Hall of Recognition



Jean Helen Limpus nee Stewart ... 1898-1989

Jean Helen STEWART was born on the 21 October 1898 in Bundaberg Queensland the daughter and fifth child of James Stewart and Eliza Cleaton Wilding. James her father had come out from Lanarkshire, Scotland to Australia in 1884 on the steamship “Chybassa” with his mother Mrs Robert Stewart and his two brothers, John and Robert.

The Stewart family were early pioneer settlers of Bundaberg. James Stewart married Eliza Cleaton Wilding in 1890 in Bundaberg. They went on to have seven daughters and one son. Jean had a happy childhood and attended the local Bundaberg East Primary School. The family lived in a house in Victoria Street, East Bundaberg and in the 1919 Queensland Electoral Roll she is still living there with her father, mother, sisters and brother Colin George Stewart. Private 6621 Colin George Stewart served with the 26th Infantry Battalion embarking on the HMAT Wiltshire from Sydney on the 7 Feb 1917 bound for the front.

She was a seamstress by trade at the time of her marriage to Walter John Limpus in 1924. Her old treadle sewing machine now belongs to her granddaughter the daughter of her son Allan. Walter and Jean probably met at the “Loxton” amateur Theatre Group here in Bundaberg. The Loxton Theatre Group was the forerunner to the Playhouse Theatre.

Extract from Summer Memories through Winter Eyes ... Wally [Walter John Limpus ] “There was a fellow by the name of Albert Loxton who formed a band and then a Comic Opera company here in Bundaberg. Most of the Amateur Players were in a sort of choir. We put on the “Rebel Maid in the early 1920’s and I took the part of Sir Steven. We practised in a hall in Quay Street and then put in on at two bob a head at the Queen’s theatre. It was a success. When we finished our play we would all go over to the hall and have a cup of tea.

That was how I met my wife Jean Stewart. I would drive her home to East Bundaberg after the show. I was lucky; I never seemed to get dunked in the horse trough by the east Bundaberg boys, who did not like their girls going out with a boy from the other side of town. Jean was later sent to J.C.Williamson’s in Brisbane so that she could train the chorus line to dance.”

All the Stewart family were very musical. An extract taken from the local newspaper article written on her family the Stewarts in 1940 says “Musical Family ... it is known they were all a musical family, several of the family joining the Salvation Army Band here in Bundaberg. The Stewart Family did not take a prominent part in local governing bodies but were all members of the Eisteddfod and Church Choirs. Some appeared as soloists and duettists at Local concerts. It is pleasing to known that the musical talent is being carried on in the person of Miss Jean Stewart as a soloist and conductor of the Presbyterian Junior Choir.” The Jean Stewart mentioned in the Article is her cousin.

At St Andrews Presbyterian Church, Maryborough Street, Bundaberg at the age of 26, on the 8th August 1925 she married the love of her life Walter John Limpus, an Auctioneer of Woondooma Street Bundaberg. They remained married for 64 Years until death parted them. They had two children Allan and Colin who both still live in Bundaberg.

Walter John Limpus was born 17 July 1899 in Gin Gin Qld, the third son of Charles Morland Limpus and Susannah Salrage.

Jean had an interest in sport even as a young woman and joined the Original Sunnyside Croquet Club some time in the 1920’s -early 1930’s, as by 1936 she was Club President. The Croquet Club was a Social Club for women founded in 1926 by Mrs Cattermull at her home in Crofton Street. Mrs Cattermull who was the foundation President had a huge house which occupied the area now used by the Friendlies Society. She and her husband had interests in the Sunnyside Sugar Plantation, and the fledgling Croquet club was called “Sunnyside” after this Plantation. Mrs Cattermull was the daughter of Edward Turner the original owner of Sunnyside Sugar Plantation which he had settled on in the 1870’s. …“The former owner of Sunnyside Plantation Mr Edward Turner, a prominent Bundaberg business person, planted the weeping fig trees in front of his house in 1874, Ms Gardiner said. The property then went on to become an important sugar farm and juicing mill in Bundaberg. Sugar was first cut at Sunnyside in 1881 and the juicing mill commenced operations in 1884, piping juice three miles to a refinery for treatment. Sunnyside was one of the few plantations in Bundaberg able to produce sugar and juice during the drought of 1900-1903.”… Fiona Gardiner, Heritage Director from the Department of Environment and Heritage Protection .

Extract from Summer Memories through Winter Eyes ... Wally Limpus
“Mrs Cattermull called her home in town ”Sunnyside after her Cane farm. She invited my wife to play croquet there. When the Club expanded, we moved to the present day site of the Croquet Club at Thompson Park in Walker Street. My Wife was captain of the Queensland State team for five years in succession. Queensland won twice while she was captain.”

Allan, Jean’s son who was born in 1931 was told by his mother that the footpath in front of the house was unmade and very bumpy as she had trouble wheeling him in his pram to her Croquet Games.
Dress Code in those days was a long skirt, with white stockings, long sleeved white blouse and a wide brimmed white hat [boater]. In summer the ladies would wear mittens to combat sunburn. The Ladies all learnt to play using the mallet by striking the ball from their side, not as many of us do today through our legs.

When the Sunnyside Club was thinking of expanding in 1939 it was Jean and her husband Walter who through their connections with the Mayor of Bundaberg Mr Fred. Buss[a good friend of theirs] gave them a solution. They took him to Thompson Park on the corner of Walker and Maryborough streets which at that time was an “overgrown mess”. He said “Leave it to me” and guess what the Sunnyside Croquet Club and Lawns, as we know it today was founded.

Part of the council condition was that the Sunnyside Club had to build a small Club house. Although Sunnyside had some money Jean lent the Club the money interest free to build this building in 1939. The Club paid the loan back by holding Penny Raffles Etc. In 1945 Sunny Side extended their Club House to almost what it is today. The original Thompson site only had one lawn. This was eventually made into two lawns, and now we have three. Our third lawn a much smaller lawn, basically a practice lawn.

Her husband Walter would work at the club [possibly as green keeper] until eventually joining. At the age of 92 just before he died he was still playing croquet at the club. They are both Life members of Sunnyside.

On a trip to Toowoomba they saw the white wooden edges that stop the Croquet ball from leaving the courts and Walter thought them a very good idea. When he came back he made a set of them for Sunnyside, and as far as I know the originals borders are still in use today.

By 1934 at the age of 36 Jean was Club Champion. Just goes to show that Croquet is not just for the older person. One of her greatest friends was Olga Whittred nee Kourikoski who was a childhood friend and had been at school with her. Olga had married in 1919 Henry George Whittred and to keep it in the family Jean’s sister Alice had married James Sydney Whittred his brother. Olga was a member of the Sunnyside Club and was a very good player as she was runner 1938 in the Qld Single Handicap . She often partnered Jean.

Jean was a remarkable sports person and her achievements in Croquet are as follows.
She was Club Champion again from 1936,1937,1938,1939,1940,1941,1942 , 1944, 1946, 1948,1949,1950,1951,1952,1953 ,and again in1957,1959,1960,1961,1962,1963,1964,1965,1966 , and lastly in 1970.

She was President of Sunnyside Club from 1939, 1940, 1941, 1942, 1943 and then again 1948,1949,1950,1951,1952,1953,1954,1955,1956,1957,1958, 1959,1960, 1961,1962,1963 ,1964 , and again 1967,1968

She was the Q.C.A. State President 1973, 1974, and 1975.
She was also National President and was a Patron of Both State and National Croquet.

And her achievements in Interstate Croquet are to be as yet beaten by any one in our Club Members.

Interstate Croquet

Presidents Trophy in 1939 ... Morning Bulletin (Rockhampton, Qld. : 1878 – 1954) Friday 25 August 1939 … CROQUET TOURNAMENT … BRISBANE. August 24 ... Mesdames Limpus and Wittred (Bundaberg) scored a good win by 26 to 21 over Mesdames Lowery and McCreath (New Zealand) in the first round of the championship doubles at the Queensland Croquet tournament today.
The Courier-Mail (Brisbane, Qld. : 1933 – 1954) Tuesday 29 August 1939 ... Mrs. Limpus (Bundaberg) registered another victory in the president’s, trophy series with a comfortable win over Miss Hetherington, 26-10.
The Courier-Mail (Brisbane, Qld. : 1933 – 1954) Friday 8 September 1939 ... Mrs. Limpus, Bundaberg. won her section of the president’s trophy. Mrs. Limpus 26, v Mr. McCreath 17.
The Courier-Mail (Brisbane, Qld. : 1933 – 1954) Wednesday 13 September 1939 ... Croquet Journey Ends ... Mrs Gillespie Wins City Title defeating Mrs. E. D. Kenyon 26-18, 26-24, Mrs. A. J. Gillespie, of Stephens, won the metropolitan championship at the intenational croquet tournament concluded yesterday. Mrs. LIMPUS (Bundaberg) won The Presidents Trophy.

Other Achievements

1949 Consolation Handicap A & junior A grade Runner up in 1949

In 1952 she was in Tasmania as a Member of the Queensland team in the Australian croquet carnival held in Launceston……Examiner (Launceston, Tas. : 1900 – 1954) Friday 21 November 1952…. Davies photo ….New-Found COUSINS, Mrs. W. H. Rateliff (left), of Steele St., Devonport, and Mrs. W. J. Limpus, of Bundaberg (Q’ld.), pictured yesterday in Launceston when they met for the first time. Their paths had not crossed until Mrs. Limpus visited Launceston as a member of the Queensland team in the Australian croquet carnival. Their mothers were sisters. They came to Australia from England as children, but went to opposite ends of the country on marriage. Mrs. Limpus casually mentioned to a Devonport croquet player that she had a cousin in Tasmania, and a meeting was arranged. As this picture was taken, Mrs. Limpus said she regretted she would be leaving on Saturday as she feared she would not have time to finish her talk with her new-found cousin. They were however, making the most of their opportunity.

1955 Country Event Handicap
1957 Gold Medal Runner up
1958 A.C.C. Gold Medal Runner up
1958 Member Qld Test Team
1959 A.C.C. Gold Medal Runner up
1959 Qld Singles Runner up
1959 Member Qld Teat Team
1960 C/Ship Singles Runner up
1960 member Qld Teat Team Winners A.C.C. Cup Perth
1961 Gold Medal Event Runner up
1961 Qld Test Team Member
1962 Qld singles Handicap Runner up
1962 Qld doubles handicap Mrs W Limpus and partner
1962 Member C/Ship Singles Runner Up
1963 Captain Qld Team in 1963 Winners the A.C.C. Cup in Adelaide
1963 Australian Doubles Championship in Adelaide with Partner
1963 Q.C.A Open Singles Championship Runner up
1963 Queensland Singles Championship Runner up
1963 Gibson Gold Medal
1964 Captain Qld. Test Team
1964 Presidents Trophy 1st Division
1965 Captain Qld Teat Team
1965 Qld Singles Championship
1965 Q.C.A open Singles C/ship Open Runner up
1965 Qld Doubles Championship with Partner Runner up
1965 A.C.C. Gold Medal Runner up
1966 Qld Test Team Member
1967 Captain Qld Test Team
1968 A.C.C. Gold Medal Runner up
1968 Qld Test Team Member
1969 Qld Test Team Member
1970 Qld Doubles C/Ship Runner up Mrs W Limpus and Mrs J Hunt
1970 Qld Test Team Member
1971 Q.C.A. Gold Medal Runner up
1974 Captain Qld Test Team
1975 Member Qld Test Team

Jean was also instrumental in organising the first Sunnyside Tournament which is now called The Burnett Tournament held every two years, alternating jointly between the Sunnyside Club and the Bundaberg Croquet Club.

Jean was not only a Croquet player she played Bowls and joined the Bundaberg Bowling Club where she won many local as well State competitions. She started her bowling career post war. Her husband Walter belonged to the Tantitha Bowling Club. Their exploits can be seen on Honour Boards at both Clubs.

Jean was a very active member of the CWA and during WW2 she and the other members would make camouflage nets, knit socks and generally do their bit for the war effort.In her later years she was unwell for several years. About two years before she died she had a fall, where she went into a coma from which she never really came out off. Her last year was spent in Bundaberg Nursing Home, Walker Street where she, died on the 14 Oct 1988 at the age of 89 just one month off turning 90 years old and was buried in the Limpus family plot, in the Bundaberg General cemetery with Walters parents. Walter John Limpus passed away 5 years later at the age of 93 also one month off turning 94 and is buried with her. She was sadly missed by all who knew her, a great lady and even greater Croquet Player. One of our best.

In remembrance of her the Sunnyside Club donated the 'Jean Limpus Memorial Trophy' 2nd division at State Level.

Special Thanks to Allan Limpus her son who supplied personal details of her life.

Author
Chrissy Wellborne
Secretary Sunnyside Croquet Club.


Other Members of the Sunny Side Club who have achieved Recognition as State Players are:

Interstate Croquet

1930 British Silver Medal Mrs G. Arnold
1938 Qld single Handicap Runner up Mrs H Whittred
1945 C.Grade Championship Mrs A Gooderham Winner and Runner up Mrs H Pushack
1945 B&C Grade Handicap Doubles Mrs A Gooderham and Mrs W. McKay
1945 B&C Grade Handicap Doubles Runner up Mrs H Pushack and Mrs G Brasch
1947 Brale Memorial Mrs H. Pushack
1947 Singles handicap country Event Mrs G. Tallon
1947 B& C Grade handicap Doubles Mrs A Gooderham and Mrs G. Tallon
1948 Bale Memorial Runner up Mrs H. Pushack
1949 Consolation Handicap B&C Grade Mrs J.A. Christensen with Runner up being Mrs C. Rawlings
1949 Country Event handicap Mrs J.A. Christensen
1949 Foggitt Memorial Mrs C. Rawlings
1951 B&C Grade Handicap Runner up Mrs J.A. Christensen
1953 C.Grade Championship Mrs E. Morton
1953 B& C Grade Handicap Mrs E Morton
1953 B&C Grade Handicap Country Mrs E Morton
1953 B&C Grade Doubles Mrs J. Lindholt and Mrs E Morton
1954 B Grade championship Mrs E Morton
1954 B&C Grade Championship Runners up Mrs G Brasch and Mrs E Morton
1954 Single Handicap Country Event runner up Mrs J Lindholt.
1956 Presidents Trophy C Grade Mrs H. Hindle
1957 Country Event Handicap Runner up Mrs J. Lindholt
1958 Junior Championship Mrs H Hindle
1964 Bronze Medal C Grade Mrs J. Ferguson
1971 CQA Gold Medal Runner up Mrs J. Hunt
1975 Gibson gold Medal Runner up Mrs J. Ferguson
1976 C.Q.A. Gold Medal Mrs J Ferguson
1977 Gibson Gold Medal Runner up Mrs C. Pownall
1977 C.Q.A Medal runner up Mrs C. Pownall
1977 C.Q.A. Open singles C/ship Mrs C Pownall
1980 Gibson Gold Medal Runner up Mrs C Pownall
1981 Gibson Gold Medal Runner up Mrs J Ferguson
1981 Qld Doubles C/Ship Mrs C Pownall and Partner
1992 3rd Division State singles championship Mr J Finemore
1992 3rd and 4th State doubles C/ships Mr J. Finemore and partner
1993 3rd Div State Singles C/Ship Mr. J. Finemore
1993 3rd & 4th Div, doubles C/ship Runner up Mrs and Mr. J. Finemore
1994 3rd & $th Div. State Doubles C/Ships Winners Jand B Finnemore
1995 Qld Sate Singles Handicap 2nd Division Runner up Mr. J. Finnemore

The Friendlies Hospital Bundaberg History

St Vincent’s Hospital had previously been a family home for the Cattermull’s who had purchased the building from the Church of England in 1919 who had been operating a Grammar School from the building. Miss Agnes Niovakosk was the buildings next owner who transformed the home into the Private General Nursing St Vincent’s Hospital, opening in 1924 to meet the growing community need for hospital services. It was Miss Novakoski who the Friendly Society Medical Institute purchased the hospital from some 60 years ago, creating Bundaberg’s Friendly Society Private Hospital.
At the time of purchase St Vincent’s Hospital was simply a small bush hospital operated from a large timber Queenslander surrounded by large sweeping verandahs that housed nursing quarters under them, a vegetable garden grew within the grounds of the hospital with the garden’s yield used in the hospital’s daily meals

Jean Helen Limpus

L to R: Dulcie Donovan, Sheilagh McDonald, Mrs Croan, Nell Huren (Pres ACC 1963-1966), Col Saalfield, Jean Limpus

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