Every family has a skeleton in the cupboard.


The Norval family were no different except Marjorie’s physical remains are sadly yet to be found.


Marjorie Rose Norval’s entry to this world was on the 30th day of March 1908 in Brisbane, Queensland Australia.  


The daughter of James Stewart NORVAL & Rose NORVAL (nee Keegan) the parents to not only Marjorie but to her siblings Gladys Mary NORVAL, Arthur Stewart NORVAL, Roy William NORVAL and Grace NORVAL (and a sixth child dying in infancy)


As much as it is possible to compile a personal and character profile we will never get to discover the real Marjorie, and have only what is on record of her career within the Queensland public service, press articles, matters held on public record at the Queensland State Government Archives and other credible inferences of her private life from close friends and relatives held on record.


However, anecdotal evidence strongly suggests that Marjorie was an intelligent and career minded individual who was well read, goal orientated with a vivacious character. Her career within the Queensland Public Service saw her rub shoulders with some of the political elite of the day.


Despite the imbalance in career opportunities within the genders during Marjorie’s era her achievement in the public service was recognised by being appointed to assist male members (albeit a comparatively minor role) within the Loans Council of the State of Queensland which would say much for her ability during a time when male domination was the norm.


Marjorie was also well known amongst the social circle in the fledgling city of Brisbane and attended, and often was involved in arranging numerous social and quasi-political functions. Her duties allowed some access and freedoms to a varied social life that would be commensurate with her associated job as the personal assistant to Mrs Forgan-Smith, the wife of the then Premier of the State William Forgan-Smith.


By those inferences Marjorie’s lifestyle may have seemed to some at the time as somewhat unconventional and perhaps not was expected of a young unattached debutant of the day for in that early part of the 20th century the still developing nation had based many of its social etiquette and legal foundations on the laws and traditions of the Mother country.


Should Marjorie had been born thirty years ago as opposed to over one hundred her lifestyle may well have been little different to any socially active present day younger person.



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Copyright R Burton 2015



norval front cover book