Australian Dictionary of Biography

  • Tip: searches only the name field
  • Tip: Use double quotes to search for a phrase

Mofflin, Alice Maude (1878–1961)

by Leonie Stella

This article was published in Australian Dictionary of Biography, Volume 15, (MUP), 2000

Alice Maude Mofflin (1878-1961), community worker, was born on 26 May 1878 at Blackwood, Victoria, second child of English-born parents Rev. William Burridge, Wesleyan minister, and his wife Margaret Alice, née Nale. Alice attended Methodist Ladies' College, Kew, then moved to Western Australia where she assisted her father with his parish work at Fremantle and Claremont. At the Wesleyan Church, Claremont, on 15 August 1906 she married Horace Elgar Mofflin (d.1939). He was a 39-year-old widower from New Zealand who had four children from his first marriage. A well-known merchant and philanthropist, he served on the Fremantle Municipal Council and was mayor (1909-11) of Claremont. Horace and Alice were to have eight children of their own.

From 1910 Mrs Mofflin helped to raise money for the establishment of the Methodist Home for Children, Victoria Park. While waiting for the provision of suitable buildings, she and other Methodist women brought the children into their homes. On 14 October 1922, at the opening of the M.H.C.'s first cottage, Mofflin unveiled the dedication tablet. As president (1921-54) and life president (from 1954) of the ladies' committee appointed by the Methodist Church to manage the children's home, she organized fund-raising activities, assisted with administrative chores, and frequently acted as 'house mother' or matron to relieve the staff.

Mofflin devoted much of her time to various departments of the Methodist Church, but was particularly involved in youth activities and work for missions overseas. She helped to promote the youth department and the Sunday-School movement. Making light of primitive conditions, she participated in Easter camps at Glen Forrest for at least twenty years: as 'camp mother', she counselled young campers, and cooked and served hundreds of meals. She joked that, when 'called to higher service', she might be asked by St Peter whether she had brought a cooked tongue.

For more than thirty years Mofflin served as State president of the Methodist Church's Women's Auxiliary to Foreign (Overseas) Missions. She frequently entertained guests from India, Africa and the Pacific Islands, and attended national conferences of Methodist overseas mission-workers. Her assistance was acknowledged when the Methodist church at Rabaul, Territory of Papua-New Guinea, was rebuilt after World War II. She was also a founder and office-bearer of the Methodist Women's Federation in Western Australia. In 1958 she was appointed M.B.E.

The children's home was renamed 'Mofflyn' in 1959 in honour of Mofflin and R. J. Lynn, each of whom had donated £500 towards its establishment. Although she retired as president of the women's auxiliary that year, she continued to serve on the M.H.C. council. Survived by her six daughters, she died on 23 March 1961 at her Mount Lawley home and was cremated; her two sons predeceased her. Members of the Methodist Church remembered Mrs Mofflin as a woman who dedicated her life 'to the welfare of children'.

Select Bibliography

  • Western Methodist (Perth), Dec 1939, p 20, May 1961, p 8
  • Old Wesleyan, no 38, Dec 1990
  • West Australian, 12 June 1958, 24, 25 Mar 1961
  • Methodist Church of Australasia, Western Australian records, MN172 (State Library of Western Australia)
  • Uniting Church in Australia, Western Australian records, MN659 (State Library of Western Australia)
  • Mofflyn Child and Family Care Services records, Cannington, Perth
  • private information.

Citation details

Leonie Stella, 'Mofflin, Alice Maude (1878–1961)', Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, http://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/mofflin-alice-maude-11142/text19845, published first in hardcopy 2000, accessed online 20 November 2019.

This article was first published in hardcopy in Australian Dictionary of Biography, Volume 15, (MUP), 2000

View the front pages for Volume 15

© Copyright Australian Dictionary of Biography, 2006-2019