Trawling through the death notices today, as is my wont, I noticed that Constance E. Little (formerly of Swan Reach and Eagle Point) died yesterday. For regular Age readers, Constance E. Little has been a mainstay of the Letters column where she aired her opinions on everything from John Elliot to global warming. In December 2008 she announced that she would be capping her pen because of ill-health after a stroke.
Most of her letters were sent from her sheep and beef farm on the Tambo River at Swan Reach in south-east Victoria, but her interests and observations ranged far beyond that. She was born on 30.11.1919 in Benalla, and apparently began writing letters for her school paper at the age of 14, later contributing to local, country and metropolitan newspapers over many years. She sounds some lady: her funeral notice asks those planning to attend the Bairnsdale service to “please wear a dash of pink in Connie’s honour”.
Her death notice says “Constance loved all her readers and thanks them and her editors over her lifetime.” I think it is equally true that her readers loved Connie and thank her over a lifetime. If she’s a believer, and if she’ s right, then no doubt she’s giving those beyond the pearly gates a piece of her mind as well. If not, we’re all the better for her writing and her engagement with more earthly things. Vale Constance.