Obituary – Farewell to Betty Sommerville

Betty Sommerville of Warwick, formerly of Bourke and Thargomindah Photo supplied

The life of well-known former Bourke resident Betty Sommerville was celebrated at a funeral service at St Mark’s Anglican Church, Warwick last Friday.

Betty was born and educated at Bourke and brought her family up in Bourke, and became a well-known, and well-loved member of the Bourke community.

She was born as Betty Annetta Byrne at the home of her parents – Gordie and Hope Byrne – at a place called “the Old Dairy” at the eastern end of Green Street, Bourke on 25th October 1928. Betty was the eldest of a family of seven children – Betty, Edie (Clark), Harold, Frank, Sue (Schnitzerling), Marjorie (Hall) and Peter.

After leaving school, Betty was employed as a telephonist at the Bourke telephone exchange, but when her parents bought “Kulki” a grazing property at Thargomindah in Queensland, Betty went with them. At Thargomindah she worked for the Bulloo Shire Council, then the 3rd largest local government area in Australia, where she became “Acting Shire Clerk” for a short time.

Betty also owned a general store during her time in Thargomindah, and was involved with local activities, including raising funds for the Royal Flying Doctor Service and the Bush Children’s Health Scheme.

Read more in the printed edition of the Western Herald.

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