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Mary Wells Burns (1837–1924)

The death occurred last Saturday at her residence, New Farm, of Mrs Mary W. F. Burns, the relict of Charles Douglas Burns who for many years was marine superintendant of the Harbours and Rivers Department of Queensland. This removes another of the pioneers. Mrs Burns had been resident in Brisbane for a little over 60 years and was an Australian colonist for over 80 years. She had a wide circle of friends in Queensland, who remained attached to her until the close of the chapter, for she was not only keen, reliant and helpful, as were most of our pioneer women but was of a particularly sweet nature. The close of her long and useful life was peaceful—"the sun set and the day was ended." Surviving members of her family are Mr J. D. Burns (of the Union Bank of Sydney) Mrs John Mowbray, Miss J. Barnes and Miss Martha Burns. The last named is at present absent from Brisbane on a holiday tour. Mrs J. D. Burns was born in Brisbane and forty years ago was well known here in athletic and musical circles and especially as a member of the old Fireflies Rugby Union football team.

Original publication

Citation details

'Burns, Mary Wells (1837–1924)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 15 April 2024.

© Copyright Obituaries Australia, 2010-2024

Life Summary [details]

Alternative Names
  • Fyfe, Mary Wells

29 November, 1837
Rutherglen, Lanarkshire, Scotland


17 June, 1924 (aged 86)
New Farm, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

Cultural Heritage

Includes subject's nationality; their parents' nationality; the countries in which they spent a significant part of their childhood, and their self-identity.