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Miller, Mary (1848–1932)

With the death of Mrs. Albert [Mary] Miller, which took place on February 7 at her home, Moonga, Toorak (Melbourne), a gracious and much-loved personality has passed from the social and musical life of Melbourne, and a wide circle of friends throughout Australia will sympathise with her family in their sorrow. Mrs. Miller's father (the late Mr. George Harker) was a well-known figure in the early political history of Victoria, being a member of the Legislative Assembly of Victoria in four Parliaments, including the first Parliament (1856-1859). He was also Treasurer in the O'Shanassy Ministry, and his staunch loyalty to principle and sturdy uprightness earned him the title throughout the State of "Honest George Harker." Mrs. Miller's youth was spent at her parents' home in East Melbourne (then one of the chief residential areas in Melbourne), and from very early days she was noted for her charm of manner and love of music. After her marriage to the late Mr. Albert Miller this personal graciousness and dignity which she possessed in outstanding degree made her one of the prominent leaders in Melbourne society, and their home, Whernside, Toorak, was a centre of much distinguished hospitality. Her interest in music made her a familiar figure at all musical gatherings, and she was associated from its foundation with the Lady Northcote Permanent Orchestra Trust, besides being a member of the Melbourne Music Club and other musical societies. A grievous sorrow befell her in the death on active service in the Great War of one of her sons— Dr. Guy Miller—and in 1920 she gave £1,000 to the Melbourne University to found a tutorship in surgery in his memory. Dr. Miller had inherited his mother's love of music, and after his death she presented his fine collection of music to the University Conservatorium under the title of the "Guy Miller Gift." She also put a beautiful stained glass window in the chapel at Trinity College. A devoted member of the Church of England, she was especially associated with the Girls' Friendly Society, of which she was a diocesan associate, and of the Diocesan Mission to the Streets and Lanes, of which she was formerly a member of the council. Keenly patriotic, she was connected with the Royal Empire Society, the Victoria League, and other patriotic societies. She was a member of both the Alexandra and Lyceum clubs (Melbourne). After Mr. Albert Miller's death their home, Whernside, passed into other hands, and Mrs. Miller bought the fine old property Moonga, formerly the family home of the late Mr. and Mrs. Herbert Power. The death of her eldest son (Mr. Hubert Miller, the much-esteemed master of the Findon Harriers) in 1931 in a hunting accident came as a terrible shock, but in spite of failing health she retained all her interests and enthusiasms, and her death in her 84th year came very suddenly after only a few days' illness. She leaves three sons—Mr. Lionel Miller (Heyington place, Toorak), Mr. C. W. Miller (Yalloak, Ballan), and Mr. Clive Miller (who has lived in England for some years)—and two daughters—Mrs. Alan Currie, of Ercildoune Station, Burrumbeet, and Mrs. George Blackwood, of Langi-Willi, Pittong. The funeral took place at the Melbourne General Cemetery on February 9.

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'Miller, Mary (1848–1932)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, http://oa.anu.edu.au/obituary/miller-mary-29930/text37055, accessed 11 December 2019.

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