Frances Emily Sorrelle: 1931-2008

Frances Emily Sorrelle

I first met Frances in nineteen fifty-eight when she established her home in Majura Avenue, below Mount Ainslie, with her husband Norm. Born to the daughter of a forestry worker, she grew up in Doonkuna Street, Reid, in time to watch the infant national capital develop. She was a devoted home maker, wife and mother. Not long after I met her she had a daughter and then had to face life without her husband. She  rose to the challenge of providing a life for her children as well as herself.

Frances was a member of the St Brigids Roman Catholic parish where she attended church regularly. She was a member of the girl guides as well as a leader for the cub scouts.  She worked in the commonwealth public service as a humble clerical assistant and rose within those ranks. After her retirement from the public service she traveled to Africa and to the Middle East. She maintained an active interest in the city she knew and loved, developing a passion for its history and being involved in restoration projects of bush farmhouses around Tidbinbilla and the Brindabella ranges.

My own relationship with Fran, as she was popularly called, tempered in the last few years as she settled into old age and, although we did not necessarily see eye to eye on everything, I can say confidently that I will never be able to thank her enough for her kindness and dogged persistence. She died last week and I will miss her. I loved her. She was my mother.

Graham Benedict Raymond Sorrelle

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