Thursday, November 13, 2008

Lucinda's story

Photo: Lucinda and Harold, with Timothy, Phillip, Paul and Anne

Lucinda as a Registered Nurse and Midwife at the Royal Brisbane Hospital

Lucinda White
[Thanks to Lucinda's son Philip Wik for this account]

“I was number seven in a family of eight born into a loving Christian family in the old historical home that still stands overlooking the bay,” Mom writes. “My father was a business man before coming to Redland Bay, but he chose to find a better place for his growing family. My parents were careful to protect us and bring us up in a pleasant, safe environment.

“Ruth mentioned the struggle we had in those early days of wood stoves, no electricity, and horse and buggy. But the both of us concluded that in spite of this, we had a very happy childhood. We would watch the tides and possibly go swimming twice a day. Ruth and I would get up at 5 a.m. to play tennis on our own court. So it was no wonder we were called upon to play with adults in doubles sets.” They would also toboggan down the hills near the bay on hessian sacks.

“As a child, I admired my older bothers and sisters. Too young to attend school, I watched them as they faded into the distance, walking down White’s Hill on their way to the Redland Bay State School two miles away. Then, in the afternoon, I would wait for their return, especially my sister Frances. In turn, I attended the same school at the age of five, continuing on through high school.

“Following my education there, I took a course in dress-making. I did well in the course, so much so that I was offered a job there to teach what I had learned from the McCabe Academy of Dress keeping.

“My sister Frances, the sister I admired so much, had taken up nursing and had advanced to a responsible position. I was attracted to the nursing field. I was accepted into the nursing program, which began January 3rd 1942. The work at times was stressful but I will never regret the valuable lessons of life in having a caring heart for others. Sister Frances would encourage me when the going got tough. It was no light thing to be responsible for the lives of people and to be on hand to comfort those who needed comforting. My first course took four years and gained for me a diploma in general nursing and pediatrics. I went on to do obstetrics at the Woman’s Hospital where I graduated.”
I was born in this same hospital on March 9, 1955.

“My nursing training continued, this time in the area of maternal and child welfare. I was responsible for my staff, and also taking care of the mothers before they went to the hospital and the mother and child when they left the hospital. Our staff also took care of older children from families that had parental problems. I was called sometimes to go to court on behalf of the children.

“These were depression years, but my father and mother with their strong faith in God spared us much of the heartache. Following breakfast, my father would read a portion from the word of God and then we knelt in prayer. I admired my father and as for my mother I adored her. She became a pattern of godly living for me—hard working, courageous, loving, and kind.

“At the age of four, I learned to read the New Testament. As I grew older, my mother instructed me to pray my way through the day.

“We had our jobs to do but we also knew how to play hard. During holiday times, we enjoyed sledding down the slopes leading to the water’s edge. Swimming was a favorite sport. We had our own tennis court. The hours of fun in water bring back happy memories. While on summer holidays, we went swimming in the pubic baths, which were enclosed in protective wire against the sharks. The seriousness of everyday living by my parents was punctuated by outings here and there, either to the mountains or to the golden sands of the coast. To stay overnight at the beach was a special delight. My father and brothers would set up camp at a chosen spot. No matter if salty water, sand, and sunburn were the order of the day, it would still be such an enjoyable experience. Listening to the pounding of the waves on the shore would send me off to sleep—refreshed the next morning for new experiences. Living by the water has always been an attraction to me.”

Mom shared with me childhood experiences frolicking in their barn. “Above the barn back at home was a large wooden shed where my father kept hay and boxes for fruit,” Mom writes. “In the corner in a neat coil was a huge snake. We made a quick, silent retreat and called our father excitedly. My Dad wasn’t too concerned and said it was a carpet snake and useful in keeping down the rats and mice. In the calmest way possible, my Dad grabbed the snake by the back of the neck transporting it to another place. Then from year to year, we would find the skin of the snake, reminding us that the creatures were alive and well.

“From inside the barn we would climb on top of the shed. There in mango season we would sit and eat the juicy luscious mangos until we had eaten more than enough.”

Mom wrote this essay about her favorite toy. “The years have passed but I remember with great excitement the small airplane I received as a Christmas gift.

“Day after day and for long hours I played with my airplane until it became a very special part of my life. Most days before going to bed, I would place it on my night table. It’s not surprising that one night I dreamed that my airplane took my flying high up into the sky. I jumped into the cockpit, played around with the controls, and before long I was up and away flying through the blue sky. For me, there was a wonderful sense of freedom as I rode on the puffy clouds leaving the ground behind. The country fields that looked like a patchwork quilt got smaller and smaller. Before long, my plane left the land behind and now I was flying very high over the sea until I was hid in the clouds alone, taking me to a distant land I had never seen before. This was more exciting than scary. Eventually, I landed on a soft patch of green grass, where people I had never seen before greeted me. They were friendly and wanted me to visit them in their home. We talked a long while and it seemed as though it was getting late. Moreover, I had an urge to return home again, knowing my parents would be concerned. In the midst of this dilemma, I woke up excited and wondered how this would be in real life.

“As the many months went by, my airplane got a little broken and crumpled, but whatever it was, it was still my favorite toy that I will not forget.

“Maybe, I will give my grandsons an airplane and hope that they too will have lots of fun and dream pleasant dreams as I did.
“My toy airplane was the best!”

Sure enough, for Christmas 2000, their grandparents gave Zachary and Benjamin new toy airplanes.

Uncle Francis (Frank) White’s favorite toy was an air rifle and he enjoyed collecting stamps. Because his twin sister was Frances, he was called Brother. For him, a perfect day as a child was swimming at high tide. The house was filled with music with a radio. His mother would sometimes play the pedal-organ for family sing-alongs. The family’s first car as a Model T Ford. Frank’s first car trip was going for a family photo in Brisbane, and his first plane trip was a World War I Gypsy Moth Biplane. He liked cricket and football in school and did well in English and History, with Shakespeare his favorite author and Oliver Cromwell his favorite historical figure. During World War II, Frank went on to serve as an officer on the Burma Road. One day, he was booked to fly from Australia for a three-month service leave, but was bumped from the flight by another officer. Later, he heard newspaper boys shouting, “Plane down in ocean!” The plane on which Uncle Frank was to fly crashed into the sea that same afternoon.

Post script
“Well done, thou good and faithful servant. Enter thou into the joy of the Lord.” Matthew 25:21

Lucinda Elizabeth White Wik heard her Savior speak those words on Monday, December 01, 2008. She was surrounded by those she loved. Lucinda is survived by her husband Harold Wik, her children Paul, Philip, Anne and Timothy, their spouses, children and grandchildren, and her sister Ruth.

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