Anne LatreilleDame Elisabeth Murdoch 1909-2012

Dame Elisabeth Murdoch‘s memorial service this week in Melbourne’s towering St Paul’s Cathedral was full of grace, dignity and joy (which, coincidentally is her second name!) And also of people. The cathedral was jam-packed. So was a marquee alongside. Crowds in Federation Square watched the service on-screen.

Dame Elisabeth MurdochHer son Rupert spoke of her strength of character, her deep and ongoing love for her husband – who died 60 years ago – and children, and her unmatched generosity of spirit. ‘She left a beautiful garden….in full bloom’.

Former state premier, Jeff Kennett, described her as ‘a constant in our lives – always optimistic, always active’. She stayed connected to Mother Earth, he said. She put her hands in the soil.

Bishop Andrew St John, who flew from New York to deliver the address, saw her famed Cruden Farm garden as ‘a little bit of Paradise – an expression of Dame Elisabeth’s faith, a focus of family life, a springboard for her philanthropy and for community involvement’.

Is this an example for all of us?

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Anne Latreille

About Anne Latreille

Writer, editor and journalist. Author of 'Garden Voices' (about Australian garden designers past and present, September 2013), 'Garden of a Lifetime' (Dame Elisabeth Murdoch at Cruden Farm), 'Kindred Spirits' and 'The Natural Garden'. Melbourne, Victoria.

2 thoughts on “Dame Elisabeth Murdoch 1909-2012

  1. Lovely reflections Anne – and your book ‘Garden of a Lifetime: Dame Elisabeth Murdoch at Cruden Farm’ is one anyone, especially gardeners, would enjoy – a great insight into how ‘grounded’ she was.

  2. Thanks Kim – just back from a few weeks at the beach – yes, ‘grounded’ is exactly the right description for Dame E and I will pass it on to her family

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