Diakonia UCA

The portal for Deacons in the Uniting Church in Australia

Diakonia UCA header image 2

Deaconess Lorna Latimer 27July1920-12March2009

June 1st, 2018 · No Comments · Deacon profiles, Obituraries

DEACONESS LORNA LATIMER 27 July 1920 – 12 March 2009

Lorna was born on the 27th July 1920, in “The Cottage Hospital” Diadem Street Lismore. Her parents were Ethel and Arthur Latimer. She arrived into the world with three older siblings, Arthur 13 years her senior, Jack 11 and Winifred 9. Winifred told Lorna the story of how excited she was going to school the next day and telling everyone about her new baby sister.
Lorna attended Lismore Primary School in Keen Street and Super Primary in North Lismore. At the end of her schooling Lorna cared for her parents in the family home.
After her parent’s death Lorna now in her early thirties, candidated for Order of Deaconess in the Methodist Church. She was accepted and moved to Sydney in March 1952 to complete her training. When she was appointed to the position she travelled all over NSW country and coastal areas doing God’s work.
Lorna worked for 5 years in Central Methodist Mission with Rev Dr Sir Alan Walker, well known on radio and for services in the Lyceum Theatre and as founder of Lifeline. Lorna tells the story of being on the ‘Trouble Team for Lifeline’ and being called out of church in the Lyceum Theatre on a Sunday night to assist a caller who needed food. Lorna remarked she never felt disgruntled at the workload, and she always felt she could manage. She told me if you start thinking about yourself what’s in it for me, then it’s time to get out of it.
In all she spent 25 years as a Deaconess. Her position entailed assisting the Minister of the congregation and mostly doing the same work as a minister. Lorna remarked in those days women were not ordained as ministers. At other times in her life she held the position of House Mistress for the Methodist Ladies College, Burwood. She said she was glad to get back on the circuit because being House Mistress was not easy. On the circuit again took her to Molong where she helped the small Methodist Church join with the Presbyterian Church and to see the congregation get back on their feet.
In 1972 Lorna sailed around the world on the Greek liner Britannis for about five months. She travelled through the Suez Canal, around England, Scotland and the Scandinavian countries, down the west side of Africa and around the Cape of Good Hope. She had her 52nd birthday on the high seas on her way home to NSW Australia via Perth. She found that each country had its own beauty and charm.
When Lorna returned to Sydney the Church asked her to work at Orange in the Methodist Church. However her sister Winifred became ill and Lorna returned home to Lismore for seven months to care for her. When she was well again Lorna went back to Deaconess work at Menindee, near Broken Hill.
Lorna retired from Deaconess duties in 1977 at about age 59 years. She came back to Lismore and lived with her sister.
But Lorna didn’t really retire altogether as she worked in Jarman as an Assistant Supervisor for six years helping out with Worship Services, exercise classes, doing the medications and as cook and bottle washer. Jarman had the same number of residents in those days as it does now. Lorna retired altogether in 1984 at age 64.
Lorna came to live in Caroona Jarman on 29th April 1991 aged 70 years. Her brother Jack came to her rescue and made the next eleven years here in Lismore very happy.
Lorna never married and had no children of her own. These facts she said never worried her as she has always felt part of a close family. She loved and appreciated her siblings’ children. Their worries were her worries and she regarded them as her children. Arthur had 2 children, Jack had 4 and Winifred had 5 children. So Lorna experienced children growing up through her nieces and nephews. She spoke of her family as being ‘very family orientated’ and as ‘sticking together’ and ‘supportive of each other’.
Lorna explained to me that the Church and her faith in Jesus Christ is another dimension to her life. It has been her backbone and her strength. Her instructions to me were not to try to find answers for there are no clear answers but to simply have faith.


No Comments so far ↓

There are no comments yet...Kick things off by filling out the form below.

Leave a Comment

You must log in to post a comment.