tribute to the qualities that made her outstanding in her day.

Lady Isaacs is survived by her two daughters, Mrs David L. Cohen of Sydney, and Mrs. Sefton Cullen, of Bowral. The Society expresses to them its sympathy in their loss, coupled with expressions of recognition of the work Lady Isaacs did in enhancing the prestige of Australian Jewry.

Original publication

  • Australian Jewish Historical Society Journal, vol 5, part 4, 1961, p 213

Related Thematic Essay

Citation details

'Isaacs, Lady Deborah (Daisy) (1870–1960)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 29 October 2020.

© Copyright Obituaries Australia, 2010-2020

Daisy Isaacs, with her husband, c1934

Daisy Isaacs, with her husband, c1934

State Library of New South Wales

Life Summary [details]

Alternative Names
  • Jacobs, Deborah

Melbourne, Victoria, Australia


17 June 1960
Bowral, New South Wales, Australia

Cultural Heritage
Religious Influence