1915 - 2007 (92 years)
|Margaret Wiley (Peggy) McLean
|14 Mar 1915
|“Fassifern” in Cedar Street Maleny
- "Maleny Matriarch' is farewelled"
Written by Administrator
Thursday, 06 September 2007
Last Friday Maleny farewelled the “Maleny Matriarch” Peg Burnett, who was not only a grand lady but one of the “true locals” pf the hinterland town. This is an edited version of the eulogy delivered by her son David Burnett last Friday to an overflowing St George’s Anglican Church Maleny. The service was conducted by the Rev Ingrid Busk. Peg Burnett, who died on August 26, was born Margaret Wiley McLean at the family home “Fassifern” in Cedar Street Maleny on March 14, 1915 and for the next 92 ½ years was a joy and inspiration, and sometimes frustration to the many people who came into Peg’s life. She was the eldest of the eight children of Andrew and Frances Jane (Wiley) McLean, three sisters, Clare, Rita and Judith and four brothers, Bill, Ian, Robert and Peter – today four of these siblings, Rita, Bob, Judy and Peter are with us. Peg began her schooling at the Maleny Primary School by which time the family had moved from Cedar Street to the residence above their Bakery and Café in Maple Street, the site of the present Medical Centre. In her Sub-Senior year the position of Maleny’s first librarian arose and her mother felt this was a wonderful opportunity for her, so she returned to train as a librarian. Peg, as we know, was an avid reader from classics to pulp romance and if her love of reading did not begin here, it was certainly nurtured by her library work. Holidays at Caloundra at her father’s shack in Lower Gay Terrace, with her friends and her sister’s friends was a source of many happy memories. These holidays continued after she was married and, when her parents had retired and built their home there, they were great gatherings of the extended Wiley clan. Rixson Burnett returned to Maleny in 1930 after secondary schooling in Gympie and studying accountancy and working in Brisbane, to manage the Maleny Hotel for his parents. Roller-skating in the show pavilion was a popular pastime. Family folklore has it that Peg knocked Rix over with her skating and cut his hand. She used her handkerchief to tend the wound and then later he, of course, had to return the handkerchief. And so they played golf and went riding together. Peg 24 and Rix were married on May 2, 1939 – two days before Rix’s 30th birthday. It was the first wedding in the new Presbyterian Church in Cedar Street Maleny. Peg’s bouquet was of blue orchids, which Rix had grown, to match her blue and white organza-wedding frock. Bridesmaids were in varying shades of blue. The reception was at the School of Arts. Peg and Rix moved into their new home beside the hotel, where they lived for many, many years. Peg and Rix had four children Margaret, David, Jenny and Ricky. Peg was immensely proud of all her children and their families and we can all recall being told of their achievements, but, though those various achievements were different, they were her offspring and that was all that mattered to her and she wanted to share that with all of us. Recently Ricky’s Order of Australia Award was a great source of joy to Peg. Peg always looked lovely! That in no small measure to Jenny’s discerning eye; she found much pleasure in taking her mother shopping and Peg loved going shopping. We all know how well Peg adjusted to her life after Rix’s death 20 years ago. It fell to David, as the only son to provide valuable support. Peg was wonderful with her grandchildren, able to communicate easily with them and the affection they all held for Nan, testifies to this. When the hotel was sold, Rix turned his attention to farming and later was elected to the Landsborough shire council and served an unbroken term of 27 years. In November 2003, Peg made the hard decision to leave Maleny and move to Caloundra Rise Retirement Estate. Following the funeral held by Gregson and Weight, Caloundra, many relatives and friends filled the Maleny RSL hall to celebrate Peg’s life.
|26 Aug 2007
|Maleny Pioneers & Neighbouring Districts
|5 Jun 2010