Eleanor Fairre Denniston

Eleanor Fairre Denniston

Born in 1879, Miss Eleanor Denniston was the only daughter in a family of five sons. Eleanor’s father, George Lyon Denniston, was a prominent businessman in Dunedin and served on the city council and as mayor in 1901. Mr Denniston also served as the Belgian consul from 1899 until his death in 1934. Not surprisingly, when war broke out Eleanor was quick to dedicate herself to fund-raising efforts on behalf of Belgian children and refugees. At war’s end the Belgian government sought George Denniston’s advice on women who deserved recognition for such work. George asked his daughter who provided a long list of names. Twenty-four Dunedin women, including Eleanor, were consequently awarded the Médaille de la Reine Elisabeth (Queen Elisabeth Medal). George presided over the award ceremony at the Kia Ora Tearooms in Dunedin in January 1920, proud no doubt to recognise his daughter as one of the recipients.

Family information

Parents: George Lyon Denniston and Eleanor Bissett Denniston (née Reynolds)

Born: 27 April 1879

Died: 21 June 1964, aged 85

Cremated: Andersons Bay, Dunedin (ashes scattered)

Active in: Dunedin

Obituary/death notice:

On June 21, 1964 at Dn, Eleanor Fairre, daughter of the late George Lyon Denniston. Private Cremation
Otago Daily Times, 22 June 1964, p. 3

Selected sources

'Birth', Evening Star, 28 April 1879, p. 2

'Obituary', Press, 14 July 1934, p. 18

'Obituary', Alexandra Herald and Central Otago Gazette, 18 July 1934, p. 5

Otago Daily Times, 22 June 1964, p. 3


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