FAREWELL, MUM: The Bjelke-Petersen family, Ruth Cummins, Helen Folker, Meg Noack and John Bjelke-Petersen, at Bethany.
FAREWELL, MUM: The Bjelke-Petersen family, Ruth Cummins, Helen Folker, Meg Noack and John Bjelke-Petersen, at Bethany. Tobi Loftus

'Say hi to Dad' in final words to Lady Flo

"WE told her to say hi to Dad for us."

Those were some of the final words Helen Folker said to her mum, Lady Florence Bjelke-Petersen, before her death on Wednesday afternoon.

"She'll be filling Dad in on all the grandchildren and great-grandchildren that have come since he left," Mrs Folker said.

Mrs Folker said Lady Flo's death had created a gap in their life.

"Every day after work, Ruth and I would go sit with her," she said.

"Right until the end she'd ask us how was our day, what are the kids up to."

Lady Flo, as she was known, died following a 10-day battle with ill health.

Ruth Cummins said her mum passed on to her an important piece of advice, which she said Lady Flo lived by.

"Be a good, kind person, treat everyone as you'd like to be treated yourself," Mrs Cummins said.

"She was such a joy in our lives."

John Bjelke-Petersen said the family appreciated the support they had received from across the country.

"She was someone that cared for people," Mr Bjelke-Petersen said.

"Mum has left a big mark on this country, this state and the South Burnett.

"What she achieved in her lifetime is amazing. We're thankful that we were able to have her as a mother - a mother that has given us a good grounding."

Mr Bjelke-Petersen said his mother had achieved so much in politics when her husband and his father Joh Bjelke-Petersen was premier.

"And then going on to achieve in her own right being in the senate and serving the people of Queensland, helping so many people in that process."

Mr Bjelke-Petersen said if a state funeral was offered the family would accept, though it was too early to talk about the date.

"It will be about celebrating Mum's life and letting people be a part of the occasion," he said.

Lady Flo is survived by her four children, Ruth, Meg, John and Helen, as well as 14 grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren, with a 13th on the way next year.

 

South Burnett


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