Mrs Ursula Hargrave was Lady Mayoress (married to the Lord Mayor) from 1957-1960.
Early Life and Career
Ursula Lloyd was born in College Town (now College Park) on 5 April 1899, to parents Sir Howard and Lady Mary Lloyd. Sir Howard Lloyd was Director and Chairman of the Adelaide Bank and the AMP Society, and Chairman of the SA Brewing Company, a member of the Board of Governors of St Peters College and was a founder of the Royal Adelaide Golf Club.
Ursula was the eldest of four children, and had a distinguished pedigree in that her mother Mary was the eldest grand-daughter of Sir Henry Ayers, and Ursula the great-great-grand daughter of Sir James Fisher, first Mayor of Adelaide.
Ursula married Lance Hargrave (of the family law firm Knox & Hargrave) at St Pauls Church in Pulteney Street on 31 May 1922. The wedding photographs were taken at “Dimora”, the home of the Ayers family on East Terrace.
On their marriage, Ursula’s father provided the couple with a home in North Adelaide at Stanley Street, which is still held by the Hargrave family today.
As Lance served in both WWI and WWII, his absence meant that Ursula spent many lonely years at home raising their three children, Suzanne, Marianne and Gerald, with the assistance of domestic help and a nanny.
As a child, Ursula was keen on sports, particularly hockey, and Ursula and Lance shared a love of horses, horse racing and the hunt. Ursula also excelled at golf, tennis and bridge.
My mother was invited to Stanley Street to visit Lance (her great-uncle) and Ursula Hargrave late in the 1960’s and describes them as a very elegant couple with a gracious home and a sloping garden with beautiful views of the Adelaide Hills.
After Lance died in 1972, Ursula married the Archdeacon Norman C Paynter and continued to live at Stanley Street.
Ursula died on 3 December 1991 at the age of 92.
Lance Hargrave served as Lord Mayor from 1957 to 1960, and as Lady Mayoress, Ursula took an active role in the numerous Council functions, including Debutante Balls at the Palais, presenting sporting trophies, attending garden parties for visiting dignitaries, hosting New Year’s parties in the Queen Adelaide Room and attending the opening of the Adelaide Bowls Club. Her Red Cross fundraising appeal raised around £1,000. In preparation for the role of Lady Mayoress, Ursula had speech and elocution lessons to help her project her voice.
Ursula was assisted by her secretary Mrs Hamilton.
At the time that they were Lord and Lady Mayoress, the entrance, upstairs foyer and kitchens of the Town Hall were being renovated and Ursula was directly involved in the renovation of the wallpaper and curtains in the Queen Adelaide Room.
In those days, the Lord Mayor was required to provide his own official car, for which Lance purchased a Dodge. It was during Lance’s tenure as Lord Mayor that the City Council voted to provide an official car, with the Lord Mayor’s Orderly acting as chauffeur.
The Adelaide City Archives hold an interview with Lady Mayoress Ursula Hargrave, conducted by Jill Cavanough in September 1978. This includes a photograph of the Lord and Lady Mayoress with Sir Robert and Lady George.
As Lord Mayor and Lady Mayoress, Lance and Ursula hosted the visit of Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother in March 1958, and officially greet Her Majesty in full regalia outside the Town Hall. They received many official visits, including from Sir Edmond and Lady Hillary, and the Duke and Duchess of Argyll. They also flew to Melbourne as the guests of the Lord Mayor of Melbourne for a Ball to commemorate the visit of Princess Alexandra. They attended the conference of Lord Mayors and Town Clerks for the Brisbane Centenary.
As Lord Mayor, Lance approved the establishment of the Adelaide Festival of Arts and as the first Chairman of the Board of Governors for the Festival he was instrumental in obtaining substantial funding for the Festival from local private donors, such as Elders and the Bank of Adelaide, and from the State government.
Following their three year stint as Lord and Lady Mayoress, Lance and Ursula travelled to Japan, and cruised in the Baltics.
I love this snippet from the social pages of The Advertiser (Pamela Hargrave was my grandmother, and great-niece of Lance Hargrave, and she and her siblings regularly attended the annual Lord Mayor’s Children’s Ball at the Town Hall):
On Friday 20 July 1928, Miss Colleen, Miss Pamela and Master Neil Hargrave were invited guests at The Children’s Ball, a fancy dress ball at the Town Hall. Pamela was dressed as a Butterfly. (The Advertiser, 21 July 1928).
Cavanough, J, Interview with Ursula Paynter, [sound recording and transcript], State Library of South Australia & Adelaide City Archives, 1978.
Shute, J, A Man in War and Peace: the Life of LMS Hargrave MC, VRD, Seaview Press: West Lakes, South Australia, 2009.
Our Chairmen: Sir Howard Lloyd 1927 – 1950 Bank of Adelaide website.