Simply Mavis – by Margaret Hamilton

Book Review: –

This book is a biography written by a 90 year old nurse/midwife who was one of a family of eighteen children born on the Murchison Goldfields just after the turn of the century (early 1900’s). From humble beginnings Mavis succeeds in fulfilling her training at Royal Perth Hospital and was to become the matron of the Pemberton Hospital. She was never to marry herself.

This is an example of a dedicated life with no great dramas but a life full od sincerity and an uncompromising attitude to life. Mavis could be described as one of Australias uncomplicated achievers.’

McGillivray/Hossack Family

The above photograph depicts the following:-
Lady seated far left is Matilda Hossack (Mavis’s Aunt)
The young boy behind her is Charles McGillivray jnr
Man in centre seated is Charles McGillivray Snr
Young boy in front of him is Archibald Hay McGillivray
Young woman standing at rear on left is Margaret Jane McGillivray
Beside her is Jessie McGillivray jnr
Young man in far right corner is David McGillivray
Woman seated on rifght is Jessie McGillivray Snr ,nee Hossack
Baby on her knee is Isabella McGillivray
Little girl to her left is Matilda May McGillivray

Mavis was born in Lennonville on the 10th May 1905 and was called Matilda May McGillivray but was always known and Mavis. One of eighteen children, twelve boys and six girls. Only nine of the boys and  four girls were to grow to adulthood. The family moved around a lot so the children were all born in different places on the Goldfields such as Mount Magnet, Day Dawn, Younami and Cue.

Lennonville Battery

Her parents, Charles McGillivray and Jessie Hossack were from Scotland and married in Queensland and had their first child there, David McGillivray, before travelling to the west.  Charles McGillvray Snr was an only child and his widowed mother, Margaret Hossack, came with the family. She was a very experienced midwife (luckily for Mavis’s mother) and delivered many babies in the towns they lived in. When she was widowed to Charles father she re married the brother of Mavis’s mothers father so she has the same name as Jessie’s maiden name (complicated). It would make her a grandmother on both her father and her mothers side.

Mavis’s mother, Jessie McGillivray nee Hossack taken on her wedding day 7th March 1894   (She was just under 5ft tall)

The following two tabs change content below.
My name is Moya Sharp, I live in Kalgoorlie Western Australia and have worked most of my adult life in the history/museum industry. I have been passionate about history for as long as I can remember and in particular the history of my adopted home the Eastern Goldfields of Western Australia. Through my website I am committed to providing as many records and photographs free to any one who is interested in the family and local history of the region.

Latest posts by Moya Sharp (see all)



    Thank you, Chris

    Certainly an interesting life.

Leave a Reply