YOUR STORY: Remembering aunty Molly

FRIENDS and family recently gathered to celebrate the wonderful life of my Aunty Molly.

I helped look after her while she lived in Brisbane and accompanied her to many medical appointments over the last few years.

We also had numerous cups of tea and chats at Unit No 7, Aunt Molly's home at Inverpine RSL Village at Murrumba Downs.                                                                       

Mary  Emily Jarvis was born In Junee NSW on the 26th August, 1925.

The first daughter of Clarence Frederick and Julia Sheila Jarvis who were share farming there at the time.

Older brother John, my dad, was also born in Junee. 

Younger sister Teresa was born when the family later moved to Monto. Aunt Molly's father was a Londoner and her mother born in Galway Ireland.

Aunt Molly was very proud and humbled that her Grandmother feed half of Galway during the Potato Famine.

At the age of 2, her parents drew a block of land in a ballet- Qld was open for Business!

It was already named "Clonmel" in North Burnett, Queensland, at a place that in years became Monto. Dad went ahead, paving the way - into isolation - for what would be home until 1947. 

Molly joining the Pioneer Lodge community in Bundaberg.
Molly joining the Pioneer Lodge community in Bundaberg.

Their home was surrounded by Pepperina trees and had myriads of parrots of all different colours and sounds.

Aged 5, she began school at Wongalee and depending on how much she played along the way, the horse ride would take around half an hour.

At various corners along the way and all having their owns horses,the Jarvis's, Hampsons, Chapmans, Suttons, and Miakees would attend school from 9.30 to 3.00.

On arrival at school, they would take off the saddles and bridles, then let the horses run free in the 5 acre property which belonged to the school. After school, caught them, saddled up and rode home.

As kids, they were all "members of the workforce".  

Molly and a friend beside her favourite car, the Volkswagen, visiting her mother at 38 Hurst St.
Molly and a friend beside her favourite car, the Volkswagen, visiting her mother at 38 Hurst St.

From 3 yrs they could feed the poddy calves (saving a worker).

All to soon learned to milk, ride horses & bring the cows in.

Brother John was always heard in the hills at 4.30 - 5am singing and bringing in the cows for milking. It was time for all hands to the dairy, Cream, Cotton, Hay and Beef.

Then came milking machines, an old car, a bike - and we were "Modernised" for the moment.

Then in 1939 came war- both parents were the only members of each family to come to Australia. Grandfather was drawn twice a day to our old radio, Midday and Evening, to hear of London "being ruined".

Mary Emily Jarvis (Molly).
Mary Emily Jarvis (Molly).

Even as a child, Molly felt a deep compass, so when she turned 18 and a friend asked her to join the service, she couldn't go quickly enough.

In her words, Imagination is grand, she was going "To Fix Them" meaning the bombers over London.

Dear God, she thought, such innocence.  

1.She couldn't be a DMT (Driver Motor Transport) - No vacancies. Why I didn't ask for Nurse??I'll never know, she thought. Molly knew nothing about clerical to which she was conned, lol, They said "We'll train you!).

Mary Emily Jarvis (Molly).
Mary Emily Jarvis (Molly).

So in December, 1943 at the age of 18 Molly joined the Airforce. 

After 3 months at Sandgate, she had her passing out parade after completing her rookies which consisted of learning to march, exercise, disciplinary things, salute & respect officers.

Then onto Adelaide to clerical school, followed by Maryborough and this is were she would meet her life long friend, Claire Rodgers in the RAAF. From here Molly worked at MCArthur Headquarters on the Cnr Adelaide & Queen St.

This would become an important step in life to be working with 'Head of Pacific' - the man in charge of saving Australia!

Deputy matron of Gympie Hospital.
Deputy matron of Gympie Hospital.

In December 1950, Molly would undertake her lifelong dream of becoming a nurse.

Starting out at Cairns Base Hospital, it would take 7 year to complete.

On a number of occasions, she went back to Bargara to help her father & mother in the Post Office.

In 1953 her father would pass away from a heart condition.

John & Jean (my father &mother), took over the Post Office & general store. Grandma would look after Lynette.

November, 1954 would see Molly back at the P.O.  Then 'Oh what a day" in  July of 57, training would be finally completed at Maryborough Hospital! 

Post Office Store markings with her father Clarence Frederick as proprietor, stamped 29/3/50.
Post Office Store markings with her father Clarence Frederick as proprietor, stamped 29/3/50.

After Maryborough was the Mater Hospital in Waratha to complete midwifery. It would be during  this time that Molly discovered the School for the Deaf for our sister Patricia.

It would also be here that Molly met another lifelong friend, Barbara.

Molly would nurse in many places over the years. In Monto, where she cut the cord when Kathy was born. Sister Tess and Molly at the Bundaberg Chele.

Was bridesmaid for sister Tess in Canada, and nursed in Ontario while there. Back to Brisbane, then onto Biloela Baby Clinic.

Table instruments, Maryborough Base Hospital, 1956/57.
Table instruments, Maryborough Base Hospital, 1956/57.

This is where Molly would be reunited with Dorothy Sharpe from training together at Maryborough. 

Onto Bundaberg, Sandgate, Roma, Surat, Mitchell and Ulbar Baby Clinics.

Then Brisbane Womens Hospital before taking Deputy Director's position in Gympie General. This gave the opportunity for scholarship in Administration, after which she was admitted as Fellow of Royal College of Nursing.                         

For someone who failed scholarship at 14 years, this was sweet music! Molly also attended the Internationl Nusing Convention in Tokyo in the 70s.

Nursed Sir Manuel Hornibrook, the guy who built  the Hornibrook bridge.

Mary Emily Jarvis (Molly).
Mary Emily Jarvis (Molly).

Sir Manuel ws one of the german engineers who gave Australia some solid foundations & structure.

The Sydney Opera House was also by a German.

Aunt  Molly has been part of our lives since the day we were born. It was not until she became unwell and became a patient in Peninsula Private Hospital that she realised how much she meant to us all. We reminisced about the times she came to the farm, spoiled us with her love.

At each celebration or milestone, like our weddings, special birthdays, etc she would always be there in all her "Glitz & Glamour".

When we were kids, she would arrive in her VW and we would be so excited, meanwhile Dad would be saying you better lock that before the monkeys get into it lol!

Remembering that AM bought her first VW from the caryard across the road from Bundy Base Hospital, the fact that she paid cash for it makes it what it is today lol.

Revisiting her old stomping ground Moonford Hall, Monto.
Revisiting her old stomping ground Moonford Hall, Monto.

Aunt  Molly was a practicing Catholic throughout her life,  enjoyed time with her friends at Murrumba Downs RSL Village, the WAAF  community, being part of Link program, phonecalls and letters from friends near and far.

Molly was so blessed to have had such a rich life.

In her words: In a modest way I've met wonderful people, had unexpected ventures and for a kid from a single teacher school, I've had a wonderful fulfilling and healthy life. And in my 90th year I thank God every day.

May God bless you Aunty Molly for each and every day you have been with us, and for the beautiful memories we share.

Thank you from all your little angels, you have shown us so much love, faith & hope...and the greatest of these is Love.

And you know it is only recently that Aunty Molly realised and stated "Her brother gave her 7 children and it didn't cost her a cent!!!"

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