BY KEITH JACKSON
JEANETTE LEAHY, widow of the renowned Papua New Guinea explorer, Mick Leahy (1901-79) died this afternoon in Sydney, to where she had only recently retired, at the age of 90.
Jeanette, then 19, married the much older explorer and gold prospector, Mick Leahy, then 39, at St John's Church, Darlinghurst in Sydney, on 5 March 1940.
Jeannette Gwendolin Best, originally from North Queensland, was an alumna of Sydney Church of England Girls' Grammar School.
At the wedding, equally famed explorer Jim Taylor was best man and Margaret Dovey (later Whitlam) was bridesmaid.
The Leahy brothers had found their own El Dorado at Kuta in the Western Highlands and Mick was already a man of means.
He and Jeanette had five children who went into professions and business. According to the Australian Dictionary of Biography, Mick could not acknowledge three mixed-race sons at Mount Hagen, who came under the patronage of his brother Danny and thrived.
After World War II, Jeanette and Mick built up the Zenag Farm business, a major chicken and beef supplier in PNG, situated at Mumeng, halfway along the road between Bulolo and Lae.
Apart from the war years Jeanette lived in the Morobe Province since 1939 until coming to Sydney earlier this year.
Thanks to John Pasquarelli for notifying PNG Attitude of this sad event