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Obituaries Australia

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Lefroy, Mary (1856–1939)

With the passing of Miss Mary Lefroy, who died on Wednesday at her home in Mount-street, another of the few remaining links with the early days of this State was broken.

The late Miss Lefroy was the eldest daughter of the late Mr. and Mrs. Anthony O'Grady Lefroy, who were among the pioneers of Western Australia, and the sister of the late Sir Henry Lefroy, of Walebing. Her father arrived here and went to Walebing, later was secretary to Governor Fitzgerald, and afterwards Colonial Treasurer for 36 years. He married Miss Bruce, a daughter of Colonel Bruce, the first Commandant of the Military Forces, and Mrs. Bruce, and they made their home at Cambray, at the corner St. George's-terrace and Mill-street. In those days it was a small residence but later it was enlarged and became a beautital home and a centre of society. The site is now occupied by business premises.

Both Mr. and Mr. Anthony O'Grady Lefroy were excellent citizens and served their State and generation well. Mrs. Lefroy was a keen philanthropic worker and a clever woman, as well as a leader of society, known and respected by all sections of the community.

Cambray in the old days was the scene of much entertaining and hospitality. The host and hostess were ably assisted in entertaining by the late Miss Lefroy, and Misses Dora and Emma Lefroy afterwards Mrs. A. Williams. The late Miss Lefroy was a leading figure in social circles of that period. Until a few years ago, and she was 82 when she died, she was extraordinarily young-looking for her age. In her youth she was a horse woman and tennis player, keen on cycling and walking, and a good dancer.

Miss Lefroy was a great friend of a former Governor, Sir Frederick Broome, and Lady Broome. During their regime at Government House, and during the term of Sir William Robertson and later Governors she was a frequent guest at Government House. Later she spent six months with Sir Frederick and Lady Broome at Trinidad. The late Miss Lefroy was fond of travel and made 12 visits to Britain and the Continent, many of which were made with her sister, Miss Dora Lefroy. These trips to so many countries gave Miss Lefroy much pleasure and she delighted to talk of them. Her health began to fail about nine years ago. Miss Lefroy was fortunate in the possession of a sister whose life was devoted to her, as it had also been to their father for years during the eventide of his life. To that sister–Miss Dora Lefroy–from her friends goes sincere sympathy in the loss of her life long companion.

Original publication

Citation details

'Lefroy, Mary (1856–1939)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 23 October 2020.

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