Mystery plaque found in Cairns
CDFHS has been informed of the existence of a marble plaque – broken in two – that was found in a building in Cairns which is set for demolition.
There is evidence on the back of the plaque that it was previously attached to something, possibly a headstone.
How did it come to be in a building in Cairns?
The inscription reads:
“In loving Memory of | My Dear Son & Brother | John Joseph Maher | Died 21st December 1946 – Aged 24 years.”
A search was made of the Queensland Birth Death and Marriage Index but it did not find anyone named Maher or Meagher who died at that time.
Queensland and New South Wales newspapers were then searched in Trove, and the following two items were found:
Sydney Morning Herald – Monday 23 December 1946 – p14
MAHER, John Joseph – December 21 1946 at hospital, John Joseph Maher of 57 Curlewis street Bondi, dearly loved son of Michael and the late Elizabeth Maher and loving brother of Nancy, aged 24 years. Requiescat in Pace.
MAHER – Requiem Mass for the Repose of the Soul of the late Mr John Joseph Maher of 57 Curlewis Street, Bondi will be celebrated at the Church of the Holy Cross, Woollahra tomorrow (Tuesday) morning at 9 O’clock. The funeral will leave the Church after Mass, Tuesday morning for the Botany Cemetery. W.N. Bull Pty Ltd AFDA.
The New South Wales Birth Death and Marriage Index was then searched and found:
And the Botany Cemetery/Eastern Suburbs Memorial Park records his burial with his mother Elizabeth in the same grave.
If this is the same John Joseph Maher, how did this plaque get to Cairns in Far North Queensland?
Checking the 1949 Electoral Roll for Bondi Beach shows his father and his sister living at the address shown in John Joseph’s death notice – 57 Curlewis Street:
Using Nancy’s full name from the electoral roll, a possible marriage is found for her in 1949 to a James Joseph WILLIAMS in Randwick, NSW:
Could John Joseph Maher’s sister Nancy have moved to Cairns?
Did John Joseph have any other siblings or relatives that could have lived in or moved to Cairns?
Could the following NSW marriage entry be the right one for John Joseph’s parents?
If you know anyone from this family, or have any information that could help, please contact Cairns & District Family History Society (email firstname.lastname@example.org).
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