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Dearly Departed Hawthorn Local Identity

Memorial for Vanessa Haskett at the corner of Glenferrie and Riversdale Roads

Obituary by Margaret Doyle

On 8 May 2021, Mrs Vanessa Haskett passed away.

Each morning Mrs Haskett could be found sitting on the bench outside the Chicken Central shop, on the corner of Glenferrie Road and Riversdale Road, wearing her red beret. Mrs Haskett would offer many a word of wisdom to the passing pedestrians and to anyone who had a moment to spare as they waited at the traffic lights.

Rest in peace.


In June, a small memorial was held at the corner of Glenferrie Road and Riversdale Road to honour Vanessa Haskett's life, organised by local community member Yvonne Perkins:

"Vanessa lived in a flat above my mother for many years, so our family got to know her as well as anyone could.

Many people in the neighbourhood expressed their wish to attend her funeral but we have no contact with her family who live overseas so we did not hear anything about her funeral. In lieu of us attending her funeral, I decided to organise a casual gathering for people to share their memories of Vanessa and anything else they wished to say to mark her passing.

With the help of notices at the tram stop, in Michelle's cafe and distributed to people by my mother, we had a simple, small gathering (14 people) at the Hawthorn library. It was a lovely group of people from a wide range of age groups. What was notable was how often people noted Vanessa's kindness.

It is wonderful to meet so many people who can look beyond a person's social difficulties and see the good inner qualities of the person.


I have attached a photo of a short biography of Vanessa that an anonymous person left at the tram stop. Unfortunately, we don't know who that person is. The photo of Vanessa in that biography is the only photo we have of Vanessa."

EDITOR'S NOTE: The printed copy of The Glenferrie Times (July/August 2021, vol. 2, edn. 42) contained a misprint, incorrectly spelling Vanessa Haskett's last name as 'Hackett'. We apologise for this error.


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