Mid North Coast Pioneers - Newcastle to Lismore and beyond

Jean Brandon SNOWSILLAge: 97 years19092006

Name
Jean Brandon SNOWSILL
Given names
Jean Brandon
Surname
SNOWSILL
Married name
Jean Brandon BUCKLE
Birth 1909 34 26
MarriageStanley Thomas BUCKLEView this family
yes

Birth of a brotherAlan Brandon “Soot” SNOWSILL
July 13, 1917 (Age 8 years)
Citation details: SNOWSILL Alan Brandon (Soot) Death notice 14JUN1970 Death 52 late of Fiji Sydney Morning Herald 15JUN1970
Note: The death notice for Alan includes the information that he was 52 years of age at the time of his death in 1970.
Marriage of a siblingSydney Eric Brandon SNOWSILLEna Margaret BOSSLEYView this family
September 6, 1929 (Age 20 years)
Marriage of a siblingHarold Frederick Brandon SNOWSILLIrene Hunter McLENNANView this family
Type: Religious marriage
1930 (Age 21 years)
Address: Sports Club Room
Publication: Newspaper; NSW; 1888 - 1954
Citation details: Friday 25 July 1930, page 5
Marriage of a siblingWilliam Herbert Brandon SNOWSILLDorothy CLARKView this family
July 18, 1942 (Age 33 years)
Death of a brotherSydney Eric Brandon SNOWSILL
June 13, 1954 (Age 45 years)
Death of a fatherSydney Herbert Brandon SNOWSILL
September 1956 (Age 47 years)
Note: Tony Snowsill advises that these details are uncertain.
Death of a brotherAlan Brandon “Soot” SNOWSILL
June 14, 1970 (Age 61 years)
Address: Neringah Home of Peace
Cause: Brain tumour
Citation details: 19494/1970 SNOWSILL ALAN BRANDON SYDNEY ROBERT B JESSIE ST LEONARDS
Citation details: SNOWSILL Alan Brandon (Soot) Death notice 14JUN1970 Death 52 late of Fiji Sydney Morning Herald 15JUN1970
Cremation of a brotherAlan Brandon “Soot” SNOWSILL
June 17, 1970 (Age 61 years)
Address: Northern Suburbs Crematorium
Death of a motherMinnie Jessie Alice SHAVE
July 8, 1971 (Age 62 years)
Citation details: 56426/1971 SNOWSILL JESSIE MINNIE A HARRY THOMAS MARTHA JANE ST LEONARDS
Citation details: SNOWSILL Jessie Minnie Alice Death notice 08JUL1971 Death 88 formerly of Fiji Sydney Morning Herald 10JUL1971
Death of a brotherHarold Frederick Brandon SNOWSILL
August 20, 1985 (Age 76 years)
Citation details: 22160/1985 SNOWSILL HAROLD FREDERICK BRANDON SYDNEY HERBERT BRANDON JESSIE MINNIE
Citation details: SNOWSILL Harold Frederick Brandon Death notice 20AUG1985 Death 82 late of Fiji Sydney Morning Herald 24AUG1985
Death of a husbandStanley Thomas BUCKLE
October 15, 1991 (Age 82 years)

Citation details: BUCKLE Stanley Thomas Death notice 15OCT1991 Death 84 late of Castlecrag, formerly of Fiji Sydney Morning Herald 16OCT1991
Death of a brotherWilliam Herbert Brandon SNOWSILL
June 15, 1995 (Age 86 years)

Citation details: SNOWSILL William Herbert Brandon Death notice 15JUN1995 Death 88 late of Harbord Sydney Morning Herald 17JUN1995
Death September 2, 2006 (Age 97 years)

Citation details: BUCKLE Jean Brandon Death notice 02SEP2006 Death 92 Sydney Morning Herald 05SEP2006
Obituary after September 2006 ( after death)

Publication: https://fijilandofourfathers.com/sydney-snowsill/
Text:

Jean Brandon Buckle was my aunt, my father’s sister. My father was the late Mr Alan (Soot) Snowsill, who died in June 1970.

Jean grew up in the small town of Nausori, Fiji, which is some 25 klm from Suva, the capital of Fiji. The town is situated on the Rewa River. Jean was born in Nausori in 1914. Jean, like her mother, Jessie Minnie Alice Snowsill (nee Shave) loved and respected the Rewa River. The Rewa River is the confluence of several Rivers which drain the mountainous highlands of Viti Levu, Fiji’s largest island.

Jean’s father was Sydney Herbert Brandon Snowsill. Her nephew was Sydney Brandon Snowsill.

To know Jean one must know her background. Jean’s mother, our grandmother, Jessie, was born in Navutoka in 1882, near Vunidawa, in the far upper reaches of the Wainimala River. This river is one of the tributaries to the Rewa River.

Can you imagine what life was like in those days in such a remote place? Daily life was a trial which we could not imagine. As a youngster Jessie and her family had, at times, to hide in caves when Fijian Tribes were at war with each other.

Jessie’s father was a planter. He tried growing, onions, potatoes and cotton all of which failed as the area was too humid and had too high a rainfall. He later tried horse rising and then he became a farm manager for others in the area. Jessie’s father died when she was very young and she was brought up by the Koster Family who operated a huge estate in the vicinity. The Koster’s found some success at horse, cattle and sheep rising after their crop and spice growing trials also failed.

Jessie Minnie Shave, Jean’s Mother, married at aged 20 in 1902 in Suva and Jean was born the 4th of five Children. Jean had three elder brothers, Harold, Sydney, known as Eric, William, and a younger brother, Alan, who was my father; all have pre deceased her. Jean’s mother, Jessie, Nana to some, was a hard taskmaster and strict disciplinarian and passed on her strength of character to Jean. According to Betty Freeman (see autobiography Fiji – Memory Hold The Door), a childhood friend of Jean at Rarawai, Jessie was known in Rarawai as Mrs Snowie and

"she could deal with any local problem. She could advise on removing rust or mildew from fabric, on ridding a house of ants, silverfish, hornets and bees. She was more experienced than a recently arrived medico in dealing with childhood ailments: prickly-heat, hives, teething problems, ringworm, boils, splinters, ear-ache and thrush. She would provide recipes for native vegetables and fruit, advise on the specific firewood required for baking cakes, and explain the adjustments necessary for a wood-stove damper. Typical horticulture and tension difficulties in a treadle sewing machine also fell within her range. (Ed. Mrs Freeman often refers to my friend Jean – meaning Jean Snowsill later Jean Buckle.)"

Aunty Jean developed a caring nature as a child. Aunty Jean would sit beside my father when he first went to the CSR School to translate what the teacher was telling him. This was because my father had, to a significant extent, been brought up by an Indian ‘Di’ (nurse/babysitter) all his young life and only spoke Hindustani (Hindi) at that time. This was not unusual, as many CSR children grew up to be first fluent in Hindi, then later in Fijian and English. Children were “seen and not heard”. Jean had mastered several dialects of these diverse languages.

Being the caring and compassionate person she was Aunty Jean decided she would like to be a nurse and went to nursing college first in Suva at the CWM, and later to New Plymouth, in New Zealand. Coincidentally, many years later, I later went to boarding school in New Plymouth. Upon her return to Fiji she worked for the CSR as their nursing sister in their dispensaries based in Lautoka and later in Ba and in the Ba Cottage and Lautoka Hospitals. In Lautoka she met a young engineer, Mr Stan Buckle, who worked for “the company”, and they married.

Jean was well known as a most efficient and effective nursing Sister in Lautoka and Ba. Her nursing skills were of the highest order and these coupled with her knowledge of the local languages made her a most valuable staff member for the CSR Company. The mill in those days employed up to 500 people when the mill was “crushing”. She nursed many company personnel back to health in a time when today’s medicines were not invented and superior nursing techniques was the difference between life and death.

Her expertise as a nurse was often tested and never found to be wanting. She was very highly thought of by the company, the CSR, and all who knew her. Interestingly, Aunty Jean was nursing sister to a young CSR doctor, Dr Gerry Fisher, whose daughter Jo I married in 1979. Another coincidence! I spoke to Dr Gerry Fisher today and he said he had “a great affection for her and she was a very nice lady who was most efficient and practical.”

During Jean’s early childhood the family spent many years at Nausori, a town on the Rewa River, and Jean would have spent countless hours on the River and playing on its surrounds. The Rewa is about 800 metres wide at Nausori. “The River”, was either

  • In flood
  • Running slow
  • Running high
  • Running swift and dangerous

all depending on the rains at the headwaters of the numerous smaller rivers which fed the Rewa River. The river was used to transport all manner of produce and livestock down to Nausori to the markets there. The river was also navigable from the ocean to the town.

Jeans mother, Jessie, taught her daughter all about the river, and together their great love for the River developed. This same love and respect developed for the many people who lived beside the river.

To many the Rewa River has an almost spiritual feeling about it. There is always a cooling breeze on the river and being on the river lifts ones spirit….it often looks quiet and slow flowing but it has great power and dangerous currents. This River gets into your being, your “self”, into your blood so to speak, not only because one’s daily life was so dependent upon the river.

In Fiji the Fijians speak of their MANA, their spirit, being part of their “self”, and in these times Jean, like her, mother, Jessie, would have developed her own MANA and part of it involved the Rewa River of her childhood.

Those of us born in Fiji and who grew up in Fiji, have a particular affinity with one another, a special magic or compulsion which I cannot explain to you … because English has not the words…

Aunty Jean grew to be a caring, compassionate, considerate and courteous woman. She had a determination about her and wanted to accomplish and do well; she had a certain confidence about her which inspired her friends and work colleagues to achieve, and to be enthusiastic about their goals and particularly their nursing. Aunty Jean was strong and resilient when needs be and gentle and generous as circumstances necessitated. As a nurse Aunty Jean demanded order, cleanliness and insisted upon the determination to succeed of herself and work colleagues. She displayed self-discipline and purposefulness in all she did and achieved. She was patient and tolerant demonstrating understanding and she persevered with all she did. She always responded with humility and modesty when her professional achievements were mentioned.

Before Jean’s mother, Jessie Snowsill, died Jessie asked that her ashes be scattered over the Rewa River. And they were … Several baskets of Hibiscus were gathered and Aunty Jean and Uncle Stan and my mother, Shirley, scattered Nana’s (Jessie’s), ashes on this great river, from the Rewa River bridge, sometime after grandmother’s death. My mother said it was a very moving experience.

Jean has asked that her own ashes also be scattered upon the Rewa River; the River beside which she was born and raised; the River that meant so much to her and her mother and perhaps they will be together again in spirit.

Fiji gained much from Jean Buckle’s hard work, dedicated attention to her chosen profession, and, in general, her skills as a nurse and her being a compassionate, generous human being. Her family has benefited from her ability to nurture and develop her children and her grandchildren.

In life if one strives to do ones best for society as a human being , as a Christian, one could do well to look upon the contribution of Jean Buckle and take note how this can be achieved.

In celebrating the life of Jean Buckle, it is the joy of life we celebrate. Jean’s life! We celebrate the joys and achievements of her life. Jean’s contribution to our society is celebrated. We celebrate because we are image-bearers of the Creator and we are called to be creative. We celebrate the freedom we have in our beliefs. We celebrate the joy of life which comes from living within the community of our deity. We celebrate the good works God has done in our midst often working through us.

So while we mourn Jean’s death we must also celebrate her life, her joys, her creativity and her contribution to our society.

Entry By: R A B (Tony) Snowsill, Chatswood, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia.

Family with parents - View this family
father
mother
Marriage: February 11, 1902Suva, , Central, Fiji
11 months
elder brother
2 years
elder brother
2 years
elder brother
3 years
herself
9 years
younger brother
Family with Stanley Thomas BUCKLE - View this family
husband
herself
Marriage:

BirthSnowsill Family Tree
MarriageSnowsill Family Tree
DeathWeb Site - The Ryerson Index
Citation details: BUCKLE Jean Brandon Death notice 02SEP2006 Death 92 Sydney Morning Herald 05SEP2006
ObituaryWeb Site - Fiji Land of Our Fathers
Publication: https://fijilandofourfathers.com/sydney-snowsill/
Text:

Jean Brandon Buckle was my aunt, my father’s sister. My father was the late Mr Alan (Soot) Snowsill, who died in June 1970.

Jean grew up in the small town of Nausori, Fiji, which is some 25 klm from Suva, the capital of Fiji. The town is situated on the Rewa River. Jean was born in Nausori in 1914. Jean, like her mother, Jessie Minnie Alice Snowsill (nee Shave) loved and respected the Rewa River. The Rewa River is the confluence of several Rivers which drain the mountainous highlands of Viti Levu, Fiji’s largest island.

Jean’s father was Sydney Herbert Brandon Snowsill. Her nephew was Sydney Brandon Snowsill.

To know Jean one must know her background. Jean’s mother, our grandmother, Jessie, was born in Navutoka in 1882, near Vunidawa, in the far upper reaches of the Wainimala River. This river is one of the tributaries to the Rewa River.

Can you imagine what life was like in those days in such a remote place? Daily life was a trial which we could not imagine. As a youngster Jessie and her family had, at times, to hide in caves when Fijian Tribes were at war with each other.

Jessie’s father was a planter. He tried growing, onions, potatoes and cotton all of which failed as the area was too humid and had too high a rainfall. He later tried horse rising and then he became a farm manager for others in the area. Jessie’s father died when she was very young and she was brought up by the Koster Family who operated a huge estate in the vicinity. The Koster’s found some success at horse, cattle and sheep rising after their crop and spice growing trials also failed.

Jessie Minnie Shave, Jean’s Mother, married at aged 20 in 1902 in Suva and Jean was born the 4th of five Children. Jean had three elder brothers, Harold, Sydney, known as Eric, William, and a younger brother, Alan, who was my father; all have pre deceased her. Jean’s mother, Jessie, Nana to some, was a hard taskmaster and strict disciplinarian and passed on her strength of character to Jean. According to Betty Freeman (see autobiography Fiji – Memory Hold The Door), a childhood friend of Jean at Rarawai, Jessie was known in Rarawai as Mrs Snowie and

"she could deal with any local problem. She could advise on removing rust or mildew from fabric, on ridding a house of ants, silverfish, hornets and bees. She was more experienced than a recently arrived medico in dealing with childhood ailments: prickly-heat, hives, teething problems, ringworm, boils, splinters, ear-ache and thrush. She would provide recipes for native vegetables and fruit, advise on the specific firewood required for baking cakes, and explain the adjustments necessary for a wood-stove damper. Typical horticulture and tension difficulties in a treadle sewing machine also fell within her range. (Ed. Mrs Freeman often refers to my friend Jean – meaning Jean Snowsill later Jean Buckle.)"

Aunty Jean developed a caring nature as a child. Aunty Jean would sit beside my father when he first went to the CSR School to translate what the teacher was telling him. This was because my father had, to a significant extent, been brought up by an Indian ‘Di’ (nurse/babysitter) all his young life and only spoke Hindustani (Hindi) at that time. This was not unusual, as many CSR children grew up to be first fluent in Hindi, then later in Fijian and English. Children were “seen and not heard”. Jean had mastered several dialects of these diverse languages.

Being the caring and compassionate person she was Aunty Jean decided she would like to be a nurse and went to nursing college first in Suva at the CWM, and later to New Plymouth, in New Zealand. Coincidentally, many years later, I later went to boarding school in New Plymouth. Upon her return to Fiji she worked for the CSR as their nursing sister in their dispensaries based in Lautoka and later in Ba and in the Ba Cottage and Lautoka Hospitals. In Lautoka she met a young engineer, Mr Stan Buckle, who worked for “the company”, and they married.

Jean was well known as a most efficient and effective nursing Sister in Lautoka and Ba. Her nursing skills were of the highest order and these coupled with her knowledge of the local languages made her a most valuable staff member for the CSR Company. The mill in those days employed up to 500 people when the mill was “crushing”. She nursed many company personnel back to health in a time when today’s medicines were not invented and superior nursing techniques was the difference between life and death.

Her expertise as a nurse was often tested and never found to be wanting. She was very highly thought of by the company, the CSR, and all who knew her. Interestingly, Aunty Jean was nursing sister to a young CSR doctor, Dr Gerry Fisher, whose daughter Jo I married in 1979. Another coincidence! I spoke to Dr Gerry Fisher today and he said he had “a great affection for her and she was a very nice lady who was most efficient and practical.”

During Jean’s early childhood the family spent many years at Nausori, a town on the Rewa River, and Jean would have spent countless hours on the River and playing on its surrounds. The Rewa is about 800 metres wide at Nausori. “The River”, was either

  • In flood
  • Running slow
  • Running high
  • Running swift and dangerous

all depending on the rains at the headwaters of the numerous smaller rivers which fed the Rewa River. The river was used to transport all manner of produce and livestock down to Nausori to the markets there. The river was also navigable from the ocean to the town.

Jeans mother, Jessie, taught her daughter all about the river, and together their great love for the River developed. This same love and respect developed for the many people who lived beside the river.

To many the Rewa River has an almost spiritual feeling about it. There is always a cooling breeze on the river and being on the river lifts ones spirit….it often looks quiet and slow flowing but it has great power and dangerous currents. This River gets into your being, your “self”, into your blood so to speak, not only because one’s daily life was so dependent upon the river.

In Fiji the Fijians speak of their MANA, their spirit, being part of their “self”, and in these times Jean, like her, mother, Jessie, would have developed her own MANA and part of it involved the Rewa River of her childhood.

Those of us born in Fiji and who grew up in Fiji, have a particular affinity with one another, a special magic or compulsion which I cannot explain to you … because English has not the words…

Aunty Jean grew to be a caring, compassionate, considerate and courteous woman. She had a determination about her and wanted to accomplish and do well; she had a certain confidence about her which inspired her friends and work colleagues to achieve, and to be enthusiastic about their goals and particularly their nursing. Aunty Jean was strong and resilient when needs be and gentle and generous as circumstances necessitated. As a nurse Aunty Jean demanded order, cleanliness and insisted upon the determination to succeed of herself and work colleagues. She displayed self-discipline and purposefulness in all she did and achieved. She was patient and tolerant demonstrating understanding and she persevered with all she did. She always responded with humility and modesty when her professional achievements were mentioned.

Before Jean’s mother, Jessie Snowsill, died Jessie asked that her ashes be scattered over the Rewa River. And they were … Several baskets of Hibiscus were gathered and Aunty Jean and Uncle Stan and my mother, Shirley, scattered Nana’s (Jessie’s), ashes on this great river, from the Rewa River bridge, sometime after grandmother’s death. My mother said it was a very moving experience.

Jean has asked that her own ashes also be scattered upon the Rewa River; the River beside which she was born and raised; the River that meant so much to her and her mother and perhaps they will be together again in spirit.

Fiji gained much from Jean Buckle’s hard work, dedicated attention to her chosen profession, and, in general, her skills as a nurse and her being a compassionate, generous human being. Her family has benefited from her ability to nurture and develop her children and her grandchildren.

In life if one strives to do ones best for society as a human being , as a Christian, one could do well to look upon the contribution of Jean Buckle and take note how this can be achieved.

In celebrating the life of Jean Buckle, it is the joy of life we celebrate. Jean’s life! We celebrate the joys and achievements of her life. Jean’s contribution to our society is celebrated. We celebrate because we are image-bearers of the Creator and we are called to be creative. We celebrate the freedom we have in our beliefs. We celebrate the joy of life which comes from living within the community of our deity. We celebrate the good works God has done in our midst often working through us.

So while we mourn Jean’s death we must also celebrate her life, her joys, her creativity and her contribution to our society.

Entry By: R A B (Tony) Snowsill, Chatswood, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia.