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Elizabeth Giffin (1826-1927)

By May 1, 2012No Comments

OBITUARY  MRS E. GIFFIN Molong Express 16 July 1927

Mrs Elizabeth Giffin, whose death was announced in our last issue, was indeed a fine personage, having won in her early days, and maintained to the last, the love and respect of all who came in contact with her. She was a few months over her 101st year, being born at Denchworth, Berkshire, England, on April 21 1826.

Mrs Giffin resided in the Bathurst district until 1876, when she transferred to Manildra, where her husband selected land. She was therefore a resident of this locality for over 50 years, mostly spent on the farm Ainsdale, now owned by her son, Mr Alex Giffin.

The vessel (Mandarin) in which she came to Australia 82 years ago took seven months to reach Sydney, which then had fewer than 62,000 inhabitants. The windjammer in which she arrived sailed right up to where the present Customs House stands. During her stay in Sydney Mrs Giffin met Charles Wentworth, and later had a chat with Mr Hargraves (the discoverer of gold in Australia).

When she was a girl her uncle took her to Windsor Castle to see the body of William IV. She never forgot the crowds and the solemnity of the occasion. She lived through the reign of four monarchs on the English throne: William IV, Victoria, Edward and George V.

Her descendants number 182. There were 12 children, seven of whom survive her: Mrs William Fleeting (Ashfield), Mrs E. P. Robins (Cronulla), Mr William Giffin (Artarmon), Mr John Giffin (Parkes), Mr Richard Giffin (Ryde) and Mr Allan Giffin (Manildra). There were 70 grandchildren, including Messrs E. and C. Giffin (Molong), and C. and G. Giffin (Crystal Springs, Molong), 93 great grandchildren and seven great great grandchildren. Her husband, Mr Alex Giffin, predeceased her by 11 years.

A service was held at St Luke’s Church of England, Manildra by the Rev. W. Gumbly (acting rector), prior to the funeral at the Meranburn Cemetery. Six grandsons acted as pallbearers. The cortege was an exceedingly lengthy one, including a large number of relations. Many beautiful wreaths were sent by those who loved the grand old lady.

Mrs Giffin was, as already stated, most highly esteemed. In the cause of charity she was ever ready in the old days, when doctors and nurses were far distant and telephone and motor cars were unknown, to go to the assistance of the sick and needy.

One of her chief interests was the Church of England at Manildra, of which she and her family were truly pioneers. Up to the last she last deeply interested in every detail concerning its welfare.

Her last illness was not of long duration. About three months ago she contracted a heavy cold, which later developed into bronchitis, and for a fortnight prior to her death was confined to her bed. It was this complaint that proved fatal.

Grieved at the loss of a loving Christian mother, the family, and likewise many descendants, now live with her memory only, and justly proud are they of their heritage.
For further information see Manildra Memories folder at Manildra Library