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Hannah Barnet (1843–1921)

Mrs. William Barnet, another of the fast- thinning band of pioneers in the Gawler district, and proprietress of The Bunyip newspaper, died at her residence Pine Lodge, on Wednesday morning, at the age of 79 years. About two months ago her medical advisers found it necessary for her to undergo an operation, and although this was successful, her constitution weakened under the strain, and the end was expected. Born at Port Adelaide in 1843, the daughter of the late Mr. Robert Burfield, the deceased, when in her teens married the late Mr. William Barnet, who had established himself as a printer in Gawler. As one of those women who built up the progress of the State, she was a loyal help meet to her husband, battling shoulder to shoulder with him in wresting a competence from the young province, and accepting, at the same time, her full share of maternal responsibilities. A history of those struggles show an indomitable courage. Her help was frequent in the office, when, with a child tucked under an arm she would cheerfully attend to the general duties. Later, on the decision to publish a newspaper as the chronicle of the doings of the Humbug Society (from which The Bunyip sprang) it was no novel thing for this mother to strap her offspring to her bock in emulation of the aborigines, while she manipulated the double-handled roller which distributed the, ink across the formes on the cumbrous Albion press. Hers, too, was the task of evolving rollers from the formula of glue, treacle, and so on. For many years Mrs. Barnet associated herself with the mechanical production of The Bunyip, until eventually she was able to relinquish these attentions to a salaried staff. Her interest, however, was maintained throughout, and her periodical visits were welcomed by the staff, who enjoyed the reminiscences of the early days of the newspaper's existence, and her stories of association with the tribal blacks. On the death of her husband, Mrs. Barnet assumed the proprietorship of the printing establishment, and her son Robert (since deceased) filled the managerial position. Mrs. Barnet, who bestowed hospitality upon many visitors to Pine Lodge, inculcated in her sons the dignity of the profession of their father, and Mr. Robert Barnet climbed high in his craft, gaining the positions of President of the Australasian Provincial Press Association, and of the South Australian Country Press Association. Mr. William Barnet has been long on the mechanical staff of The Advertiser, and Mr. P. L. Barnet is the present manager of The Bunyip and its accessory publications.  Another son, Mr. Arthur E. Barnet, is in Western Australia. The daughters are Mrs. F. C. Castance (Prospect) and Misses R.M., F.L. and B.M. Barnet Gawler).

Original publication

Citation details

'Barnet, Hannah (1843–1921)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 20 May 2024.

© Copyright Obituaries Australia, 2010-2024

Life Summary [details]

Alternative Names
  • Burfield, Hannah

29 April, 1843
Port Adelaide, South Australia, Australia


9 March, 1921 (aged 77)
Gawler, South Australia, Australia

Cultural Heritage

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