BEATRICE Ethel Grimshaw, a woman who was ahead of her time, has been officially recognised at Bathurst Cemetery.
A travel writer, publicist, author, journalist, business woman and plantation manager, Ms Grimshaw led an extraordinary life, Bathurst Family History Group (BFHG) members say.
Ms Grimshaw was born in Northern Ireland in 1870 and died in Bathurst in 1953.
Since her death she has laid in an unmarked grave at the cemetery.
On Wednesday Father Paul Devitt led a service where a recently-erected gravestone for Ms Grimshaw was unveiled.
“Initially, we didn’t know a lot of information about her,” BFHG secretary Graeme Hill said.
However, all that changed in a couple of years ago when Mr Hill read in the Western Advocate that Irish travel writer Diana Gleadhill was researching Ms Grimshaw’s history.
The duo brought their research together and much of Ms Grimshaw’s history is now known, also thanks in part to one of her descendants HiIlary Tulloch.
“Beatrice Grimshaw was a remarkable woman who led a fascinating life in a world that is very different to our own,” Ms Tulloch said.
“Her story deserves to be told as she was a pioneer in several different fields – as a cyclists, as a female professional journalist, as a colonial planter in Papua [New Guinea] and as a lone traveller in the Oceanic world.”
During Ms Grimshaw’s travels through the Pacific she worked as a journalist and also penned 42 novels.
“She was a woman ahead of her time,” Mr Hill said.
Initially, we didn’t know a lot of information about her.Bathurst Family History Group's Graeme HIll
“She did a deal with the newspapers that was ‘give me free passage and I’ll write stuff for you’.”
Bathurst woman Carol Churches was at the unveiling, and said she: “remembered seeing her [Ms Grimshaw] walking down the street. To see a lady in black was unusual.”
“My sister remembers being in her home because she lived down the road from us,” she said.
After retracing Ms Grimshaw’s steps through Fiji, Vanuatu, Papua New Guinea and New Zealand, Ms Gleadhill arrived in Bathurst for the unveiling.
“It’s a very fitting end to my journey and really the icing on the cake,” she said.
Ms Grimshaw’s gravestone and plaque was funded by BFHG and Bathurst Regional Council.