NORTHCOTT, Miss Elizabeth Palmer

1911 - 2006

Northcott Miss Elizabeth Palmer - Creswick Historical SocietyFor civic mindedness, few families would surpass the Northcott family, in their contribution to the substance of Creswick, since the 1870s.  None the least was the last surviving member resident in the town, Miss Elizabeth Northcott.

Born on December 29th, 1911, the second of William and Winifred Northcott’s four children, Elizabeth grew up in Creswick and completed her education at Ballarat High School.  She started work with, and later co-managed with her father, the family boot business in Albert Street, opposite the Town Hall.  In 1935 she established a newsagency next door, now the Smokeytown Cafe.  She also became the Registrar of Births and Deaths for Creswick which began her lifelong interest in historical research.

She inherited a sense of responsibility from the example set by Grandpa Northcott and his wife Leah.  Willingly, Elizabeth took up the reins and held them throughout her long life.

Living next door to the fire station in Albert Street, for thirty-two years she opened the fire station doors and disarmed the siren for the men, purely on a voluntary basis, enabling them to be on their way much faster.

For fifty years she served the Girl Guides movement, from being a Pack Leader in Creswick, to the position of District Commissioner.  So many young Creswick girls have benefitted from her leadership and guidance.

A lifetime was spent in the service of the Wesleyan Methodist Church in Creswick, particularly on the Blind Auxiliary.

Elizabeth was  also one of the forces behind the setting up of the Meals on Wheels delivery system in Creswick.

A myriad of other activities received her attention and service.  She was a foundation member of the Museum Committee of Management on which she served for thirty-five years;  A foundation member of the Creswick and District Historical Society, which she served for thirty years, giving willingly of her time to researching and answering people’s queries;  The original compiler of the ‘100 Years Ago’ column in the Creswick and District News.

She was recognized by the old Shire of Creswick in 1980 and 1986 for her citizenship and in the Shire of Hepburn in 2005, when a standing ovation acknowledged her dedication to Creswick.

The list leaves one breathless, and these were just the avenues of her energy within the town.  There were outside interests and work places too, but it was to Creswick that her heart and passion belonged.  Truly did she give a lifetime of service to the town and truly did the town benefit from that service.

Her wish for herself was that she would be remembered as a “cheerful person who enjoyed making friends and helping others, wherever possible”, and that she certainly did.

Elizabeth Northcott died on December 19th, 2006, aged almost 95, and as a highly valued Creswickian, takes her well-deserved place on the Honour Roll.

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