Jenny Millar Lamond passed away on August 21 at her home in Moore Park Beach.
Jenny Millar Lamond passed away on August 21 at her home in Moore Park Beach.

Jenny lived for others

WAR has formed or changed the lives of many people, not least Jenny Millar Lamond, born in 1912 in Antung, China.

The mission hospital where her father worked was constantly in danger from warlords and bandits.

Having a doctor for a father saved Jenny from amoebic dysentery, anthrax and other diseases from which she could have died.

Once her school years were over, Jenny moved to Scotland where she studied at St George's Teachers Training College, then St Colm's Bible College where she qualified as a missionary.

In 1937 she returned to China, teaching in Liao-yang and the Blind Girls' Home in Moukden. In 1941 with the occupation of Manchuria by the Japanese, she was ordered out of China. Jenny came to Australia where she received an invitation to relieve at a mission school in India.

The voyage was to be on SS Nankin with an escorting convoy, but as they left Fremantle no convoy appeared.

Then, days from Australia, a German plane attacked the ship with cannon fire.

A German raider, Thor, picked up the 140 passengers who had abandoned ship and were later transferred to the Regensberg, then to Dresden and Ramses in the port of Yokohama.

The next three and a half years were spent in a prisoner of war camp in Fukushima.

Using pencils stolen from the commandant's office by the cleaner and toilet paper (the only plentiful commodity), she began the task of educating the children in the camp in reading, spelling and arithmetic.

On August 15 the gates were opened and the guards disappeared.

A month later the inmates were shipped to Australia on board a British aircraft carrier.

Recovery in Australia was slow, but resulted in meeting George Lamond, also a Scotsman.

They were married in 1947 and lived in Pennant Hills and later Roseville.

Without question, God's great gift to Jenny was teaching. She was the kind of teacher who intuitively knew how children were thinking, and could meet them at that level.

She began helping George's sister to teach children who, though intelligent, were failing in reading and had a surprising level of success.

Parents from country areas heard of her, and she spent periods in Orange, Nowra, Wee Waa and other places.

School teachers came at weekends and during school hours to learn her methods.

Children came from more than 100 country towns and some were invited to stay in her house while she taught them in concentrated blocks.

Jenny continued to teach into her 90s, despite health difficulties including loss of sight, post-traumatic stress disorder and crippling arthritis.

She taught more than 3000 children in her amazingly successful way.

In 1992 she was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia.

Throughout her life, Jenny continued to work through her church in teaching Sunday School, and leading Bible classes.

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