Contributor and tireless friend

Beryl Joyce le Breton

Born 81 years ago at Punchbowl, Beryl was the younger of two daughters born to Adolphus and Lilian le Breton.

Beryl received her schooling at Punchbowl Primary, Bankstown Girls’ High and Canterbury Girls’ High. She chose nursing as a profession and went on to have a very distinguished career.

Training at Canterbury District Memorial Hospital from 1945-1949, Beryl went on to gain many other qualifications in nursing. These included an obstetrics course at King George V Memorial Hospital at Camperdown, and a special course in Infant Welfare at the Tresillian Mothercraft Centre, Petersham. On her return to Canterbury Hospital, she was in charge of the Nursery Section, later becoming Deputy Matron of the Hospital.

Beryl won a Health Commission Scholarship, which took her on a study tour of the United States, Canada and Britain. She went on to become Matron and then Director of Nursing at the Bankstown Hospital. She was a ‘people orientated person’, making friends with patients and staff alike. She had the ability to recognise attributes in her staff and she encouraged them to develop fully. She was a foundation member of the Institute of Nursing Administration of NSW and the ACT, and for 12 months was its President. As a foundation member of the Canterbury Hospital Graduate Nurses’ Association, she served for many years as an office bearer and worked tirelessly to raise money for her training school. She retired from nursing in 1992 at the age of 65.

Beryl was a member of the Bankstown Uniting Church where she made a valuable contribution, in various ways, including the committees responsible for the Aged Care projects of the Church. She was also on a local community committee for Bankstown TAFE.

Beryl was a good conversationalist, she loved children and was fond of her animal pets. Her sister Daphne suffered a stroke and became wheelchair dependent for 10 years before her death in 1995. Throughout that decade, Beryl gave Daphne expert help and loving and devoted care. Her willingness to care for her sister knew no end. In life, Beryl was a strong-minded, independent person. She lived all her life in the house she was born in and she quietly passed away there on 29 March 2008.

Beryl will be remembered with appreciation and love for many things by many people, especially for her dedicated nursing career.

By Roslyn van der Sandt, RN & Nurse Educator