Generations of Geraldton’s Brown family laid to rest in open funeral

Headshot of Liam Beatty
Liam BeattyGeraldton Guardian
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Drew Brown cleans the grave of his great-grandparents Gerald Brown and Hildred May.
Camera IconDrew Brown cleans the grave of his great-grandparents Gerald Brown and Hildred May. Credit: Geraldton Guardian

Three generations of a Geraldton family will be laid to rest next month in a grave dedicated to Gerald Brown, an early settler of the colonial townsite.

Brown’s great-grandson, Drew, returned to the port city a few years back determined to lay his six family members to rest together.

“Mum always wanted to be buried in Geraldton,” he said. “I’ve spent decades working and looking after my family and now as far as I know I’m the last one left.”

“Burying their ashes I think will give me closure, and make sure they all remain together.”

Alongside his mother, Drew intends to bury the ashes of his father, grandfather, grandmother, and two brothers.

With a family tree going back generations in the region – including Edith Cowan, who was born on the station his great-great-great-grandfather founded — Drew hopes the funeral he’s planning for May 12 may draw some long-lost relatives out of the blue.

“Anyone’s welcome to attend,” he said.

“If there’s friends or family out there I’d love to meet them.”

Coincidently, local historian and writer Veronica Malone is writing a story about Drew’s great-great-grandfather Maitland Brown, along with his infamous brother Kenneth Brown, who was hanged for murder.

“Without giving two much away this is the sad story of two brothers,” she said. “Their actions and family were an important part of the history of WA.

“If there’s anyone out there that can help fill in the holes please get in touch.”

Drew can be reached on 0475 046 067 and Veronica on 0431 304 288.

Drew's father Maitland Brown (d. 1969) with him as a young boy.
Camera IconDrew's father Maitland Brown (d. 1969) with him as a young boy. Credit: Supplied
Drew (centre left), his brothers Paul (d. 1982) and Boyd (d. 2016) with mother Diedre (d.2018).
Camera IconDrew (centre left), his brothers Paul (d. 1982) and Boyd (d. 2016) with mother Diedre (d.2018). Credit: Supplied
Drew Brown's Grandparents; Ray Davies (d. 1962) and Olive Davies (d. 1982).
Camera IconDrew Brown's Grandparents; Ray Davies (d. 1962) and Olive Davies (d. 1982). Credit: Supplied

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