• Edith Bernice Geeves

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Stories and comments
    • GEEVES, Edith Bernice – Sister, QAIMNSR
    • Posted by FrevFord, Tuesday, 25 September 2018

    Bernice was born on the 9th of November 1886 in Franklin, Tas – the daughter of John William GEEVES (1857-1933; a Timber Inspector) and Alice Jean, nee ROBERTSON (1858-1940) Residents of ‘Mimosa’, Geeveston, Tasmania Siblings: John Alan (1880-1969) – Chemist – marr Susan – WW1: Lieut, 2nd AGH; Alice Maud (1882-1974); Ruby Olive (1884-1978); Irene Myra (1889-1955); David Harold (1891-1974); Dorothy Lorna (1893-1945); Marjorie Beryl (1896-1989; Bank Clerk); Gwendoline Joyce (1898-1994; Teacher); Phillip Robertson (1900-1969) – WW2; Robert Alistair (1903-1966) – WW2: RAN; William Giffen (1905-1974) Sat the Junior Public Examination at University of Tasmania in 1901 receiving 5 credits Trained on the piano, under the auspices of Trinity College, London Nurse at Hobart General Hospital 1913 1914, 1919 Electoral Rolls: Nurse – Nurses’ Home, Argyle St, Hobart East Staff Nurse, Zeehan Hospital April 1915 WW1: Embarked 18/12/1915 on the Karoola with other nurses to join Queen Alexandra’s Imperial Military Nursing Service Reserve– disembarking Suez, they travelled on a hospital train to Cairo, and after a week were transported to Naples on the NZ HS Nevassa to join the HS Britannic which transported them to the UK, on duty – arriving UK 10/2/1916, and posted to Warrington War Hospital (Lord Derby’s Hospital) Served at the 11th General Hospital, Etaples, France 2/4/1916 – 17/10/1916 “Request to be transferred to England and to be retained in the service after her marriage.” Sanctioned 2/10/16 Departed France 17/10/1916 for a Home Station Matron’s Report, 11th GH, 17/10/1916: “Staff Nurse Geeves is a most capable nurse. Very methodical, quick & thorough, & works most intelligently, carrying out orders most conscientiously. She has managed a surgical ward of which she has lately had charge most satisfactorily in every way.” Posted to the Military Hospital, Rugeley Camp, Stafford 21/10/1916 Appointment ceased 17/12/1916 (resigned 4/1/17) [Did not marry] Rejoined 6/6/1917 and posted to the Prisoners of War Hospital, Belmont, Surrey until 8/3/1919 Applied for a transfer to a Hospital Ship 5/11/1918 Transferred to the East Preston Neurological Military Hospital, Worthing, Sussex 8/3/1919 – 14/4/19 Then to the Queen’s Hospital, Frognal, Sidcup 14/4/1919 – whilst awaiting repatriation Returned to Australia 21/5/1919 on the Osterley (for Tas) Service terminated 26/6/1919 Arrived back in Tasmania from Melbourne in mid July Returned to duty at the Zeehan Hospital, and on loan to the Queenstown Hospital in late August while the entire nursing staff were down with influenza Living with her parents at ‘Mimosa,’ Geeveston in 1920 1922 Electoral Roll: Nurse – Mt Stuart Rd, Hobart Nth Completed a course in Plunket training in New Zealand from February to May 1925 Passed exam in Obstetrics May 1926 at Queen Alexandra Hospital, Hobart Superintendent of the Mothercraft Home, New Town from September 1926 to the end of 1929 1928 Electoral Roll: Supt – Mothercraft Home, Roope St, New Town, Tas Sailed from Sydney on the A.M.S. Ventura 1/2/1930 for Suva, to take up Child Welfare work for the Methodist Mission in Fiji Transferred to the Fijian Government Child Welfare Department in 1933 Still working in Fiji in 1939 1948 Electoral Roll: Nurse – Derwent Ave, Lindisfarne, Tas [also in Derwent Ave: David Harold (clerk); Margaret Lillian (HD); Nita Pearl (HD); William Giffen (manager)] 1954 ER: No occup: Taroona, (Nelson, Franklin), Tas Applied for Repat 1959 Bernice died on the 5th of March 1981 at the Repatriation Hospital, Hobart, Tas She was cremated The Mercury (Hobart), Wed 2 Oct 1907 (p.2): GEEVESTON For several weeks past a number of the young people have been rehearsing Clementine Ward’s Japanese operetta, “Princess Ju Ju,” which they presented to the public in the Town-hall on Friday evening last. ……………………………….. Too much credit cannot be given to Mrs Mason and Miss Berenice Geeves, who have worked hard to bring the piece to such a successful issue, the latter lady having charge of the musical portion of the programme. ……………………. Huon Times (Franklin, Tas), Sat 23 Aug 1913 (p.5): GEEVESTON NOTES A very pleasant evening was given on Tuesday, 19th inst, by Mr and Mrs David Robertson at their residence, “Annandale,” in honor of their niece, Nurse Bernice Geeves, who is home from the Hobart General Hospital on holiday (writes our correspondent.) …………………………… Musical items were interspersed with games and social chat, ………….. Later on Miss Ruby and her sister, Nurse Geeves, played a duet, “La Sympathie,” with good expression. ……………………… Daily Post (Hobart, Tas), Fri 2 Jul 1915 (p.8): ZEEHAN HOSPITAL ZEEHAN, Wednesday Miss B. Geeves took up her position as staff nurse. The Mercury (Hobart, Tas), Wed 17 Nov 1915 (p.5): PRESENTATION TO A RED CROSS NURSE ZEEHAN, November 16 At St Andrew’s Presbyterian Church to-night Nurse Geeves, who has volunteered for Red Cross work in Serbia, as presented by church adherent and friends with a lady’s companion and thermos flask, as a token of esteem. Huon Times (Franklin, Tas), Wed 15 Dec 1915 (p.3): GEEVESTON FAREWELL TO NURSE GEEVES Another farewell function took place on Wednesday last at “Allowa,” the residence of Mr and Mrs J.W. Geeves, whose daughter Berenice left for the front as nurse to the Imperial Forces the next day. In this case also the notice received of the young lady’s final leave to her family was very short, while the duration of her visit was also restricted to one day only so that a public farewell was out of the question, nevertheless it was not the intention of residents to allow Nurse Geeves to leave without some recognition on their part. A number of residents therefore waited upon Miss Geeves to bid her farewell and presented her with a sum of money, which had quickly been gathered in the meantime by the ladies, with the expressed wish that Miss Geeves should buy a wristlet watch with the same in remembrance of her friends. The Rev. Menzies made the presentation. Miss Geeves, who was deeply moved, thanked the party for their kindness, and said she would write to them later and let them know of her experiences. Daily Telegraph (Launceston, Tas), Wed 10 May 1916 (p.4): PERSONAL Word has been received at Wynyard from Nurse Sargent, stating that she had been nursing in Lord Derby’s Hospital at Warrington, but had received notice to be ready to leave for France. She is probably there now. Nurse Geeves, of Geeveston, was also in the same hospital. Huon Times (Franklin, Tas), Tue 22 Aug 1916 (p.3): A SOLDIER’S LETTER Corporal Carl Geeves, writing to his mother from near Ypres, under date June 22nd, gives some interesting details. ……………………………….. He mentions that Staff-nurse Bernice Geeves is in a hospital “somewhere in France” and that he was in communication with her, but was not near enough to pay her a visit. …………………………. https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/135815491 Huon Times (Franklin, Tas), Tue 8 Jul 1919 GEEVESTON Mr J.W. Geeves has received word that his daughter, Nurse Berenice Geeves had arrived at Albany on her way home. World (Hobart, Tas), Thur 7 Aug 1919 (p.8): Warriors Welcomed Geeveston The Geeveston Town Hall was filled to its utmost capacity on Friday last, when a welcome home was extended to Sister B. Geeves, Sergeant C. Drake (who had bee a prisoner of war in Germany for some 18 months), Corporals Douglas and Ratcliffe, …………………… Sister Doyle was also present on the platform. The Warden, on behalf of the municipality, expressed to the sisters and soldiers how deeply the people appreciated the services rendered, and presented each with a gold medal, suitably inscribed, and a special one to Sister Geeves from the Cadet Association. …………………… Advocate, (Burnie, Tas), Thur 21 Aug 1919 (p.3): ON THE WEST COAST QUEENSTOWN ATTACK ABATING QUEENSTOWN, Wednesday – The influenza now shows signs of abating. …………………………. All the nurses at the Queenstown Hospital are down, and Dr Panting, of Zeehan, sent along one of his auxiliary nurses, Sister Geeves, who arrived to-night to assist in the work of mercy. The Mercury (Hobart), Thur 10 Jan 1924: TASMANIA’S CHILDREN ……………………………………………………………. A change in nurses is just being made. Nurse Crawford, of the State Orphans Department, is to be married, and Nurse Geeves has been temporarily appointed in her place. Nurse Geeves is well known to the Child Welfare Association as a real baby-lover, for she has voluntarily taken charge of very sore-afflicted little things whose care is a constant anxiety and responsibility. There are many such sorrowful little creatures in every State, and we should be grateful to the women who give them compassionate care. ……………………………………………………………….. Otago Daily Times (NZ), 21 Feb 1925: PLUNKET SOCIETY Nurses Cochrane and Walter (Australia), Geeves (Tasmania), ……………… commenced a course of Plunket training during the month. ……………………….. Evening Star (NZ), 16 May 1925: PLUNKET SOCIETY The number of nurses in training is 18. Nurses Cochrane, Geeves, ………… completed, ……… The Mercury (Hobart), Thur 31 Dec 1925: CHILD WELFARE NEWS Sister Geeves, who did splendid work in Hobart for boarded-out babies, has just returned from training in New Zealand. Talking to the secretary of the Child Welfare Association, she said: “How are you getting on with gastro-enteritis in Hobart? We hardly ever see a case in New Zealand. The Plunkett net is thrown practically all over the Dominion, and any case which occurs is treated very quickly and is nipped in the bud.” The Mercury (Hobart), Thur 15 Apr 1926: CHILD WELFARE NOTES [Mothercraft Home, New Town] ………………………………………………………………….. The matron, Miss Pines has come to the end of the term for which she undertook to manage the Home, and her place is to be filled by Sister Geeves. ……………………………. Sister Geeves has been to New Zealand for Plunket training and is now taking an obstetric course at the Alexandra Hospital. She has a well-earned reputation for successful care of infants, and the association is fortunate in securing her services. While she is finishing her course Sister Alice Hall is coming to the Home to take charge. ………………………………. The Mercury (Hobart), Fri 8 Oct 1926 (p.8): CHILD WELFARE ASSOCIATION Miss A. Hall finished her term as relieving lady superintendent at the Home on September 14, when Miss B. Geeves took charge. The Mercury (Hobart), Thur 3 May 1928 (p.6): A WOMAN TO WOMEN CHILD WELFARE Two women with a lengthy experience in Child Welfare work in Victoria have recently visited Tasmania. ……………………………………. Both these ladies were taken to the Mothercraft Home at New Town, and were very pleased with its position and appearance. After going through it, and investigating it as only experts can, Sister Peck gave the matron (Miss Geeves) and the association, quite spontaneously, the highest praise it was possible to give. The Mercury (Hobart), Thur 7 Feb 1929 (p.3): A WOMAN TO WOMEN THE MOTHERCRAFT HOME The second big activity of the Child Welfare Association is the Mothercraft Home, where mothers and babies are received from all parts of Tasmania for special dieting, instruction, and care. ……. The matron, Miss Geeves, who has the painful task of turning away the mothers and babies who desire to enter the home, is continually pointing out to the association the need for extension, and one wonders how long Parliament will continue to turn a blind eye to the needs of a home which is actually saving the lives of young Tasmanians, ……………………… The Mercury (Hobart), Tue 31 Dec 1929 (p.6): PERSONAL Miss May Richardson, matron of the hospital at Hay, N.S.W., has been appointed by the Child Welfare Association to succeed Miss E.B. Geeves as lady superintendent of the Mothercraft Homes, as Miss Geeves is leaving in the middle of January to take up a position in connection with infant welfare in Fiji. The Sydney Morning Herald, Sat 1 Feb 1930: THE CHURCHES Nurse Geeves, who has had considerable experience in child welfare work in Tasmania, will leave by the Ventura to-day for Fiji, where she will undertake child welfare work for the Methodist Mission. The Methodist (Sydney, NSW), Sat 25 Feb 1933 (p.12): The Methodist Missionary Society of Australasia Retirements An eulogistic resolution of the Fiji Synod was read relating to the excellent work of ………….. A similar resolution was read regarding Sister E.B. Geeves, who has been transferred to the Government Child Welfare work. Examiner (Launceston), Wed 6 Nov 1935 (p.2): SOCIAL EVENTS NOTED THIS WEEK Sister Geeves, who has been in Hobart during her furlough, left by the Taroona yesterday for Melbourne, en-route to Fiji, where she is engaged on welfare work among the native children. The Mercury (Hobart), Fri 17 Feb 1939 (p.3): WOMEN’S STATUS IN FIJI Child Welfare Training Brings Change The men were the rulers in Fiji, and until the introduction of child welfare training among the natives women had played a very small part in the community, Miss E.B. Geeves, a native of Geeveston, told the Hobart Rotary Club at its luncheon yesterday. With the introduction of child welfare work, however, she added, the Fijian men had realised that mothers were important, and it had made a great difference in the status of women. Miss Geeves, who is attached to the child welfare branch of the Government Medical Department in Fiji, said that before the work was started in the colony the infant mortality rate was very high, mainly because mothers did not understand the importance of cleanliness. They knew by instinct how to look after their babies, but they knew nothing of the modern methods of hygiene of the white race, with the result that if an epidemic broke out the infants had no stamina to withstand it. Now, happily, the death rate had fallen materially. Whereas Fijian children before had been smothered in loathsome sores, to-day they were admired for their beautiful skins, Miss Geeves said. The natives were slow to adopt suggestions, preferring to wait until they could see that new ideas would be beneficial. There were four Europeans in the child welare clinics, and there were a number of native helpers who were doing valuable work. Miss Geeves spoke highly of the inherent good manners and fine courtesy of the older Fijians. They were true gentlefolk, she said, but the younger generation was different, and the white people were endeavouring to teach them to follow in the footsteps of the older people. Fijians lived a communal life which the chief Government officials were anxious to encourage, for there was much to be said in favour of it. Examiner (Launceston), Thur 13 Apr 1939: CAMPBELL TOWN On Tuesday afternoon a number of women met in the Methodist School Hall for a missionary meeting. Rev. F.F. Byatt was chairman, and welcomed Sister B. Geeves of the Fijian Government Child Welfare Department. Sister Geeves gave a talk on her work in Fiji. The Mercury (Hobart), Thur 16 Nov 1939: VICTORIA LEAGUE Visitors Welcomed At Quarterly Meeting ………………………………………………………………. An interesting talk on life in the Fijian Islands, where the people “are living happily” under the British flag, was given by Mr Bull, who referred also to the splendid work being done in Fiji by two Tasmanian women – Sister Geeves, who is doing child welfare work, and Miss Monties, who is matron of the hospital at Ba. Advocate (Burnie, Tas), Sat 30 Mar 1946: In the Churches Wynyard Methodist - ………………………………….. The Wynyard W.A.O.M. will meet on Tuesday afternoon, when the speaker will be Sister Geeves, who spent some years as a missionary sister in Fiji. The Mercury (Hobart), Thur 9 Jun 1949: Child Welfare Talk To Country Women Thirty-two members attended the June meeting of the Lindisfarne Country Women’s Association branch. Sister E.B. Geeves gave a talk on child welfare work in Fiji.