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4 October 1931 - 2 June 2024


… In loving memory of …. Enid May Bennett …

Aged 92 Years

Formerly of Grafton

Passed away peacefully at Grafton Base Hospital on Sunday 2 June 2024.

Loving wife of Ralph (Decd).

Mother & Mother-in-Law of Simon & Saffron.

Doting Grandmother to Freyja.

Beloved Aunt.

Life-long devoted teacher to students from Grafton High School,
South Grafton High School and Catherine McAuley College Grafton
(now McAuley Catholic College).

Forever alive in our Memories!

Funeral Details

Family, friends, ex-students & ex-colleagues are all welcome to attend Enid’s Funeral Mass to be held
at Christ Church Cathedral, Duke Street Grafton, on Wednesday 12 June 2024 commencing at 12:30pm.

Private cremation to follow.

In lieu of flowers, in accordance with Enid’s enduring passion to kindle a love of literature,
please consider donating to the Australian Literacy & Numeracy Foundation using this link: https://alnf.org/donate/

7 replies on “BENNETT, Enid May”

Gaye Shieldsays:

Always …Mrs Bennett
Thank you so much

Julie Sweetensays:

Mrs Bennett was the most inspiring and memorable teacher I ever had. She changed my life, transformed my love of literature and classics. I went on to study English Literature at the University of Sydney, become a librarian and work with the Jane Austen Society of Australia, giving conference papers and serve on the Committee. I will never forget what she gave me and how she transformed my life for the better. A shy country girl to a confident city professional working with scholars from around the world. Thank you Mrs Bennett, we were so fortunate to have you teach us.

jennifer cayzersays:

Mrs Bennett, one of those great teachers you remember!

Sue - Anne Dahlsays:

A legacy can be personal , and for me your gift of how to analyse and appreciate Shakespeare, and the best of English literature is precious. Thank you for establishing a process of critical thinking which has served me well. Great teachers live in the minds of their students as you will always in my memories . Thank You

Christine Murraysays:

I was lucky enough to have been a member of the class who were Mrs. Bennet’s students for our entire High School experience. Neither she or we had any idea how this happened. Across 12,000 miles or 20,000 km, I can feel the envy from those here who were limited to less than that, but after this vast exposure, I conclude that she was invested in ALL of her students equally, no matter how long the exposure, or our linguistic, literary, theatrical, or vocal talents and we All were The Lucky Ones! Have any of you noticed that the first question asked, when meeting someone else from Grafton is, “Did you go to Grafton High school?” Jane Austen would confirm that, ‘It is a truth universally acknowledged,’ the next question will inevitably be, “Did you have Mrs. Bennett?”

We all will have our favourite ‘Mrs. Bennett/Mrs. B’ story! From the vivid memory of her ‘Entrance Stage Right’ appearance at our first lesson, with her being able to fill the entire blackboard with her name (including the second ‘T’ which we were challenged not ever to forget!), to her renditions of such beloved characters as Mr. Toad of Toad Hall (and her adaptations of said character to any student who transgressed her high standards), to the thrill of performing, under her production and direction, in a play or Gilbert and Sullivan operetta in the school hall at night. One of my favourite anecdotes is when a fellow student (Are you here, Sue Peters?) brought into class a blue tongue lizard and placed it on Mrs. B’s chair, I guess in the hope that Mrs. B might absentmindedly sit upon it!? Sue ignored our horrified admonishments to remove the same, so we all waited with bated breath as Mrs. B sailed into the room. Not to ever be caught in a predictable reaction, our inestimable Mrs. B, ignoring Sue and all of her quaking classmates, put down her books and gently picked up the said lizard and addressed it directly, in the most admiring tones, until we all reoxygenated our lungs.

And Rhonda (we have never met but I know you are here today), some of us have to thank you for persuading Mrs. B, at the last minute, to join us for lunch not much more than a year ago. None here will be surprised that, having reluctantly yielded, Mrs. B was going to enjoy herself to the hilt. I am delighted to report that she did not stop talking from the time we collected her until we dropped her back at her home several hours later. It was during that wonderful lunch that Mrs. B delightedly assured us that students (I am not sure it was us or others of you here?) eventually admitted to her that we used to deliberately NOT warn new students about her. Apparently, we would silently and gleefully wait for them to try to impress US by putting HER to the test! We all knew that it would be no time before they would be brought into line and realize their position in the universe!

Then it was as we were crossing her beloved Clarence River on the Lawrence Ferry that she related what is, I think, my favourite Mrs. B story of all. She was reminiscing about her first year of teaching. She was a Sydney born and bred girl thrown into what seemed like the outback … Deniliquin! The standard of a successful day of teaching seemed to involve the ability to prevent the students from climbing out the windows. She determined to join in any activity which presented itself and the locals were equally determined to acclimatize her. So, though she had never held a gun, she agreed to join a meeting of the local Rifle Club. Intrigued by the new Talent in Town, many locals attended. She was duly instructed to point the rifle at the target and pull the trigger. Having hoisted it upon her shoulder, aimed, and pulled the trigger … nothing happened. Thinking like a Sydneysider and still shouldering the gun, she just turned around to ask what to do next. To her mazement the entire Deniliquin Rifle Club Membership, and probably half the population of Deniliquin, as one, bit the dust as if she were Jesse James!

Vale, Dear Teacher, Mentor, Icon, Neighbour, and Friend. May Flights of Former Students join those who most love you to Sing you to your Rest.

Nerise Windsor (nee Graham)says:

Mrs Bennett was the MOST influential teacher! Her unique teaching style will be long remembered and treasured. Initially, I was “frightened” by her as my English teacher at GHS in the mid 1960s, but I quickly adored her and I still thank her for fostering my love of “English”. Thank you Mrs B!

Chrissa Vlandis (Langley)says:

Mrs Bennett was my favourite teacher. Because of her I became a poet of sorts. Have written many poems for family and friends special occasions. I have actually had a book published! I will never forget the Gilbert and Sullivan productions our class did each year. She also taught my sisters Lexie and Helen. May she now rest in peace. 🙏🙏🙏

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