The Colony of Fiji became a British colony in 1874 after many years of unrest amongst the Fijian Chiefs, the Tongan Chiefs who had claimed much of what we now know as Fiji, and the British Parliament, the Colony of Fiji was formed in 1874. Then, in 1875, Fiji suffered a catastrophic measles epidemic with about a third of the population succumbing to the disease.
This was the Fiji that Grace was born into in 1875 to William and Isabella Graburn (nee McInnes). Grace’s siblings were: Mary Isabella, Ossella, Nelson and Arthur and Agnes.
During this time, Farquhar was working at Morris Hedstroms in Suva and during the depression he started his own business selling fabric. A fire in Suva in 1923 engulfed the entire street including 8 tailors, 18 refreshment rooms (grog shopos) and many other retailers. Farquhar rebuilt the drapery business but then a hurricane hit Suva and destroyed all the new stock.
At the beginning of 1935 Grace and Farquhar moved to Sydney to live with Marjorie and Roy Fenton. However, Grace was suffering from hydatids from eating rabbits in Fiji. She went straight into hospital for an operation but suffered surgical shock (low blood pressure) and died a few hours later. It was 3rd January 1935.
DEATH NOTICE in Sydney Morning Herald:
McLEAN – January 3, 1935. Grace (nee Graburn), dearly beloved wife of F.F. McLean and loving mother of Marjorie (Mrs R.S. Fenton), Malcolm and Ian, late of Suva, Fiji, aged 62 years.