Farewell to Jenny after 50 years in nursing


Jenny Greenaway, RN, reached a milestone in her nursing career this December, celebrating 50 years in nursing, 25 of which she worked at the Fairview Retirement Village.

Jenny started nurse training at Wallsend Hospital, Newcastle, at 16 years old. In those days in public hospitals, there were always patients out on the verandahs and Jenny’s first ward was the male orthopaedic verandah where the men used to have competitions to see who could make her blush the most.

Jenny left Wallsend Hospital for King George V hospital in Sydney. Jenny’s next stop was Darwin, where she worked at the hospital with periods of relief work in Katherine and Alice Springs.

During a stint working at a general practice in Darwin, she met fellow Fairview RN and her future husband Cleone Cogan. Jenny was married in Darwin, followed by the birth of her first baby, Cameron.

Jenny left Darwin in 1970 and joined the NSW Bush Nursing Service. Her first permanent assignment as a bush nurse was at Lightning Ridge, where she worked alone in a challenging role, on-call 24 hours a day, seven days a week without the support of doctors, ambulances or pharmacies. There were only dirt roads to three outlying towns – Walgett, Goodooga and Collarenebri. Jenny the bush nurse was the subject of an ABC TV documentary.

During her time at Lightning Ridge Jenny met her beloved Tom. They moved to Moree and were married and had two boys, Thomas and David.

Jenny started working at Fairview in 1980. When she first started there were only 20 beds in the Nursing Home and there was one RN and AiN on duty on an evening shift and the RN had to do medication rounds in the 40-bed hostel as well as the 20-bed nursing home.
Jenny has always been a very keen and energetic supporter of Fairview and became part of the extended family of its residents, relatives and staff.

To Jenny Greenaway
By Les Smith

Where there’s a beginning, there will always be an end
That is why we’re here today, to say goodbye to our good friend
It is with a touch of sadness, that we now say adieu
To you, Jenny Greenaway, but we will remember you.

For you nursed and nurtured us, with a loving care
And with a touch of gentleness, that was always there
And we hope in your retirement, that you’ll be cared for too
Because the deeds you’ve done for others, should now return to you.

And the residents of Fairview, would now like to say
That they’ll remember forever, nurse Jenny Greenaway
And if there’s a roll of honour, for the nurses of North West
Your name will be there, Jenny, among the very best.

And some of the old warriors, try so hard to hide
Those tears that they wipe away, and pretend they hadn’t cried
But it doesn’t matter how they try, emotions still show through
When thinking of the future, and a Fairview without you.

But where there’s a beginning, there will always be an end
That is just a fact of life and we should not pretend
That things go on forever, because we must move along
On to another stage in life, where our loyalties belong.

We can’t name each and every one– space will not allow
But we all agree on one thing, Jenny, take a bow
We hope that you will remember us, and we hope that time preserves
Our own Jenny Greenaway, with the rewards that she deserves.