SHY: Sister Oliver McAllister revealed in 1988 her service as the first nurse of the Ipswich Blue Nursing Service.
SHY: Sister Oliver McAllister revealed in 1988 her service as the first nurse of the Ipswich Blue Nursing Service.

Pioneer nurse's early blues

SISTER Olive McAllister revealed in 1988 her service as the first nurse of the Ipswich Blue Nursing Service.

In 1954 Sister McAllister remembered being called to the study of the Rev J. E Jacob Minister of the Methodist Church Ellenborough St, Ipswich.

"Rev Jacob explained to me the challenge of a new project; a nursing service in the home of patients. This was a concept of care completely new to Ipswich, in fact to Queensland. He projected the concept of the mission of Christ Church, caring for the total man.

"To me in a very reverent way it was the voice of God offering me personally an opportunity of working with Him, and dedicating the skill of my hands and the commitment of my heart to His work.

"I lacked experience, latent skills, a knowledge of Ipswich, managerial know-how, and even the ability to drive a car.

"I was very shy and green in the ways of the world.

"In pioneer fashion we had to blaze a trail through the accepted customs of a conservatively geared community.

"We had no close experienced sources we could approach for guidance, no financial backing, no government subsidy, no equipment and no car."


"For the first three months we went on foot and using what public transport we could.

"It was the middle of summer and this caused climatic problems, but we at least had long hours of daylight at the beginning we centred on two to four patients, but soon this stretched to take in families of nine Ipswich homes, then Blue Nursing was not all plain sailing.

"We were in the business of pioneering and frequently were called to actually do or take part in work and projects that were completely new to us and sometimes beyond our ability or resources.

"We frequently were reminded of his promise that was valued in both the ups and downs of our adventure I will be with you always in your fears, in your disappointments and even in your failures. In retrospect we can see the fulfilment of that promise to say with Joseph of old God has been with us."

I'm sure that Olive McAllister is remembered today by many people for her compassion, her dedication to help all people practically those in sickness and her belief in God.


Mr Bert Loetzsch in an article published in 1988 remembered many Ipswichians who were known throughout the city. Some of these men mentioned were - Freddy Klopsch, the man who sold the best pies and peas for threepence from his cart at the Blackall Fountain cnr Brisbane andNicholas Sts, "George Treagle a bailiff who always smoked cigars, Chook Walters a tobacconist, George Kallinicos of the popular Ritz Café, Harry and Mick Londy well known café owners of Brisbane St next to the North Star Hotel, Alf Harper always wore a rosebud in his lapel who was in the 70s and his father 90 years old chased Alf around their furniture store wielding a walking stick and Mick Callaghan a Beirnes delivery man who rode an Indian motorcycle with side box.


The bride was radiant in a beautiful lavender silk dress with orange wreath and six-button No. 9 kid gloves slightly burst in the thumb.

The groom wore a black cloth suit constructed by the best tailor. The suit made him red in the face, much like a pair of boots two sizes too small, it was his No. 13 collar encircling his 16.2 inch neck.

Fortunately, before the ceremony was over the restraining button flew out and saved the groom from strangulation.


I wish all readers Christmas blessings.

May you all enjoy a time of happiness, love, friendship and family.

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