Local Identities

Mrs Mary Dunn née Cuskelley (c1830 – 1906) – Obituaries

Mrs. Dunn, one of the oldest and most respected residents of Australind, passed to her reward on Saturday week.

She came from Ireland to Australind in ’58, and during all her years there, she was a living example of refined Christian virtue. Her last illness was protracted and painful, but for her it was only an occasion of showing how strongly grounded she was in the teachings of Jesus Christ. Unmindful of her own sufferings, from the abundance of her heart she always spoke of God. Her resignation to the divine will was a remarkable feature of her last day, and not a friend sat by her bed-side without feeling the influence of that peace and confidence, which heaven gives in her last moments to the long-tried and faithful servant.

She never missed an opportunity of receiving Jesus Christ, even when infirmity might give excuse. In turn her Lord was not wanting, for two or three times a week he greeted her soul in Holy Viaticum. It was one of the joys of a priest’s life to visit such a bed-side, and her parting wish, “You’re going now and God be with you,” was ample reward for his ministrations.

Her daughter, Mother Ursula, now in charge of the Orphanage, remained with her during most of her illness; if she was not privileged to witness her happy death, she knew that she had pleased her mother more by leaving at the call of duty. The funeral took place on Sunday, when the last remains of Mrs. Dunn were laid to rest beside her husband in the Catholic Cemetery, Bunbury. It was one of the largest funerals seen in the locality for years. A large number of townspeople and all Australind were there to give their token of respect to a departed friend. Her life was run in the ways of God’s commandments, and over her grave all can say, “Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord.” — R.I.P.

(W.A. Record, 1 December 1906)

Obituary — On Saturday last another old settler of this district passed away in the person of Mrs. Mary Dunn, widow of the late Mr. Patrick Dunn, at the ripe age of 76. Mrs. Dunn, whose late husband predeceased her about two years ago, arrived with her husband in this State in 1858 and during practically the whole of her residence in Western Australia she lived at Australind. The funeral took place in the Roman Catholic Cemetery, Bunbury, on Sunday afternoon, a large number following the remains to their last resting place. The Rev. Father Hayes officiated at the service. Messrs. J. and H. Gibbs being the undertakers.

(Southern Times, 22 November 1906)

Obituary — The death of Mrs. P. Dunn, of Australind, which took place on Saturday morning last, removes from our midst one of those kindly types of women which no other country but Ireland seems to produce. Her hospitality was without stint and her warm Celtic nature went out to everyone, no matter of what class or creed. She came to Western Australia with her husband in the early days and settled at Australind, ultimately acquiring the small plot of ground there which will always be associated with their names. Her husband died a few years ago and now she also is called to her last rest. To her religious life she was faithful and consistent and the Roman Catholic Church had no more devoted follower. She lived to do good in her humble way and with daily toil and earnest endeavour fulfilled the round of life. The funeral yesterday afternoon was attended by a large number of friends from the country.

(Bunbury Herald, 19 November 1906.)