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metadata.territorywomen.dc.title: Nancy Eddy
Name: Eddy, Nancy Gilmour
Also known as: Jamieson, Nancy Gilmour
Date of Death: 2012-09-24
Place of Birth: Rose Park (S. Aust.)
Date of Birth: 1916-04-19
Occupation: Collector
Gardener
Biographical notes: In 1935 Nancy Gilmour Jamieson went from Peterborough in South Australia to Alice Springs as a shorthand-typist to the town’s first legal-practice: that of Beecher Noel Webb. A little later she left for Darwin in the Royal Overland Mail truck (well before the Stuart Highway existed) to see Arthur Rex Eddy, a friend from her youth in Peterborough, and to work for A. E. Jolly and Co. Jolly's motto was ‘From a needle to an anchor’, such was the variety of goods that it sold. In 1936 Nancy married Rex Eddy in the Methodist Church, then near the corner of Knuckey and Mitchell Streets. Because it was not customary in those days for married women to work outside the home, she spent most of her early married years in bringing up their two sons in a house next to Frog Hollow in Wood St, and in working from home. Her typing skills were called upon by Darwin Courthouse because it was suffering its traditional shortage of court-reporters. In late December 1941 Nancy and her sons, were evacuated from Darwin at very short notice and with little opportunity to pack, or to save property. The ensuing journey, aboard MV Koolinda to Fremantle in Western Australia, was begun only a month or so before the first bombings of Darwin by Japanese forces on 19 February 1942. In 1946 Rex returned safely to Australia after service as a FLTLT within the RAAF element of the RAF's Bomber Command, flying in Lancaster bombers over France and Germany. His association with Jolly's was then renewed when the family left Glenelg, South Australia to return to Darwin. Housing was scarce. Not until 1950 could they move from makeshift accommodation to a house in Mitchell Street (Block 567, well before street-numbering was common). In due course Nancy created a tropical forest in miniature behind the house, although this was later destroyed by Cyclone Tracy in 1974. After both sons had gone away to Adelaide High School, Nancy had begun to study exotic and native plants and their Latin diagnoses, and to teach herself botany and its nomenclature. She worked at the Botanical Gardens, both in identifying plants and in engraving labels for more than a thousand of them. She gave garden-talks in the Territory and as far away as the University of Adelaide and the Melbourne Horticultural Society, and also gave illustrated talks about plants to local schools, women’s organizations and gardening-clubs. In 1954 Nancy began, and continued for 29 years, as a judge of gardening and horticultural displays at the Darwin Show. She also officiated in the Show’s mineralogy section, which was not only another of her interests but also one that she shared with Rex. She was, many times in 30 years, called on by the staff of (then) Darwin Hospital to identify poisonous plants that had been eaten by patients, most of whom were children. Nancy also contributed articles to the North Australian Monthly. In 1961 Nancy was elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society of South Australia (FRSSA), and as a Life-Member of the Darwin Garden Club. She also amassed and maintained a collection of more than 10,000 photographic records of the changes, both before and after World War II, to Darwin. In 2012 Nancy died at the age of 96. Rex had predeceased her in 1998 at the age of 84. Compiled with the assistance of Nancy’s son Denis.
Related link: HistoryNT : Darwin 1936 - 1941.
PictureNT : Justice Austin Asche and Nancy Eddy.
Northern Territory Women's Advisory Council. Northern Territory Women's Register 1948-1988. 2nd ed. ed. Darwin: Northern Territory Women's Advisory Council, 1991.
Related Materials: "Club tours garden at Govt House", Northern Territory News, 8 March 1961.
"N.T. Poison tree deadly trap for children". Northern Territory News, 22 June 1965, p.1 & 7.
metadata.territorywomen.dc.identifier.uri: http://hdl.handle.net/10070/227601
Appears in Collections:Territory Women

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