Australian Women's Register

An initiative of The National Foundation for Australian Women (NFAW) in conjunction with The University of Melbourne

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  • Faith, Hope and Charity Australian Women and Imperial Honours: 1901-1989

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Laurie, Adelaide Rita Dorothy


Perth, Western Australia, Australia
Community worker
Alternative Names
  • Laurie, Rita (Preferred)
  • Samson, Adelaide Rita Dorothy (birth)


Rita Samson attended Miss Parnell's School (now St Hilda's Anglican School for Girls), Claremont, Western Australia. She married Robert Bruce Laurie and the couple moved to Melbourne where they stayed for 28 years and raised two sons. Following the death of her husband, Laurie returned to Western Australia to stand in as Mayoress of Fremantle for the deceased wife of her brother Frederick Samson, Mayor of Fremantle. A Mayoress was needed for the upcoming Royal visit, and Laurie retained the position until her brother retired in 1972. She was appointed an Officer to the Order of the British Empire on 10 June 1967 for services as Mayoress of Fremantle. In 1976 she launched the Fremantle Port Authority's new pilot ship the Sir Frederick Samson.

Sources used to compile this entry: Popham, Daphne; Stokes, K.A; Lewis, Julie, Reflections : profiles of 150 women who helped make Western Australia's history; Project of the Womens Committee for the 150th Anniversary Celebrations of Western Australia, Carrolls, Perth, Melbourne [etc.]:, 1979, 266 pp.

Anne Heywood

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