If you have followed the story so far you will know of mum's terrible accident, her convalescence, her two moves to her final unit in Joondanna, and how she was asked to travel to Sydney to check out the Beehive organisation in that city. She came back and she and many others worked like Trojans to establish Beehive in Perth. They got as far as opening an Opportunity Shop in Newcastle Street, and here the story of Beehive continues........
Excerpt from 'THE CLOCK OF TIME' by Gertrude Ruston. (pp 221-223)
"We gladly accepted anything anyone would give us. Old theatre seating, which had been in the grounds of one of the Churches of Christ, was repaired, painted and used for our lunch room, while the office was furnished with a desk and table given by Mr and Mrs Courtenay Daw. My typewriter came into use once more and, for a cupboard, we used a built-in small cupboard which formed part of one of the window frontages. No record would be complete without the names of Eric Folks, Ernie Bowers and Clay Duke, all of whom gave so much time in those early days of Beehive to give us such a good start. Mr J. Giles was another fine original.
We could not afford sign writing to show people where we were, so I bought large stick-on letters from Alco - B E E H I V E - and Mr Bowers volunteered to put them upon the corner of our verandah where they are today. He climbed on the roof and I was terrified while he was putting them in position lest he should fall. Mr Folks was on the opposite corner of the street acting as a guide to be sure the letters were properly placed. The verandah needed some repairs, and Mr Bowers carried them out and then painted the whole verandah one weekend when there was less traffic and he was less likely to be knocked off his ladder. Unfortunately Mr Folks, an ex high school teacher, who was our Chief Supervisor for several years, met with a serious road accident, and has only recently been able to join us again for an occasional day.
Sadly I report that Ernie Bowers, a wonderful carpenter and colleague, died suddenly on his way home from Beehive one evening, and Mr Clay Duke, dedicated to Marching Girls and other welfare services, whom it was a privilege to know and who was so dependable when we needed him, also left us suddenly a while ago.
One of our first needs of course, was a telephone and I ordered one and paid the necessary deposit. We were advised that it was to be put in on a Saturday when there would be nobody on the premises. I spent the whole day waiting for the workmen to arrive and, to pass the time, typed out a rough constitution based on those drawn up for other organisations with which I had been associated. It gave us a basis from which to work.
The telephone men did not arrive that day, but they did come along and instal the service the following Saturday, and I spent another day on my own setting up files, surveying the situation, and feeling a little scared at what I had undertaken.
We had a number of ladies as our early volunteers, and they played a very important part in getting the shop in order, sorting secondhand clothing and articles for sale, manufacturing novelties, decorating windows, and giving those essential feminine touches to make the place come alive. I would like to mention particularly Mrs Phillips, Mrs Carstairs, Mrs Brooks and Mrs Donald of the advance brigade, as well as the late Elsie Heath whom we are still mourning as she died suddenly just before Christmas 1980.
I had a long association with Miss E Haley, a handicapped woman who ran a typewriting service known as E. and S. Duplicating Company. I first met her whilst I was State Secretary of the Women's Service Guilds. She duplicated our news letter "The Dawn", edited by Mrs Bessie Rischbieth.
As I started various organisations I sent my duplicating work to Miss Haley and, when owing to failing health, she sold her business to Mrs Hurst, I found E. and S., as it was still called, continued to serve me well. This typewriting service was producing about 25 newsletters per month for various organisations and, while the duplicating section was satisfactory, the task of collating and posting the newsletters was not profitable as additional staff on high wages had to be employed for the purpose. Mrs Hurst 'phoned me and asked if Beehive could take over the packing and posting as a separate service, E. and S. retaining the duplicating. She gave us details of her charges and suggested that we should do the work at the same price direct to the clients. We gladly accepted the offer, her clients agreed to allow us to take on the task and our newsletter section came into being.
It is a meticulous job and needs careful supervision. In the early days Mrs Brooks, always a tower of strength, looked after the kitchen section but gradually gravitated to the newsletters, and is now in charge of that very large and important department, with Mrs Parker as her offsider and a number of other stalwart helpers assisting as and when required."
I warned you that the story of Beehive Industries is a full chapter in itself. There is much more to relate as it gets really up and running. I am quite happy to keep typing it out if you are interested. I probably will anyway as I had more to do with this organisation than most of the others and, as said before many times, it still amazes me at the strength my mum had at such an advanced age.