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Effie Mavis Madsen (1917–2004)

Effie Madsen, n.d.

Effie Madsen, n.d.

photo supplied by Roger Madsen

A descendant of early settlers of the Nambour district, Effie Madsen nee Nichols rode a horse to school in Nambour and spent much of her life in Maroochydore before spending her latter years in Bribie Island.

Effie Mavis Nichols was born at the Bungalow Private Hospital in Nambour on February 9, 1917, the eldest of twin daughters and fourth of eight children of George Rich and Amy Nichols, both descendants of early settlers in the district.

Her family were dairy farmers at Boonara near Goomeri and when Effie was two, moved to a sugar cane farm at Deepwater on Petrie Creek.

They moved to Helidon when Alma [Effie’s twin] contracted rheumatic fever and sadly died at the age of seven.

Five years later the family moved to a rented house at Withcott while Rich returned to Bli Bli to cut cane.

Eventually they were able to join him and rented a house on Eudlo Creek – where the David Low Bridge now stands.

Within a few years they purchased a property bounded by the Maroochy River, Eudlo Creek and Maroochydore Road.

Effie always enjoyed learning and attended Maroochydore Primary School. Later she rode her horse along Paynters Creek Road, a bush track, to the Rural School in Nambour.

When Effie was 22, she moved to Brisbane to help her aunt who owned a bakery.

Here she met Len Madsen, a poultry farmer.

Their courtship was cut short when he was enlisted in the Army and posted to New Guinea where he served for four years.

Three months after his return, they were married on April 16, 1946 at the Maroochydore Methodist Church, and started their married life in a rented room in a house at Manly while Len worked in a sawmill at Albion.

After the birth of their first child, Coralie, Len and Effie moved to their home on the hill at Main Road, Maroochydore, which had been part of her parent’s property.

Another four children were born - Philip, Ralph, Roger and Natalie.

Effie was involved in many activities including Sunday School teaching and singing in the church choir.

At the end of 1965, Harbours and Marine Board resumed their property, and Len and Effie moved to Evans Street in Maroochydore where they built a new home.

Len retired from his job with the Maroochydore Shire Council in 1973, but soon after was diagnosed with cancer and died only three years later.

Effie remained living at their home for another four years before making the big decision to move to a smaller house at Bribie Island where she lived for the next twenty years.

These were happy years for Effie. She was an active member of the Bribie Uniting Church and also found great joy in welcoming her grandchildren.

In 1998, after a battle with cancer, she reluctantly decided to sell.

She moved to Palmwoods Sundale Hostel where she could be closer to family and where she made many friends and learnt to use a computer.

Effie died on January 24, 2004 and is survived by her five children and 11 grandchildren.

Original publication

Citation details

'Madsen, Effie Mavis (1917–2004)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 13 July 2024.

© Copyright Obituaries Australia, 2010-2024

Effie Madsen, n.d.

Effie Madsen, n.d.

photo supplied by Roger Madsen

Life Summary [details]

Alternative Names
  • Nichols, Effie Mavis

9 February, 1917
Nambour, Queensland, Australia


24 January, 2004 (aged 86)
Palmwoods, Queensland, Australia

Cause of Death

cancer (not specified)

Religious Influence

Includes the religion in which subjects were raised, have chosen themselves, attendance at religious schools and/or religious funeral rites; Atheism and Agnosticism have been included.