Miss Mary Whitfeld was born in Launceston on January 21, 1885 the daughter of Ernest Whitfeld and Lavinia, formerly Dunning.
Ernest was fascinated by the town of his adoption and gave many lectures and wrote at great length on the history of Launceston and its surrounds.
Mary was educated at a highly recommended school 'for young ladies'.
She was a popular speaker, following in the steps of her father and began researching the history of Australia in 1939 in Sydney, and later in Melbourne and London.
She also indexed newspapers, periodicals, books and other records from Tasmania's past.
This research was written as a card index and is part of the local history collection in the Launceston Library known as the Whitfeld Index.
This has been digitised and is available on the Libraries Tasmania website.
In the early 1960s Mary wrote a short script for a radio broadcast, 'Childhood in Tasmania, 70 Years ago'.
"Our education was the best to be had in the town which at about that time numbered some 25,000 souls. I went to a Dame school where I progressed from slates to copy books, from Royal Readers to the Histories of Greece and Rome.
"It was somewhat of a backward step when some years later I went to one of the largest and 'best' schools for girls.
"This consisted of an addition to a house built, as ours was in York street, one storey to the street and two at the back. The addition was of the skillion or sloping roof type, the highest part being against the side wall of the house.
"It was lined with varnished pine wood and the windows were all on one side - also a number of them did not open. It was either drafty, or stifling, or freezing and the lighting was bad.
"A big shelf at one end under the clock held nothing but slates, and penny ink bottles. I can still smell the stench of the small sponges that were tied to the wooden rims of the slates. I hated it! With these horrors we obliterated our errors.
"There was not a picture or one pretty thing in the room. I hated it! I spent much time working out how much better I would run the school if I were Mistress."
Mary Whitfeld attended the school from 1893, possibly for four to six years.
The headmistress was Miss J.C. Hogg 1884-1908, the school, Broadland House, was then at 4 Elizabeth Street.
In her old age Mary lived at the Caulfield Hospital, Melbourne, a lonely old lady.
Her nurse/companion, Marguerite Stark, provided a pen and notepaper so that Mary could write poems, but publishers were not interested.
The two friends decided Mary and her poetry should be introduced to the "right people" and they wrote letters with three poems and a photograph to Her Majesty the Queen, Governor General of Australia Sir Zelman Cowan, Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser and Cardinal Freeman.
All these people responded with best wishes and good luck.
Miss Whitfeld died in Melbourne in 1982 aged 97.