Government of the

Principality of Hutt River  

  In Memoriam  

Dame Colleen
The Age
Photo: Steven Siewert
  Dame Colleen McCullough
Baroness of Hutt

June 1937 -- 29 January 2015
Age 77
Dame Colleen

Poor quality shot of Dame Colleen seated on HRH Prince Leonard's left at the 25th anniversary dinner 1995
It was with much sadness that we heard of the passing of Dame Colleen McCullough (Baroness of Hutt) on Thursday Jan 29 after a battle with illness.

Dame Colleen has been a long-time friend and supporter of both the Principality of Hutt River and myself, in fact we have been friends for more than 25 years. Dame Colleen was the special Guest at the 25th Anniversary Dinner back in 1995 and I remember well her attendance at that event and the chats that we have had over the years. I have instructed that a photo of her at the 25th anniversary dinner be shown here, it is a poor quality photo but she can be seen seated next to myself. I bestowed a knighthood on Colleen (thus Dame Colleen) though in later years I elevated her to a Baroness of Hutt for her outstanding support of both the Principality and those around her..

I had the pleasure of visiting Dame Colleen and her husband Ric Robinson at their hone in Norfolk Island on a number of occasions and they were great hosts. The Robinson home in Norfolk had a self contained flatette attached to it for use by invited guests, it was always equipped and ready to accommodate with cupboards and fridge full of foods etc. My stays were always very informative, entertaining and a good time was always had when visiting them.

Both Dame Colleen and Ric (Ric is a descendant of the original Bounty mutineers) were/are staunch supporters of Norfolk Island and its people, I remember one visit in particular where a number of locals were re-painting an already immaculately painted fence. I asked Dame Colleen why she was having the fence painted when it obviously did not need to be painted and she simply said "it helps employ people so that they can earn money". That is the type of woman she was, she cared for those around her and certainly stood up hard and fast for those against.
So very many people have lost a friend and supporter, I am just one of the many.

Dame Colleen always sent me a copy of her latest book hot off the presses and a message was always included with her signature on the inside of the cover. It was only on Wednesday that we actually put her collection of books together ready to place on display, particularly for the approaching 45th anniversary of the PHR so that people could see them. I have instructed that scans of a couple of the handwritten dedications in her books should be published here in memory of her.

Many people do not realise that apart from being a world renowned writer, Dame Colleen was also an extremely intelligent and well educated person, in

 fact she established the department of neurophysiology at the Royal North Shore Hospital in Sydney, then moved to the UK to work at Great Ormond Street Hospital in London before working as a neurophysiological researcher/teacher at Yale Medical School in the USA for ten years. It was whilst at Yale that Dame Colleen wrote her first 2 books (Tim & The Thorn Birds) and the success of these led to her leaving her "trade" and moving to settle in Norfolk Island where she met her husband Ric and she settled down to become a prolific and most successful writer.

The world has lost a friend in Dame Colleen but am very pleased that I had the opportunity to know her.
We are all greatly saddened by this loss.
Our condolences go out to Ric and the family at this time.

Condolences from us all.

  HRH Prince Leonard
Principality of Hutt River

Dame Colleen & husband Ric Robinson
Source: Vanity Fair
Photo: Barry Salzman

Dedication from inside
'The Thorn birds'
Dedication from inside
'An Indecent Obsession'

Farewell Dame Colleen

        Source: The Courier-Mail   Source: Sunday Night        



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