Beloved Gympie legend, woman ahead of her time, has died
A SAD loss for the Gympie region today as beloved community stalwart, former councillor, inspiration and social commentator Julia Lawrence died.
She was 90 years old.
Mrs Lawrence was surrounded by her loved ones at the Gympie Hospital when she died about midday today, following a brief illness.
She was a good friend of The Gympie Times and a woman ahead of her time.
The Order of Australia recipient was always humble and straight forward, no nonsense and hard working. A dedicated wife and mother, a councillor and a volunteer with a healthy sense of justice and humour.
"I'm surprised I'm here,” she said last year on the occasion of her 90th birthday, for which she threw a party at Gunabul.
"I seem to know so much now but no-one wants to hear it,” she said.
But she was wrong. Plenty of people wanted to hear her voice and her ideas, which she continued to share in the Letters to the Editor pages of The Gympie Times regularly, and as recently as last month.
Born in 1928, Mrs Lawrence grew up in the era of the Great Depression, World War II, and all the conflicts which came after.
She moved to Gympie in 1959, and became a community stalwart through her immense social and community work.
"My community involvement made me feel everyone in the region was part of me,” she said last year. "Especially with my late husband Ron Lawrence being the superintendent of the QATB and giving me the holding of the ambulance station when all the men were out on jobs.
"My words of wisdom in this old age - dance, smile and giggle. Trust, hope, love, wish and believe.
"Most of all enjoy every moment of the journey, and appreciate where you are at the moment instead of always focussing on how far you have to go.
"And a big thank you to all the Gympie region people.”
Rest in peace Julia. You were loved and respected and will be sadly missed by all who knew you.