A TRIBUTE TO MABEL KELLY
In 1988, Australia’s
Bicentennial Year, there was a special event in Moggill which was widely
reported and which generated much interest.
Mabel Kelly, who was
descended from the Makepeace, Shield, and Fryar families, all early Moggill
pioneers, was determined that the historic Moggill Cemetery would not go the
way of many other small cemeteries scattered throughout Australia. When Mabel began her crusade to save what was
left of Moggill Cemetery, almost half of the memorial tombstones in the
cemetery had already been removed or vandalised.
She worked tirelessly
to establish the Descendants of Moggill
Pioneers group, which met for the first time at the Moggill Cemetery on 11
October 1987. Thirteen descendants attended. As the weeks and months passed,
the number of descendants increased to 227.
Most of these contributed towards the cost of the special celebrations
and the erection of a stone cairn in memory of the early settlers of Moggill
buried in the cemetery. The Cairn was dedicated
on 12 June 1988, and over 400 people attended.
The Rev Graham Johnson, minister of the local Uniting Church, conducted
the ceremony and led in the Act of Dedication. Mabel Kelly and her cousin,
Wendy Smith, were appropriately dressed in period costume.
Since 1988, a
significant number of the Descendants, including Mabel, have continued to meet regularly
at Moggill Cemetery. Mabel continued as President until 26 March 1995.
Sadly, she passed away on 24 October 2008, just missing a scheduled Descendants
meeting. Those who attended remembered their old and dear friend, Mabel Kelly,
who brought together those who had a close connection with Moggill, dating back
Service for Mabel held at the Metropolitan Funeral Home Chapel, Mt Gravatt on
29 October was attended by a large number of Mabel’s family and friends, with
several family members participating in the service. Long-stemmed flowers given to those present will forever bring
back memories of Mabel. Mabel will long
be remembered fondly by members of her family, her friends and fellow members
of the Descendants of Moggill Pioneers.
Secretary – Descendants of Moggill Pioneers