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Hannah Phoebe Mabel St John (1882–1950)

Mabel St John, n.d.

Mabel St John, n.d.

photo provided by family

The passing of Mrs. M. [Mabel] St. John, of The Vicarage, Quirindi, leaves many of us, as well as her own family, with a sense of a great and personal loss. She was like that. Throughout the Diocese she was known for her alert and vivid personality which impressed by its vigour and independence. She knew what she knew, and never allowed things which she did not know to upset what she did.

In the Diocesan Churchwomen’s Conferences, year by year, her sane and wise judgments always commanded respect.

Those of us who have known her over the forty-two years of her married life, think of her both as wife and mother as one in whom love and duty were most happily blended. It was this, with her fine faith, which made up the whole life and character of Mrs. St. John. Such a character it is which in the womanhood of every age and country had made life the more beautiful, as it aims at a more ordered existence and strives to give the world an ideal out of, and away from, the tragedies that spoil God’s handiwork.

The contrast is every before us — life as it should be — and life, alas, as it is. The Mothers’ Union, of which Mrs. St. John was one of the Diocesan leaders, keeps the ideal before its members in the prayer which they use daily – “Make us to be faithful wives and loving mothers.” “Make our homes, homes of peace and love.” The Union strives to build up the future on the best and surest foundations of Christianlike Charity on truth and beauty and what we call righteousness — that is right living in the departments of our complex life.

Thus was it in the home and family life of Mrs. St. John. As the children grew in numbers and in years, the greater responsibilities did but the more develop in the mother’s heart, strength of purpose, and a divine courage. So was she fitted not only for the hearth and home, but also for that wider circle of Parish and Countryside in the places where she lived as the Lady of the Vicarage. From the earliest days of her wedded life in 1908, when she married the Rev. F. de P. St. John, the Vicar of Nundle, to Coffs Harbour, and on to Boggabri, Uralla, and in Quirindi during the past seventeen years, Mrs. St. John has left a name honoured and beloved for her unselfishness, her ceaseless toll in scores of ways for causes both religious and secular in the church’s life and work in charitable societies, and for her tireless zeal. Whatsoever her hand found to do she did it with all her might.

Mrs. St. John passed away at Gloucester House, Sydney, on Wednesday, 12th April. Cremation took place after the service at St. Thomas’, North Sydney, on 14th April. The service was taken by the Rev. H. B. St. John, Rector of Morpeth.

In the Parish Church of St. Alban (Quirindi) a memorial service was held on Sunday, 23rd April. The Church was filled with a representative and sympathetic congregation gathered together from all the centres in the Parish and beyond.

The clergy assisting were the Rev N. J. Eley, Curate of the Parish; the Rev. Canon Best; the Ven. E. H. Stammer, and the Rev. Canon F. de P. St. John, who pronounced the Absolution and the Benediction.

The preacher was the Ven. E. H. Stammer (Archdeacon of Armidale), who told the congregation that the call to be present took its origin fifty-two years before when his friendship with Canon St. John had commenced, and which had been unbroken during the whole of the ever-ripening years.

In his address, the Archdeacon bore witness to the life and work as well as to the outstanding character of Mrs. St. John. Also on behalf of the numerous friends throughout the northern part of New South Wales he expressed respectful sympathy to the bereaved family with prayers for the comfort and consolation of Christ.

E.H.S., in the church paper, “Sign”.


Rev. Canon St. John is a brother of the Missess St. John, of Port Macquarie.

Original publication

Citation details

'St John, Hannah Phoebe Mabel (1882–1950)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 19 April 2024.

© Copyright Obituaries Australia, 2010-2024

Mabel St John, n.d.

Mabel St John, n.d.

photo provided by family

Life Summary [details]

Alternative Names
  • Pyrke, Hannah Phoebe Mabel

1 July, 1882
Nundle, New South Wales, Australia


12 April, 1950 (aged 67)
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

Cause of Death

cancer (breast)

Cultural Heritage

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Religious Influence

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