Goodbye Elizabeth

Elizabeth’s father said to her, ‘never go down the same road twice’ — and she didn’t. Elizabeth Mooney: compulsive, gung-ho world traveller; warm-hearted, loveable lefty without a hint of dogma; Cubaphile; official Friend of Fidel; benefactor to hospitals in Havana and the Botanic Gardens in Sydney (she refused to use the word Royal); enthusiastic advocate for Australia becoming a republic (she wanted it to happen in her lifetime); single-minded campaigner for Sydney’s first inhabitants having formal recognition at Bennelong Point; balcony-feeder of the harbour’s rosellas and cockatoos; and provider of many, many dinners and bottles of wine and laughs about the endless parade of nutters that seemed to have passed through our Potts Point building. She helped a lot of people through rough patches (me included) and rarely said a word about it.
In typical Elizabeth style, she phoned me in Germany to pester me into writing an email about what I was up to. I said I would, said goodbye, then typically didn’t get around to it. Maybe I’m imagining it but in hindsight it sounded a bit like a goodbye call.
As I write, it’s around 5.30pm in Sydney and some of Elizabeth’s friends are thinking about opening the champagne. She lived a good life.
Millinery and photography: Wendi Nutt