Margaret McIntyre

Margaret Edgeworth McIntyre OBE (18861948), community leader and politician, was born at Maitland, the elder daughter of Professor Sir Tannatt William Edgeworth David, geologist and explorer, and Lady Caroline David. Margaret gained her Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Sydney, and in 1908 married William Keverall McIntyre, mining engineer and medical practitioner. They lived at Mt Bischoff, Tasmania, before moving to Edinburgh. Returning to Tasmania in 1919, they settled in Launceston, and had four children.

Margaret was an active supporter of the Girl Guide Association, beginning with her membership of the Local Association in Launceston. From 1926 she was President of the Launceston Local Association (192629), District Commissioner for Launceston (193040), Brownie Commissioner for the Northern Division (193138), and State Commissioner (194048). In 1948 she was also Acting Federal Commissioner. Margaret was awarded Guiding's highest honour, the Silver Fish, in 1947. In her memory, members of the Girl Guide Association throughout Australia raised funds to purchase a Victorian Italianate house in Launceston, which was used for many years as a northern base for Guiding and as a home for young women from country areas. It was sold by Guides Tasmania in 2003.

Outside Guiding, Margaret gave extensive commitment to many other Launceston organisations, mainly those that supported young people and education, and was one of the initiators of the GV Brooks Community School, now known as Brooks High School. She assisted in the founding of the Launceston Players, for a number of years was senior producer, and was the chief director for 23 years.

Margaret was a member and often office-bearer of many organisations including the Anzac Hostel Women's League of Remembrance; Queen Victoria Hospital and Baby Health Association; Launceston Youth Movement; State Executive of the New Education Fellowship of Tasmania; National Council of Women of Tasmania; Tasmanian Women's Graduates Association; National Fitness Council; ABC State Advisory Committee; northern branch of Tasmanian Arts Council; and Advisory Committee to Ashley Boys Home.

Margaret was elected to the Legislative Council in 1948, the first woman elected to the Tasmanian Parliament, but before she could take her seat she was killed in an aeroplane accident.

Further reading: Australian Encyclopedia, 5; S Bennett and B Bennett, Biographical Register of the Tasmanian Parliament 18511960, Canberra, 1980; Examine,r 1 January 1948, 10 May 1948, 4 September 1948, 17 February 1969, 5 December 1996; Records held by Guides Tasmania, Hobart.

Dorothy Rosemann