Obituary: Elizabeth Bryan

ElizabethBryan1It is with sorrow that we record the death, on Thursday 21st February 2008, of our Hypatia Trusted Friend, Libby Bryan. Libby was a notable paediatrician whose specialty was multiple births. She was also an engaging character who was a delight to know.

We would like to send our condolences to her husband, Ronald Higgins, and the family.

You can read her obituary inThe Times by clicking here and in The Daily Telegraph by clicking here

Thanksgiving Celebration for Norna Jamieson - Our Jamie (1910-2007)

Jamie, in one of her magnificent Shetland sweaters, at the opening of the Jamieson Library in 1986 The Jamieson Library, an important part of the Hypatia Trust activity base, was named, in 1986, in honour of ‘Jamie’ (pronounced Jimmy). Lucy Norna Jamieson was Melissa’s senior nurse tutor at St Thomas’ Hospital (1967-71) where she was in charge of the experimental Graduate Set, devised by the General Nursing Council, to draw university-qualified women into nursing.

She was herself a graduate of Edinburgh University before training as a nurse under the legendary Dame Alicia Lloyd Still (selected by Florence Nightingale to head up the nation’s first nursing school) at St Thomas’ Hospital, London, and the Rotunda Hospital (Midwifery), Dublin.

This picture shows Jamie being invested with the British Empire medal in 1991.

At the outbreak of WWII she volunteered as a nurse and worked widely throughout the Middle East, Far East and Northern Africa before returning to teach nursing for the rest of her career. Retiring from Tommys in the late 1970s, she determined to live out her years working in her ancestral islands, the Shetlands. And what an adventure that was – as she was eagerly taken on as a relief nurse on the off-islands! Melissa has collected her letters, photographs, etc. and visited her there a number of times, for festive times like Up-Helly-A, and in 2000 for her 90th birthday.

On Sunday 25th November 2007 about 60 friends of Hypatia gathered at Newmill to celebrate Jamie’s life.

This picture is of an exhibit about her life, in the library which carries her name.


Obituary: Norna Jamieson 1910-2007

jamie1'Jamie' was for many years the Senior Tutor at the Nightingale School of Nursing, St. Thomas' Hospital, London, where generations of student nurses made her acquaintance, claimed her interest, sometimes suffered her dry wit and criticism, and graduated to senior posts in nursing throughout Britain - all the better for having known her! The Jamieson Library at Newmill is named in her honour, and this photograph was taken on 11th October 1986 when she officially opened the Library. Melissa and Phil have visited Shetland and stayed in Jamie's croft near Reawick a number of times. Melissa was with her there in 2000 to celebrate her 90th.

She died on 18th October 2007, and was treated to a wonderful wake, hosted by family (nephews and cousins), for numerous friends at Bixter Village Hall, after her burial at St Mary's Chapel, Sand, where only the chancel arch stands of this pre-Reformation chapel.

jamie2Melissa is indebted to Bess Jamieson, Elisabeth Nicolson, Barbara Mortimer, and Margaret Macauley for being in close touch, and welcomes other Nightingales to send their memories for inclusion in a Celebratory Book about Jamie.

The picture on the right shows Jamie on 22nd November 1991 when she was presented with the British Empire Medal from Magnus Sheater, the Lord Lieutenant of Shetland.

From The Cornishman, Thursday, 14 June 2007: Hypatia Trust Donates To Library

A Penzance organisation has donated 600 books on Cornish literature and feminist theory to boost teaching and research for students in Cornwall. The Hypatia Trust has given the collection of books to the University of Exeter's English department in Cornwall for the library on the Tremough campus.

Among the significant items are a substantial range of books on feminist theory between 1960 and 2000, and the complete works of Oscar Wilde and Maria Edgeworth.

Doreen Pinfold, head of library and information services in Cornwall, said "Melissa Hardie (founder of the trust) has been collecting books by and about women for over 25 years and this donation provides a record and celebration of women's history. "These books will also complement the larger Hypatia collection of books, documents and artefacts held at the University of Exeter, and around Cornwall and America that concern women's role in history and contemporary life."

Dr Hardie recently visited Tremough at the invitation of the Department of English to give a talk entitled, 'Cornwall in her words: Diaries and Documents of some Literary Women Travellers'.

There is a close connection between the organisations. The Trust is named after Hypatia, a Greek woman scholar, interested in science and ethics, who was born in Alexandria in 355AD and assassinated in 415AD. The Hypatia Trust has been created to collect, and make available, published and personal documentation about the achievements of women in every aspect of their lives, with a particular emphasis on Cornwall.

The Opening of Trevelyan House

Malcolm Sutton and Satchiko Quayle Two evenings of celebration, and three days of activities, marked the official opening of Trevelyan House as the Trust's new headquarters.

Thursday 28th November 2002 was the quieter of the two evening parties, and was attended by members and guests.

They were able to tour the house and inspect the facilities, and enjoy a glass of wine.

The new electronic piano was demonstrated by Malcolm Sutton and Julia MacLean. The instrument was purchased following our recent Vivace appeal.

Malcolm is currently cataloguing a large collection of sheet music which has been donated to the Trust.

Town Crier, Phil 'Piglet' Rowley, was in attendance, and is seen here enjoying himself with Hypatia trustee, Anne Sutton, and Jacqueline McEwan.

Eva Tucker

The morning of Friday 29th November saw the Inaugural Lecture.

The London scholar and critic, Eva Tucker, gave a lecture entitled 'The Enchanted Guest of Spring and Summer' - a reassessment of the life and work of Dorothy Richardson.

Following a light lunch the afternoon was given over to poetry. Entitled 'The Well-spring of Poetry', it consisted of a medley of talks and poems, presented by Jacqueline Pritchard, Martha Street Pinnons, Jo Pacsoo, Ann Alexander, and Angela Stoner.

In the evening we held our Civic Reception, and entertained the Mayor of Penzance and members of the Town Council, together with members of Penwith District Council and Penzance Chamber of Commerce, and the deputy Mayor of Hayle.

Master of ceremonies was again Piglet, the Town Crier, and he kept order as best he could.

Guests and visitors were welcomed by the Trust's chairman, Heather Rowe.

The Mayor of Penzance, Cllr. Ruth Simpson, said how impressed the Town Council is with the sympathetic restoration of Trevelyan House, to become, once more, one of Penzance's most beautiful buildings.

She also enthused about the activities of the organisations using the facilities.

Professor Charles Thomas, the Cornish archaeologist and writer spoke about the history of the name Trevelyan, and our Member of Parliament, Andrew George, said how much he is enjoying using the premises already for his 'surgeries' for constituents.

Frank Lynch

There was also an impromptu speech from our builder, Frank Lynch. (Sadly Frank died in the autumn of 2003)

During the evening we were entertained by 'polite jazz' from The John Cox Quartet.

A presentation was made to Hedi Saunders, our hardworking voluntary administrator, and she was thanked for all the effort she has put into the project.

She is seen here, on the left, receiving a bouquet of flowers from trustee, Anne Sutton, and a round of applause from everyone.

Open Day

On Saturday, 30th November, we were open all day for visitors and friends.

We held a book sale with some local book dealers attending, as well as raising money by selling some of our duplicates.

Book launches were held by Andrew George, Catherine Wallace, Ann Alexander, Alexandra Pratt, Mary Casling, and Jim Hosking.

On the afternoon of Sunday, 1st December, there was a film presentation and discussion, entitled 'Speaking for themselves: 7 women and their experiences with cancer'.

The visiting presenter was Gesine Meerwein from Freiburg, Germany, Women's Archive.

We are grateful to the ETS electrical store in Penzance for the loan of a video projector for this event.

Taking Space

'Taking Space' is a group of women artists based in St Ives, and the Hypatia Trust was pleased to welcome them to the Meeting Place in Chapel Street. Mary Fletcher, the founder of Taking Space says, "The group was started to provide an opportunity for women artists to exhibit their work as a collective, and to encourage women to further their work in a supportive way."

It is a very democratic group with no selection committee, a system which gives the artists room to develop and progress. Belonging to the group helps to restore confidence to women who may have had to put aside their art for reasons of family or work commitments.

Jacky Pritchard of the Trust says, "I am happy to assist with the group's exhibition as it is a group which shares Hypatia's commitment to women's creativity and the ongoing development of art and education throughout life." Apart from encouraging mature artists, the group offers young women artists the opportunity to work and exhibit alongside experienced artists. Consequently, the group's works show great diversity of style and media resulting in varied and exciting exhibitions.

Although they are used to exhibiting as a group, their works are all highly individual and marked by a distinct difference of view.

Artists taking part were: Christine Allen, Helen Atkins, Greta Brett, Jane Beecroft, Mary Fletcher, Ann Stevens.