SADLY MISSED: Adelie with a photograph of herself and her camera on the cover of Pix magazine.
SADLY MISSED: Adelie with a photograph of herself and her camera on the cover of Pix magazine. Leigh Jensen

Farewell to Adelie

ONE of Coffs Harbour’s best-known and most-colourful senior citizens, Adelie Hurley, has passed away.

Ms Hurley, who was less than three months away from her 91st birthday, died in her sleep at her home in Lime Tree Park on Thursday night, shortly after completing her last crossword puzzle.

She had been unwell for a number of months but still found the energy to continue to write to The Coffs Coast Advocate’s Letters to the Editor page, where she was a regular contributor on many topics.

Her last letter was published yesterday.

Adelie Hurley was born on May 21, 1919, the daughter of famous Antarctic and World War I photographer Frank Hurley and his wife Antoinette.

She was an identical twin, which allowed Adelie and her sister Antoinette to exchange roles when required.

Adelie Hurley followed in her father’s footsteps as a press photographer and also worked for magazines as well as major metropolitan newspapers.

She became nationally known for her work for the Women’s Weekly.

Unlike most press photographers, Adelie was equally at home in front of the camera, modelling clothes, selling homewares and becoming a pin-up girl.

She married unsuccessfully, saying recently she was not good at marriage, because her partners always resented her passionate pursuit of her career.

Adelie retired to Coffs Harbour in 1983, where she was joined by her widowed identical twin sister Toni Mooy Hurley, who moved to live close to her.

The Hurley twins both became involved in local tourism as part of the Banana Republic tourism promotion. They brought a feminine flavour to the rule of the Republic by replacing the successive prominent male personalities who had acted as El Presidente with a dual act – ‘Las Presidentas’.

They attended official functions in matching bright yellow floor-length gowns which they teamed with banana earrings, becoming known as ‘the banana twins’. Witty and attractive, they took part in stunts and appeared on national television, overseas and in newspapers and magazines publicising the beauties of their adopted home.

Known for their immaculate presentation, Adelie and Toni’s colourful matching outfits, which they made themselves, ensured they turned heads whenever they attended functions.

Adelie Hurley’s funeral will be held at 10am on Tuesday at the Hogbin Drive Crematorium.



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