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> Issue 30 > Page 22 - With Mabel Louise Dubbin, V.O.N

Page 22 - With Mabel Louise Dubbin, V.O.N

Published by Ronald Caplan on 1981/12/1 (321 reads)

and even to this day I still do it. When I was a little girl and we were going out an3rwhere and there was a smell of any kind, she used to say, "Spit. Never swallow your saliva." And all the epidemic of the flu that was raging after 1918--I've never had the flu. And I've never been in bed with a cold, I've never had a temperature. The on? ly thing I've ever suffered from is sur? gery. And I still remember that. If I'm in a room and there's an odour, I just go to the toilet and spit. And I think that's why I've enjoyed such good health. Because I have had marvellous health. (You never married?) No. I'm a spinster. Perhaps I shouldn't say this to you, but I was never anxious to get married. I could have been married to a doctor that worked at the Pier--Dr. MacRae--and I turned him down. Because when I was growing up, I said I couldn't stand a moody person. Do you like moody people? And Dr. MacRae--we wo;:ked together for years and he was a good doctor--and he was so moody. He tried to make me change my mind. But no. I said, "My word alive, what pleasure is there liv? ing with a moody person?" And then there was a clergyman. I somehow was scared of the States. It seemed to me when I was growing up, there seemed to me so much crime happening in the States. So he preached a wonderful sermon one time, and the people in the States heard it and they wanted him. When that happened, he wired me, "Will you come to the States?" I wired back, "No." And that's why I'm a spinster. I always said I didn't think I'd make a very good wife. Therefore, I was not going to marry. So I have no regrets. I didn't want to marry. I was always kind of a loner. I never mixed well with people. I don't know. I was always like that--I wasn't sociable. I was just one for my work, and my work came first, and I didn't bother about anything else. No, I never went to parties or any? thing like that--I never wanted to. Dr. MacRae--he was a splendid doctor. And one lady had had a hard time. When we came out he said, "Dubbin, you should have been a doctor." "No," I said, "I wouldn't want to be a doctor, because I like nursing." And I had no regrets. I never made a mis? take, (Were there any times that people objected to having you come around?) Yes, when I was finished, absolutely finished, I could count five. I think it was about 2 o'clock in the morning I got this call. And I don't know what he objected to. And I was so mad, at 2 o'clock in the morning, that when I got there, he wouldn't help. I lion't know what it was I wanted him to do-- having the water boiled, something like that--and he disagreed. I picked up my bag and walked home. I said, "I'm not going to stay here, if you're going to disagree like that." As I say, I can count on my hands, there'd only be about five, in the whole of my career. Forty years a nurse, 32 a V.O.N. They all appreciated it. And when I go o- ver now, it's wonderful, I meet fine peo? ple, especially the men, because I was nev? er fussy about the men. And the other day, in the summertime I guess it was, this old chap came up and said, "You brought lots of babies into our home. Now, can I go and get you an ice cream?" That old gent, you know, so kind. (Were there other nurses working in Whit? ney Pier the way you were?) There used to be one would come over as a relief to help. And then, after awhile they got a car, and that was for the town nurses. And then-- well, "Would you like the use of the car?" Now, I used to be so mad about that. I said to myself, I'm going to get my own car. I borrowed on a policy, and I got my own car. I had that for about 10 years; I was never in an accident. And then, when my time was up to retire, I packed every? thing in this car and shipped it out west-- that's where I was going to stay for the rest of the time. That cost me $250. I took it down to a service station, and I packed in everything that I had and shipped it out west. And when I got out there, I wasn't happy. I had a very dear friend here, a Mrs. Rod MacDonald, she's not liv? ing now. I'd been writing to her, and she wrote back and said, "I know you're not happy--why don't you come back where your friends are--never mind your relatives." Look, that was the best advice I ever had-- never mind your relatives, come back where your friends are. And that's just what I did. I just took the train at the begin? ning of January and I came right back. No regrets for coming back. And that was very' good--never mind your relatives, come back where your friends are. And that's jolly good advice. For a much fuller story of Mabel Dubbin's life, seek out her autobiography. You'll have to try the library, because the se? cond printing is now out of print. Our thanks to Debbie Martin, Sydney, who first suggested we visit with Miss DubbinT
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