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Mary Ellen Fairbairn (nee McNamara) 1881-1955 by Ann Rackstraw

Mary Ellen and Henry Hunter Fairbairn’s children
   c. Thelma Isabel Fairbairn

Thelma Isabel Fairbairn
4 Jul 1911 - 24 Oct 2001

Married 6 Aug 1938

Arthur John McKinna
29 Jan 1915 - 25 Aug 1994

Young Thelma Fairbairn
Young Thelma Fairbairn (date unknown)
Photograph provided by Judy Smith

c. Thelma Isabel/Isobell Fairbairn. Her married name was McKinna. She was born on 4 Jul 1911 at South Fremantle, West Australia (WA Pioneer Index Reg No 493 and Death Notice).

Thelma was listed on the in 1936 Electoral Roll living at 4 Finsbury St, Newmarket, Victoria, with her mother; her occupation was recorded as Packer (, Vic Electoral Rolls, website).

She married Arthur John McKinna, son of Robert Tully McKinna and Emily Susan Beale, on 6 Aug 1938 at the Presbyterian Manse, Flemington, Victoria. Their marriage was conducted by Presbyterian Minister the Rev Alexander Allison MacKenzie, the witnesses were Lachlan Fairbairn, the bride's brother and George D. McKinna, the groom's brother.

The following details were recorded on their Marriage Certificate:
Thelma, Spinster, age 27, occupation - Packer, present and usual address - 38 Bryant St Flemington.
Arthur, Bachelor, age 23, occupation - Welder, present and usual address - 12 Daly St West Brunswick
(Vic Marriage Certificate No 10903).

Thelma and Arthur McKinna
Thelma and Arthur McKinna
Photograph provided by Robert McKinna

Thelma and Arthur first met at a dance in the Newmarket/Flemington area and were both excellent ballroom dancers and enjoyed dancing at social occasions. Later Thelma and Arthur were members of the Brunswick Scottish Society which meet once a month in the Masonic Hall in Brunswick Rd, near Sydney Road. Arthur was President of the Society for several years and Arthur and Thelma represented the Society at many functions. The Brunswick Scottish Society was established in 1910 to "vigorously maintain and uphold Scottish sentiment, character and traditions and to cultivate a love of Scottish music and literature". In the late 1940's members would welcome Scottish migrants landing at Station Pier, Port Melbourne. They held their first Debutante Ball in 1946 with the proceeds going to the Brunswick Mayoral Charity Fund. Thelma and Arthur were also members of the Victorian Scottish Society (Information provided by their daughter, Thelma Ellis, email dated 2 Apr 2009 and Scots of Victoria, Australia, website).

Thelma died on 24 Oct 2001, aged 90, at St Vincent's Hospital, Melbourne (Funeral Notice published in the Herald-Sun, Oct 2001). Her body was cremated on 29 Oct 2001 and her ashes are located at Serenity Close Garden Niches Feature 1 Niche 56, Fawkner, Victoria, (Fawkner Crematorium & Memorial Park, website).

Thelma and Arthur had three children, two boys and one girl.

Arthur John McKinna

Arthur John McKinna was born on 29 Jan 1915 at Brunswick, Victoria (Great War Index Reg No 1100 and WW2 Nominal Roll).
Arthur enlisted in the Australian Army in WW2:
Service Number V510639
Date of Birth 29 Jan 1915
Place of Birth Brunswick, Vic
Date of Enlistment 3 Mar 1942
Locality on Enlistment Pascoe Vale Sth, Vic
Place of Enlistment Coburg, Vic
Next of Kin McKinna, Thelma
Date of Discharge 10 April 1946
Rank Sergeant
Posting at Discharge VIC L of C Area Workshops
(WW2 Nominal Roll, Commonwealth of Australia, website).

Additional information extracted from Arthur’s service file:
Address 23 Louisville Ave Pascoe Vale South
Religion Presbyterian
Height 5ft 7ins
Complexion Fair
Hair Brown
Eyes Blue
Occupation Electric & A Grade Oxy Welder.
Arthur served in NSW then Queensland and in Jul 1943 was sent to Milne Bay (on the south-eastern tip of Papua); he disembarked there in Aug 1943. In Aug 1944 he embarked from Milne Bay on Liberty Ship Juan Pablo Duarte for Brisbane, and arrived back in Camp Pell (Royal Park) Victoria in Mar 1945 and in Sept 1945 he was posted to Broadmeadows.

Arthur served for a total of 1050 days, 648 days in Australia and 402 days Overseas (WW2 Service File, NAA Series No B884, Barcode 6232599).

Arthur died on 25 Aug 1994, aged 78, at the Essendon Nursing Home (Death Notice published in the Herald-Sun in Aug 1994). His body was cremated on 29 Aug 1994 and his ashes are located at Serenity Close Garden Niches Feature 1, Niche 56, Fawkner, Victoria, (Fawkner Crematorium & Memorial Park, website).


Margaret Lilian Fairbairn


Annie Fairbairn