The beloved "Queen of Queensland" - and Australia's oldest resident - Mabel Crosby has died, aged a mighty 111.

Mrs Crosby, a resolute optimist with a razor sharp wit, died in Brisbane on December 30 after a brief illness.

Admired not only by her devoted family but also by dignitaries, she lived through two world wars and 30 Australian prime ministerships, and maintained the secret to longevity was keeping active.

Mabel Crosby with great great-grandson Cameron Moriarty on her 110th birthday in 2019. Picture: Peter Wallis
Mabel Crosby with great great-grandson Cameron Moriarty on her 110th birthday in 2019. Picture: Peter Wallis

Daughter Robyne Bamberry said her mother was "unceasingly positive, well-mannered and never said a critical word about anyone".

"She had a great work ethic, and her faith and enjoyment of life and family were all part of her drive," Ms Bamberry said.

"Mum kept herself extremely active, including gardening and mowing her lawn, well after she turned 100.

"Her extraordinary age can also be put down to her mental strength and determination; whenever asked about her health, she would describe herself as 'fighting fit'."

Born in Kent in the UK in 1909, the young Mabel immigrated with her family in 1913.

Leaving school at age 12, she became an apprentice dressmaker and would later kit out her four children in well-made threads.

Ernulf and Mabel Crosby
Ernulf and Mabel Crosby

She and her Norwegian husband Ernulf ran a poultry farm near Gosford in NSW and following his death in 1970, she became a regular visitor to Queensland.

Settling in Camp Hill in Brisbane's east, in 1984, Mrs Crosby lived independently until she was 107.

Moving into TriCare Sunnybank Hills Aged Care Residence, she became friendly with Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk, whose grandmother Beryl Eskine was a resident until her passing last June.

Ms Palaszczuk said she greatly valued her time with Mrs Crosby.

"Our country and state owes a profound debt of gratitude to Mabel's generation which built a firm foundation for the life we enjoy today, and I feel deeply privileged to have known Mabel in the sunset years of her remarkable life," she said.

Mabel Crosby on her 110th birthday, with Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk, at TriCare Sunnybank Hills aged care facility in 2019
Mabel Crosby on her 110th birthday, with Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk, at TriCare Sunnybank Hills aged care facility in 2019

 

Queensland Governor Paul de Jersey has also paid tribute to Mabel Crosby.
Queensland Governor Paul de Jersey has also paid tribute to Mabel Crosby.


Queensland Governor Paul de Jersey described Mrs Crosby as "a force for reassurance and stability for five generations of her own family and in the lives of many others".

On her 109th birthday, Mrs Crosby donned a crown and remarked that she felt like "the Queen of Queensland".

Ahead of her 110th milestone, she told The Courier-Mail she would love to go on a cruise. "I'll go anywhere; just hand me the tickets," she said.

Her great-grandchild Jessica Manson said: "Nan really can do just about anything she puts her mind to; age doesn't really limit her, it never has."

Mrs Crosby will be laid to rest with George Hartnett Funerals on Wednesday. She is survived by three of her four children, 10 grandchildren, 20 great-grandchildren and nine great-great-grandchildren.

Originally published as State loses oldest Australian at 111


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