Not only was Lily Fardell a saint in life, she is also being recognized as one after passing away. Known as “Fair Lady Of The Hill” for her countless charitable acts, the 96-year-old left a legacy that should inspire us all.
Never able to start her own family, Mrs. Fardell directed that most of her $4 million estate be donated to help homeless children. She bequeathed nearly all of her wealth to the St. Vincent de Paul Society, a Catholic volunteer organization dedicated to serving the poor and disadvantaged.
Her family said she adored kids. “She couldn’t have any of her own,” her nephew Michael Ellis told a local newspaper, “but she loved children and left almost everything she had to a charity which supported them.”
Mrs. Fardell’s four-bedroom, three-bathroom home overlooked King Edward Park on The Terrace, in the prestigious suburb The Hill, near Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia. It sold for $2.34 million in June, with all proceeds going to the charity’s Newcastle arm.
She moved there with her husband Noel in 1958. They were both teachers. Following his death, Michael Ellis cared for Mrs. Fardell during her final 15 years. Her extraordinary charity and generosity were renowned, along with the wonderful tea parties she would host on the veranda overlooking King Edward Park.
When Christmas carols were being sung across the road, she would host 40 friends who would join in, drink tea and enjoy good wine.
The home itself was built in 1871 and was sold to a couple living in nearby High Street. It originally housed Thomas Smith, a pioneering builder who served on Newcastle council and was elected mayor in 1896. The Fardells were the second owners of the two-story house. Now its contents will be auctioned off. The home was extensively furnished with Victorian antiques.
“It’s hard to estimate what the collection will bring,” Sid Brown from Swan Murray and Hain auctions said.
“There has been a lot of collector interest, but also a lot of general interest from people who knew Lily or had contact with the family.”
There are more than 400 lots to be auctioned. Bronze statues, garden statues. Ornate banquet lamps, artworks, fine glassware and silver service sets. Australiana, Victoriana, cedar and mahogany… even a 1752 bronze replica of the famous Liberty Bell.
The contents of every room of the house will be sold, with all proceeds going to where Mrs. Fardell had wished.