Saturday, April 25, 2015


Excerpt from 'THE CLOCK OF TIME' by Gertrude Ruston.  (pp 198-202)

"Mrs Haning and I were dealing with all the business and correspondence connected with four organisations, the Council of Social Service (COSS), Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB), Perth Emergency Housekeeper Service (PEHS) and the Childrens Holiday Association Perth and State (CHAPS).  In order to keep everything up-to-date, we purchased a tape recorder and I took it home with me at weekends, together with minutes and correspondence, requiring attention.

Quietly on Sunday afternoons I sat comfortably in my lounge room and dealt with all matters arising by dictating to the tape recorder, interspersed with comments for Mrs Haning's benefit, knowing that, as she replayed the tape, she would be able to cope with them in her usual capable manner.

In this way everything was kept up-to-date, including filing and records, and we both worked without interruption in the office.  Mrs Haning was a wonderful colleague and helper, and I still value her friendship after so many years.

In order to include new organisations and correct information where necessary we published from the office three more Directories of Social Service Agencies, with considerable help from the voluntary workers of the C.A.B.

This is a mammoth job.  Questionnaires have to be distributed to all known organisations, others invited to participate by publicity and, because the greater number did not return their completed forms in time, it was necessary to spend money and effort in writing and telephoning reminders.

Information received had to put into its proper category in alphabetical order, carefully collated and checked, after which quotes had to be obtained for printing etc., and months went by before a finished book was ready for distribution.

The cost of production increased with each edition and COSS had to recoup its expenditure from the sale of the directory, which meant extra work for the office and the accountant.

While at a public meeting one evening at which I had been invited to speak, I was asked by Mrs D. Levinson if I could find something for her old father to do.  He was a highly qualified chartered accountant about 80 years of age and retired, so life seemed aimless to him and not worth living.  I asked her to send him to see me and, to cut a long story short, he took over keeping all the books and coping with insurance and all financial matters, and I only had to worry about the petty cash.

Fate certainly lends a hand occasionally, and Mr Lester was friend indeed  He stayed with the office as long as his health permitted and was very popular with everybody.  He did not need a computer - he had one built in!


  1. What a wonderful thing to do - giving someone a purpose is a tremendous gift. Everyone needs to feel useful, needed and appreciated. Your mother was a very perspicacious woman.

    1. We all need a purpose in life as we age but unfortunately few of us are given the opportunity to be very useful.
      Mum had a talent for understanding what was needed and doing her best to fulfil that need.
      It's been great having you visit my blog and thank you for your comments.

  2. Old accountants with built in computers....I wish I had the loan of one lol.

    1. He or she would certainly be very useful to us oldies eh Delores?

  3. Hari OM
    That last part re Mr Lester is so pertinent; I do feel that so often folk simply 'fade away' due to a sense of pointlessness and loss of purpose.

    You, Mimsie, have given yourself great purpose, but reproducing your mother's words so faithfully! YAM xx

    1. I hope I can find a purpose once mum's book comes to an end. Have to think long and hard about that?
      I sometimes feel Phil has lost his sense of purpose and yet I need him every day of the year and would be lost without him. If only someone one day needed his help it would be wonderful but I feel everyone thinks he is too old. So sad. xx