140714 Guest Speaker Annie Paterson
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140714 Guest Speaker Annie Paterson

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GUEST SPEAKER: Annie Paterson (nee Mills) - My Life, (which has been “Fricken Awesome”) I was born in Edinburg in May 1948. Started life in a 2 bedroom Tenement Building which was two bedrooms and a toilet that was shared with another family and no bathroom no washing machine and no telly.Washing yourself thoroughly was a once a week affair (whether you needed it or not) involving a trip to the community bathhouse to pay 6 pence for soap and a towel. Clothes washing involved taking your dirty sheets and clothes with washing powder in an old pram to the communal washhouse which was an engineering marvel with poles set out to dry clothes on. There were 4 children and mum and dad in the 2 bedrooms and 2 grandparents slept in the kitchen. At the age of 5 the family moved to a new housing estate, and again at 14 we moved to Warrington which is an industrial area, but at 15 it was back to Edinburgh to live near where Mary Queen of Scots had lived.I started work as a book binder like my mum. Met Bill at a dance. Married at 19. First baby at 21. Bill did a domestic electrician apprenticeship and was also a piper. Came to Whyalla as much to be a piper in the Mt Laura pipe band as to work at BHP for 14 months, but he hated industrial electrics and kept pestering the PMG for work, and eventually got in and stayed 19 years. Had 3 more children. At 17 I had tried to become a nurse in Scotland but had to live in, so no dice, but at 35 in Australia I started as an enrolled nurse and in 1986 signed up for a registered nurse which meant working in Port Augusta and Port Lincoln besides Whyalla over a 3 year period. Then I started a Graduate Certificate while Bill was going out on his own in telecommunications. After 18 months of study I swiched to midwifery and then finished off the grad Dip. I worked in surgery and then looked at the diabetes scene in Whyalla. At first the diabetes support only involved blood testing which seemed inadequate to me, so eventually I was able to add dietary and lifestyle support, then I went into private practice in the same field for a while. 3 years ago Bill was diagnosed with asbestosis caused by the work he had done, and lived a further 5 months. At this time I retired from work. My children have never given me a problem and have been a great support

Item Code: 14 Jul 2014

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