(26 March 1935 - 6 November 2018)
  • The Book of Jean
    Jean Dummett Eulogy 83 y.o 26.3.1935 to 6.11.2018
    Thank you for attending today.

    Jean wrote a book. Of course she didn’t sit down at a keyboard and type it. She was way too busy for that. Busy being a mother, being a wife and being a grandmother, traveling and adventuring and working and living life to the absolute fullest.

    Jean wrote her book in our hearts and our minds. And, we each have a unique set of chapters which we can share today in memory of this beautiful and amazing woman whom I am proud to call my mother.

    It is only recently that I realized that the volume of the book written by Jean that I own, is actually a “How to” manual.
    You see, Mum was many things and above all, to me, she was a teacher. Not your stand up out the front of a class on a pedestal style teacher, but a practical and lead by example style of teacher.
    Instructional, yes, but better still, her encouragement and supportive attributes were inspirational and motivational.
    Jeans enthusiasm for life, Her resilience to persist, maybe it was her stubbornness and determination to either achieve and without any doubt her courage and will to fight to survive that has rubbed off on me. As her son it has been a great school to attend.

    A little anecdote: My mothers maiden name was Chatting.
    Mum would often tell us that when she was a school girl her teacher would reprimand her for constantly talking in class she would say
    “Jean Chatting - “Chatting by name, Chatting by nature”

    As you all well know., Mum wasn’t short of a word.

    So here are just some of the chapters in the “Book of Jean”

    • How to be an evacuee child at the age of four (4), sent off to the English countryside to Devon during the second world war.
    • How to have a childhood and survive growing up in Battersea, London.
    • How to have the courage to up and leave your home and family in England in 1964 and emigrate to Australia on a six week passage by ship with two small boys.
    • How to start a new life in Australia as a ten pound pom.
    • How to land in Avalon Beach in 1965 to start a new life.
    • How to provide and raise two boys to teenagers and encourage and support them to swim, play rugby, sail, surf, appreciate music and enjoy camping in the great outdoors.
    • How to open your home to all the neighbourhood kids in our street.
    • The importance of family pets. How important it is to own and love an animal in the home. Even possums.
    • How to share your life with a broad cross section of people and be proud to call everyone a friend.
    • How to build and enjoy and appreciate the rewards of a garden
    • How to play the piano and enjoy the lessons. (Don’t mention roses recital concerts)
    • How to knit a perfect Aran jumper, scarf or new baby clothes with your eyes closed.
    • How to tell a story at the dinner table that we have all heard a thousand times before and we still let you finish it and laugh.
    • How to remove your foot from your mouth and continue talking.
    • How to learn and appreciate Jazz music and appreciate the sound of the big band.
    • How one masters the forgotten and lost art of writing and reading Pittman's Shorthand.
    • Only later, How to avoid the technological age and avoid how to use a computer, avoid using a mobile phone and avoid the internet.
    • How to open the best shop in Avalon. for 17 years “Hetty Belle Lingerie”. Providing delight, joy and pleasure to many women and men across Sydney. A lot of good friends made and good times had. A sad day when it closed. (I do miss working there on a Saturday)
    • How to Just Pop down to Avalon to get some milk. And come back two hours later after speaking to two dozen friends stopping you in the street.
    • How to buy a 24ft yacht and be part of the Avalon Sailing Club and enjoy sailing around Pittwater and BBQ’ing on the deck with friends.
    • How to hit the road and join the grey nomads, go camping and get on the Great Australian road trip.
    • How to keep your eye on your Bowl even if you only have one eye.
    • Mum was good at English Grammar. In particular prepositions. I was taught at school, The Definition of a Preposition: was anywhere a mouse could go. In, on, around, under,
    In reference to Jean and the Avalon Bowling Club
    Jeans interpretation of a preposition was anywhere you can park your car. Around the club, On the green, In the club, Under the club, and Through the club. (Mum loved that club.)

    • How to spoil grand children. With love, gifts, affection and laughter. (She loved you all and equally).
    • How to travel overseas with your partner, close friends and family and enjoy destinations great food and wine.
    • How to break bones and still come out laughing.
    (We lost count of how many breaks).
    • How to have 12 lives when cats only have 9.
    • How to test the A-Z of Medicine by experiencing and surviving medical conditions that would kill the average mortal. Meningitis, septicaemia, heart condition, Numerous broken bones, Detached retina, Partial blindness.
    and still drive a car.

    It would be fair to say that “Jean” could be a handful.
    She loved life and she loved those that surrounded her.
    She was always up for an adventure and embraced it head on.
    Re-reading some of these chapters has helped to ease my grief and sadness for the loss of my mother and our beloved Jean and our Grandma Jean.

    In recent times, Jean wrote a final set of chapters that aren’t as much fun, in fact, they are a bit hard going and tough to read.
    But they are perhaps her finest work.

    These include:

    • How to answer the question “How are you?” with “I’m fine.” And a smile, knowing full well you weren’t.
    • How to selflessly push through intense pain and discomfort to do stuff with others, such as enjoy a recent trip with family to Canberra for few days walking kms around the beautiful gardens of Floriade.
    • How not to whinge or complain when fate has dealt you another hand of shitty cards from the medical Journal.
    • How to smile through adversity.
    • How to die on your own terms and with dignity.


    As I said, tough reading. But- Thank you Jean. Thank you mum,
    We are all grateful and honored to have known you and to have been written into chapters of your life in the Book of Jean.

    Looking at everyone here today and knowing of others who would be here if they could, I know there is a huge amount of other material authored by Jean over the years and within the many social networks, community group involvement, local business associations, sporting clubs, volunteer groups, charity organizations and social circles she affiliated with. I am sure you have all got a story.

    I encourage to share those stories latter this afternoon as you will have the opportunity.

    Jean was a mother, a wife, and a grandmother and a friend to many.
    I know those chapters of Jean’s life are treasured and special and will continue to offer guidance and support and consolation for long after today.

    On a personal note. Thank you mum. If I were to take one Message from the “Book of Jean” it would be:
    Be strong, Be Positive, Grit your teeth and hang on and enjoy life and give it your best shot.

    Goodbye, Jean. Goodbye Mum. We will miss you.
    We will never forget you.

    With our love we thank you for everything.

    Thank you.
    Uploaded by Duncan Herbert
    • 10 months ago
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