State Library Victoria > La Trobe Journal

No 59 Autumn 1997


Mrs Eleanor Mary Borrow

It is with deep sorrow that we record the death of one of the most generous bene-factors of the State Library of Victoria. Mrs Eleanor Mary Borrow died in Adelaide on 7 March 1997.
Mrs Borrow was born at North Carlton, Victoria, the daughter of C. H. F. Yelland. Her father was a descendant of a family which had arrived in South Australia from Cornwall in 1847. The Yelland family settled on a farm near Ballarat called “Treverder”, a property occupied by their descendants until 1969.
Mrs Borrow was educated at the Hermitage School, now amalgamated with Geelong Grammar School. She later attended the Conservatorium of Music at the University of Melbourne. During the War, she was an aide at the Heidelberg Military Hospital, and subsequently visited the United Kingdom and was employed at St. Dunstan's Hospital in London.
In later years, she pursued a life-long interest in the genealogy of the Yelland family, visiting all the places known to them in Cornwall. Her research resulted in two unpublished books, one on the history of the Melbourne suburb of Hawthorn where she lived, and the other on the history of the introduction of wool breeding to the Australian colonies.
In 1969, she published a pamphlet Henry Jones, Esq., J.P. 1810–1899, South Australian pastoralist and pioneer. This was issued by the Pioneers Association of South Australia. In 1970, she published her most notable work Colonists, copper and corn in the colony of South Australia, 1850–1851 (Melbourne, The Hawthorn Press). A second edition appeared in 1983. In 1973, her second book, The Baron of the frontiers, South Australia-Victoria; Robert Rowland Leake (1811–1860) which celebrated the 150th anniversary of the first Saxon Merino sheep to arrive in Australia, was published by the Hawthorn Press in Melbourne.
On 20 October 1973, Eleanor and Keith Borrow were married at Milawa in north eastern Victoria. Mr Keith Borrow is a member of a pioneering South Australian family, noted for its interest in book-collecting, particularly on the history of South Australia.
Mrs Borrow was a benefactor of the National Gallery of Victoria, and of the La Trobe Library to which she gave a generous annual donation from the time of the establishment of the Friends of the La Trobe Library in 1966. Mrs Borrow became a Patron of the Society in 1984.
The State Library of Victoria, and in particular the La Trobe Library, is greatly indebted to this thoughtful, sensitive and generous patron, a true Friend.
Dianne Reilly
La Trobe Librarian