Mum had two really good secretarial positions for about 10 years in all and realising she was perhaps becoming too old for the commercial world she turned her thoughts to social welfare again.
Excerpt from 'THE CLOCK OF TIME' by Gertrude Ruston. (pp 164-166)
"The Council of Social Services
At about this time we had a visit from a Mr George Haynes of the Council of Social Services in the U.K., and, at his request, the Guilds called a public meeting with Mrs S. Manners, Vice-President, in the Chair.
Mr Haynes explained the benefits of such a Council, the objects of which were co-operation, prevention of overlapping, and filling the gaps.
The meeting was well attended, the audience interested, but it was obvious that time and effort would be necessary to educate Western Australian agencies to accept the need for such an organisation here.
Following the public meeting Mr Haynes contacted Dr Colin Anderson and a number of social workers, who agreed to seek support for the project. I was asked to join a small committee formed for the purpose, and the five of us in all tried to gather support from church groups, welfare agencies and individuals to bring together similar welfare bodies to prevent overlapping and fill gaps in service.
It took many meetings, months of effort and considerable publicity before it was possible to call a formal meeting in the Perth City Council Chambers in Murray Street, with the Lord Mayor in the Chair, and a very representative gathering of welfare bodies and individuals present, to place before the meeting the need for the formation of a Council of Social Service in W.A. It was resolved that a Council be formed and an ad hoc committee was elected, which included the five founders. Mr Harry Greig became Chairman of the committee and, failing any other offers, I agreed to become Honorary Secretary for a limited period.
After a short time the ad hoc committee had carried out the necessary preliminary work and then called a meeting to launch the Council and appoint its officers.
I gladly retired from the position of Hon. Secretary but my resignation was not accepted by Mr Greig, and I was asked by the newly elected President, Mr H. T. Stitfold, to withdraw my resignation as nobody else would accept the position. Reluctantly I agreed and, in the end, I was Hon. Secretary of the Council for its first twelve years until it was possible to pay a part-time secretary.
Mr Stitfold retired from the Presidency after the first year and his place was taken by *Professor Eric Saint, B.Sc.M.D. (Dunelm), LLD (Hon. Qld) FRACP FRCP FACMA; a wonderful man with whom I enjoyed working for many years until he left Western Australia to become Dean of the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Queensland. In 1979 we were all delighted when he returned to Western Australia. (This is a photo I have of mum taken in later years. The gentleman in the middle of the 3 men is Professor Eric Saint. It was the Professor that gave the eulogy at mum's funeral service in January, 1985. I can't say for sure who the other two gentleman are, although I feel I recognise their faces, and mum did not write any names on the back of the photo. If I can find my copy of the eulogy I may publish it on here one day.):
Dr Colin Anderson, another great man, was Chairman of the Executive Committee of the Council for man years,
As Hon. Secretary of the Council in W.A, I was elected to the position of Executive Officer of the National Council of Social Service, and invited to attend their annual meetings in August each year in Sydney, Melbourne or Canberra. Funds were difficult. Other States paid their Executive Officers and THEY RECEIVED A GRANT FOR TRAVELLING.
Eventually the Commonwealth Government made a grant to the Australian Council, and each State received a moderate amount for travelling.
In order to make my allowance stretch I travelled by express bus and, as we touched down in each State, I gathered as much as data as possible regarding its social welfare. This enabled me to keep right up to date with the latest developments.
Mr F.S. Cross was an officer of the W.A. Council and, in his business capacity as Executive Director of the Employers' Federation, he frequently made trips to the Eastern States. When these coincided with meetings of the Australian Council he attended on our behalf.
Soon after the W.A. Council of Social Service was formed we received suggestions from member bodies that there was a need for a Citizens Advice Bureau or a Family Welfare Bureau here, and two of our social workers, Miss Faith Pitman and Miss Marjorie Hill, belonging to our Executive Committee were asked to consult our member bodies and survey the need in order to ascertain which would be of the greatest service.
The majority favoured a Citizens Advice Bureau, and it was therefore decided that the Council would investigate the possibility of setting up such a bureau on the lines of those operating so well in the United Kingdom.
*In the 1940s, as a young doctor working for the Department of Health in Perth, the then Dr Eric Saint reported repeatedly that he considered asbestos to be a dangerous substance. He had been stationed for a time at Wittenoom Gorge. Unfortunately money I am guessing spoke more loudly than common sense and Dr Saint's fear of asbestos went unheeded. He was an expert witness at the trial, Barrow and Heys v. CSR Ltd 1988, in the Supreme Court of Western Australia. His letters and warnings forty years previously about the dangers of asbestos were crucial to Justice Rowland's judgement against CSR. Professor Saint died of coronary artery disease at Nedlands in 1989 at the age of 70. He was a truly wonderful man.