​Jean Thomson OAM (Goodridge)

1955 Collegian

Jean Thomson OAM (Goodridge), right

Apart from three years of schooling in Perth I have spent my life in the country.

My father could not afford to send both my sister, Pam, and I to MLC, so we took it in turns to attend.

At school I became part of a happy family, made many friends and became independent.

Of course, when it was Pam's turn to go, I told her the beds were horrible and the new girls had to give a horrendous concert!

After leaving school I became a ledger machinist in a bank. I married in 1951.

My husband, Douglas, and I were allocated a block at South Stirling in 1963 and over 10 years turned the bush into a farm.

While the men got the farms going the women built a community. I started Cubs and Brownies.

Nearly every child from Grades 3 - 5 joined. We went on a pack holiday each year and had activities involving the whole district.

For the Queen's 25th anniversary we held a massive bonfire that burned for three days with 150 people attending.

I've been involved in Guiding for 49 years, living by the promise of "Duty to God, serve my country, help other people every day and keep the Guide law."

My husband died of melanoma cancer in 1989, aged 55. One of my sons came home to run the farm. In 1994, after 28 years on the farm, I moved to Albany.

Along with Guides, I have been involved in Save the Children (45 years), Anglican Guild, P&C, School Volunteer Programme, Friends of the Hospital, the Anglican Thrift Shop and Meals on Wheels. I was a bowls umpire for 22 years.

I have been selected to represent Australia at two international Guide/Scout events, was awarded Albany Citizen of the Year in 2002 and the Medal of the Order of Australia in 2003 for services to the community.

My greatest achievement is bringing up four children to be very nice adults willing to get involved.

My advice is accept all challenges, never give up, keep working towards your goals and even if there are setbacks, keep trying and enjoy what you are doing.

On MLC: I have so many happy memories, such as a surprise party my friends gave me, midnight feasts and bonfire nights. MLC gave me contact with girls from all over the State.