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 several generations. 


A Commemorative 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.


Keith Watson

Secretary – Descendants of Moggill Pioneers