Given names: 
Given address: 
Edward Street Napier
Sheet No: 438
Hawke's Bay

Lucie Rita Mountier was born on 5 July 1865 in St Kilda, Melbourne, Australia. Her birth name was registered as Rebecca Lucie Pirani, the daughter of Henry Cohen Pirani and Louisa Pirani nee Levy. The Piranis were members of the Hebrew Congregation in Melbourne but sometime after arriving in New Zealand they changed their Jewish names. Lucie was the second of three daughters, and she had five brothers, one being Frederick Pirani who became a Member of the New Zealand House of Representatives. On 26 November 1867, the family left Australia and sailed to New Zealand on the “Gothenburg”, settling in Hokitika during the goldfield days, with H. C. Pirani working as a merchant and then as a journalist. The family eventually moved to Napier where he later became editor of the Hawkes Bay Herald.

On 29 November 1882, Lucie, aged 17, married Ernest James Mountier in Napier. Ernest, also born in St Kilda, Melbourne, worked as a counter clerk in the Napier Telegraph Office, and in 1883, he was transferred to Gisborne. He was a keen cricketer. Lucie and Ernest had four children Henry (b. 1883 Napier), Harriet (b. 1885 Gisborne), Ernest (b. 1887 Gisborne, and Louise (b. 1895 Napier). At the early age of 37 years, Ernest died in Wellington on 18 December 1895, leaving Lucie to raise their four children. As Ernest’s widow, Lucie was granted “a sum equal to 18 months [of his] salary as compassionate allowance”. She remained in Napier, for a while taking in boarders until 1897 when she sold all her furniture, including her piano, and moved to Wellington where she and her children lived at several addresses until 1909 when they moved to Katikati, Bay of Plenty. Here Lucie was postmistress until 1913 when she transferred to Waikanae for the same position and in October 1914 to Waitotara where she remained until 1919 when a promotion took her to the Post Office in Adelaide Road, Wellington. A popular postmistress, Lucie was held in high esteem for her high sense of duty and unfailing courtesy in her official duties.

Lucie had a good contralto voice and throughout her life performed solos or in small ensembles in local concerts, often for charities. In the 1893 performance in Napier of “Le Cloches de Corneville” directed by Maughan Barnett, Lucie sang in the chorus, and she was a soloist in Steiner’s “Crucifixion” in the same year. She constantly provided jams and pickles for the war effort and donated funds to charities.

Lucie died on 22 November 1920 at her son Henry’s home in Upper Hutt and was buried in St James Anglican Churchyard, Trentham.

[Lucie Mountier was my great-grandmother; her son Ernest Arthur Mountier was my grandfather.]

Jill Palmer
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Lucie Mountier

Click on sheet number to see the 1893 petition sheet this signature appeared on. Digital copies of the sheets supplied by Archives New Zealand.

Community contributions

2 comments have been posted about Lucie Mountier

What do you know?

Sheree Gorrie (Dalton)

Posted: 26 Nov 2020

I was walking thru the st John's cemetery taking my grandkids to trentham school and there i found their graves.

Marcia Mountier Baker

Posted: 10 Mar 2018

Lucia Rita Pirani Mountier is my great-grandmother too. Her eldest son Henry Pirani Mountier is my grandfather.