Lady Georgina Campbell
6 February 1922 -
Lady Campbell was born Georgina Margaret Pearce, at Toowoomba on 6 February 1922. She was the first of three children born to George and Margaret Pearce of Allwood Farm in the Merritts Creek district just north of Toowoomba. She had two younger siblings, Hector and Shirley. Lady Campbells paternal grandfather was Edwin John Pearce, who had migrated to Australia in December 1878 from Devonshire.
In 1884, Edwin and his wife Ann took up their selection of 160 acres at Allwood. Lady Campbells father, George, was their eighth child when born in 1891, and he succeeded to the farm, as did Hector after him. Five generations of the Pearces have now called Allwood home, although the property now extends over a further half a dozen or so farms which had formerly belonged to neighbours.
Lady Campbell was educated at Merritts Creek State Primary School, Geham School and finally as a boarder at Glennie. In 1940 she attended the Teachers Training College in Brisbane whilst also studying Latin to obtain her Arts matriculation. Lady Campbell worked as a Speech Therapist correcting speech defects in young children.
At the beginning of 1941, Lady Campbell was with a friend in McLeods Book Store in Elizabeth Street, Brisbane, when she was introduced to Walter Campbell, a young arts law student at the university, who had by then enlisted in the Air Force and was in the air crew awaiting his call up.
By early 1942, the young Pilot Officer Walter Campbell was a flying instructor stationed in Tasmania, and married Georgina Pearce so that they could be together in Tasmania. At the time of Sir Walters passing, they had been married for 62 years, and Lady Campbells support of and contribution to Sir Walters career over that period was invaluable. To quote Wallace
Campbell; Whilst it may sound clichéd, my father could not have achieved what he did without my mothers intelligence, patience and energetic support over most of that period.
During Sir Walters remarkable career as a barrister, judge and governor, they travelled extensively in Australia, the UK, Europe, North America, Japan and South East Asia. Lady Campbell loved these trips, particularly the exposure to different architecture and art, culture and cuisines. She was not afraid to shop whilst away, and not for the usual kitsch souvenirs, but for items like antique furniture and objets dart, textiles and fabrics, and even cooking equipment, crockery and glassware that were not then available here.
The public will best remember Lady Campbell for her role as the spouse of the Governor for 7 years from July 1985. It was a full time job often running into very late nights and a seven day week. Whilst Sir Walter had about 230 patronages, Lady Campbell acted as patron to about 55 organisations. She saw her role as supporting her husband in his role outside Government House at the numerous ceremonial and social functions; as a hostess at Government House at garden parties, receptions, investitures, lunches, dinners, informal visits, concerts and presentation ceremonies; as overseer or manager of the household liaising with the chef and discussing planned menus, meeting with the head housemaid about household cleaning and ensuring the guests rooms were adequately prepared, and liaising with the head gardener to ensure adequate supplies of flowers were grown for household use; and as a patron or guest of community organisations in her own right, providing encouragement and recognition to the individuals involved in those organisations.
During those 7 years they hosted a lunch for the Queen during Expo 88; they attended a splendid dinner with the Queen and Prince Phillip on the Britannia which was then berthed in the Brisbane River; the Duke of Edinburgh stayed with them a number of times whilst fulfilling various commitments in this State; the Duke and Duchess of Kent and the Duke and Duchess of York each stayed with them during Expo, and the Duke and Duchess of Kent again stayed with them some 6 months before their departure. Other Royal visitors who stayed with them included the Queen of Denmark and her consort, and the Prince and Princess of Nepal; and they hosted lunches for the King and Queen of Belgium and the Crown Prince of Thailand. Other house guests included a number of ambassadors, former Governors General: - Lord de Lisle, Sir Zelman Cowen, Sir Ninian Stephen and the Hon. Bill Hayden as well as the Governors of all the Australian States. Especially during 1988, they were visited by the Heads of State of a number of European and Pacific Island countries. Of course it was necessary to do some homework before these visits to make intelligent and informed conversation, and Lady Campbell greatly enjoyed doing this as she was always well read and informed in relation to current affairs.
Lady Campbell was a proud Queenslander, a proud Australian, and performed her public functions with enthusiasm and dignity. Although not herself a Scot, Lady Campbell was a great friend of the Scots and especially the Society of St Andrew of Scotland (Queensland), always being of great support to Sir Walter in his role as Patron of our Society.