Vale Elrae Adams

We were saddened to learn of the passing of another of our founding Life Members, Elrae Wilma Adams (nee Earle), on 17 April 2024. She will be remembered as a caring and generous person who, together with her husband, the late John Adams, for many years shared the passion and dedication of commemorating the life and poetical works of Adam Lindsay Gordon for future generations. Both were dedicated devotees of the poet and were pivotal in establishing a solid basis for Gordon’s ongoing commemoration and remembrance.

Elrae achieved much in her life. She was a prefect at high school and later became a qualified cytologist through the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research, where she was screening for cervical cancer for 25 years with outstanding accuracy.

A loving wife to John, whom she married in 1961, Elrae was mother to four children – Jo, Ian, Christine and Vivienne – grandma of eight, and great-grandma of three. She will be remembered for her kindness, compassion and selfless giving to others, always her priority through life.

Elrae had a passion for all things craft, and was multi-talented – an amazing painter, knitter, milliner, seamstress (including the bodice of a wedding dress for one of her daughters), felter, cake maker/decorator, and cook. She loved to see the joy in people’s faces in receiving her creations rather than making money from her talent; and her kindness was received around the world. Elrae was also a singer, as was her late husband, in the choir for Melbourne’s annual Christmas event, Carols by Candelight. She was also bilingual, and an avid gardener, keeping busy, but remaining humble.

When the Adam Lindsay Gordon Commemorative Committee was formed on 26 January 2006, Elrae suggested the name The Wayfarer for the first issue of a regular newsletter, produced by Vivienne and Travis Sellers, which appeared on 1 January 2007.

We are especially grateful for the many years of work both Elrae and John graciously spent in tending, planting, pruning, and generally tidying up, Adam Lindsay Gordon’s grave at Brighton General Cemetery.

Our memory of Elrae’s supportive work will remain, and we will continually be reminded of this, and the vision initiated by both Elrae and John, when we see the Golden Fairytale roses in bloom on Gordon’s grave.