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National Trust Willunga branch.

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National Trust of South Australia


Glenie, Theresa

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Fast Facts
Type of person Individual

Principal occupation Postmistress
Date of departure 1917
Date of death 1919
Place of decease Melbourne

Theresa Glenie came to Willunga in 1905, and was postmistress here until her retirement in 1917. Since her father had died in 1875, leaving his wife and eleven children, she had worked in his old job as Stationmaster at Queen’s Own Town (now named Finniss) and Port Elliot, when the horse cars ran between Strathalbyn and Goolwa. When the railway came, she entered the Post Office department and worked at Mitcham and Willunga as Post Mistress.

Theresa’s father, M Henry Sneyd Glenie had arrived in SA in the 1850s. He became one of the first mounted troopers in the colony, travelling several trips with the gold escort in 1852. In 1855 he was a sheep inspector in Adelaide, and the family went to Chowilla. By 1871 he was ill and resigned, travelling to New Zealand for his health. Subsequently he was appointed station-master at Queen’s Own Town. 1

The Glenie girls were described as ‘great favourites … and pretty girls too.’ 2 Theresa sang on occasion in Willunga at public celebrations. Interestingly, she sang at the farewell of the Creedon family, who were also members of St Joseph’s Catholic church community in Willunga. 3 Like many people during World War 1, Theresa was involved in organisations that sent relief to the front, notably Willunga’s Red Cross branch. 4

At her retirement and farewell from Willunga in 1917, The ‘Revs. T. Wood and Father Brady spoke in appreciative terms of Miss Glenie's uniform courtesy, her close attention to her official duties, and her consistently generous support of township affairs.’ 5

Theresa’s mother Amelia (nee Besley), died while staying with her daughter at the post office in 1905 and is buried in St Joseph’s Catholic Cemetery in Willunga. 6

Theresa had some illustrious connections. In her obituary it is noted that she and her sister were ‘granddaughters of an archdeacon in the Anglican Church and a niece of a canon in the Church of Rome.’ 7

Theresa’s sister, Agnes, known as Maude, was the admired Nurse Glenie who went to the South African War and, in 1900, was in charge of a small convalescent hospital, Old St. Andrews. 8 Maude married Hugh Trevanion Bonython, the fifth child of Sir John Langdon Bonython. She pre-deceased him by less than a month in 1915. 2

Hugh Boynton was an editor of The Advertiser. His father, Sir John Bonython was sole proprietor of the paper from 1893 to 1929, a member of the first Australian Parliament and a generous philanthropist. His donations included £50,000 to build Bonython Hall, £20,000 to fund a Chair in Law at the University of Adelaide and £100,000 to build SA’s Parliament House.

Theresa Glenie died on the 19th June 1919 9 and is buried in Brighton Cemetery, Melbourne. 10 After her retirement she had lived for a time in Sydney and afterwards in Melbourne. ‘She was a woman of education, had a large circle of friends, and was held in the highest esteem.’ 11

Related Articles


  • 1 Southern Argus (Port Elliot SA 1866 - 1954) Thursday 30 September 1875 p3
  • 2 Southern Argus (Port Elliot SA 1866 - 1954) Thursday 25 March 1915 p3
  • 3 Southern Cross (Adelaide SA 1889 - 1954) Friday 16 December 1910 p14
  • 4 Daily Herald (Adelaide SA 1910 - 1924) Thursday 3 December 1914 p6
  • 5 Chronicle (Adelaide SA 1895 - 1954) Saturday 18 August 1917 p9
  • 6 Chronicle (Adelaide SA 1895 - 1954) Saturday 19 August 1905 p16
  • 7 Chronicle (Adelaide SA 1895 - 1954) Saturday 28 June 1919 p43
  • 8 The Advertiser (Adelaide SA 1889 - 1931) Monday 15 February 1915 p6
  • 9 Southern Cross (Adelaide SA 1889 - 1954) Friday 11 July 1919 p10
  • 10 The Advertiser (Adelaide SA 1889 - 1931) Thursday 26 June 1919 p2
  • 11 Chronicle (Adelaide SA 1895 - 1954) Saturday 18 August 1917 p9
Willunga Post and Telegraph Station, circa 1890s
Willunga Post and Telegraph Station, circa 1890s

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