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Petrie, Elizabeth (1836–1926)

Another of the brave and loyal band of Queensland pioneers has gone the long journey, Mrs. Tom Petrie, of "Murrumba," Petrie, in her ninety-first year. Mrs. Petrie was born in Scotland in May, 1836, and was a sister of Messrs. James, John, and Peter Campbell, all of whom were well known and much esteemed in the commercial and industrial life of this portion of the Commonwealth. She married in Brisbane the late Mr. Tom Petrie, a son of Mr. Andrew Petrie, of the Royal Engineers, who came from Sydney to Moreton Bay as Architect and Supervisor of Works for the Government of New South Wales. Mr. Tom Petrie's history is too well known to require repetition here—a wonderfully adventurous youth, the companion and trusted friend of the aboriginals of the early days, the master of the languages of several tribes, an ethnologist, and one of the best authorities on the customs and folk-lore of the natives. He was a pioneer settler with his cattle on the lower reaches of the Pine River when the lives of others would not have been safe within miles of the area. It was to her new home there, really out in the wilds of those days, that Elizabeth Campbell, who became Elizabeth Campbell Petrie, went upon her marriage. The homestead of Murrumba was modified in later years when civilisation and all its comforts were available, but it was a beautiful spot in the days of "the forest primeval." The slab hut of the first home with its freshly sawn pine and cedar, was not rough, as too many of our bush homes are to-day, for Tom Petrie had ideas of comfort and the fitness of things from his Scottish forebears, and his young wife with good taste and Scottish industry and love of home soon made the place not only comfortable but sweet, and sweetness was ever linked with the courage and indomitable pioneer spirit of Elizabeth Campbell Petrie. In the after years, when North Pine was changed to Petrie out of compliment to the splendid pioneer of that territory, and when the train passed on the line to Gympie, and hundreds of motor cars rushed through what was once the quiet home area, Murrumba had been changed to a charming country home, surrounded by beautiful trees, and the children of Tom and Elizabeth Petrie grew up, and some went into the world. Others remained in the old homestead, and are there to-day; but the gracious and warm-hearted mistress is there no longer. Tom Petrie died some years ago, and the name of the railway village of Petrie is in compliment to him; besides there is on the Petrie-Redcliffe road a very fine stone obelisk to his memory. But he has a memorial also in the remembrance and respect of the people of the Pines and Petrie. He sleeps in the God's Acre of the Pine River, and there to-day will be laid to rest with him all that could die of his loyal wife, friend, and comrade. In many hearts the name of Elizabeth Campbell Petrie will hold a place so long as those hearts may beat. Mrs. Tom Petrie, in her younger days, was one of the busiest women of the Pine River, busy with her home duties, and in helpfulness to others. Then in the later years she was a gracious and charming hostess, whom to know was an inspiration. Many clouds passed over the skies of her life, especially in those later years, but her courage and devotion never failed, and there was at the back of her fortitude a living faith in a greater and better life which was her comfort and her sustaining element.

Mrs. Tom. Petrie is survived by four daughters and two sons—Mrs. Pinnock (Petrie), Mrs. Stupart (Maryborough), Misses Jessie and Ida Petrie (Petrie), Mr. Walter Petrie, of the Forestry Department, and Mr. Guy Petrie, who is on the land. Three of her family are dead, two daughters and a son—Mrs. Armour, Mrs. G. J. Stuart, and Mr. Aubrey Petrie. Mr. Langlands Armour, a grandson, was living with Mrs Tom Petrie at the time of her death. Family survivors also are several grandchildren, and a host of nephews and nieces, with their sons and daughters.

Original publication

Citation details

'Petrie, Elizabeth (1836–1926)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, http://oa.anu.edu.au/obituary/petrie-elizabeth-16162/text28111, accessed 23 January 2018.

© Copyright Obituaries Australia, 2010-2018

Life Summary [details]

Alternative Names
  • Campbell, Elizabeth
Birth

20 May 1836
Auchterarder, Perthshire, Scotland

Death

30 September 1926
Lawnton, Queensland, Australia

Cultural Heritage