Florence Nightingale? retires

Jenny Batson has retired after a 35-year nursing career.
Jenny Batson has retired after a 35-year nursing career.

Don't promise more than you can deliver, but deliver more than you promise is one of the guiding principles of Jenny Batson, who has earned her reputation as Mullumbimby's Florence Nightingale in a nursing career spanning 35 years in the town.

And now Jenny, the lady with the lamp who never ignored a call to come, however late, has retired.

She leaves her client list in the capable hands of her nursing partner of 10 years, Kim Cook.

Jenny's specialty is caring for people referred by doctors through the Department of Veterans Affairs, a service she pioneered after a referral by local GP Bill Alderman.

Now the service is common place.

The legendary publican MA Ring of Billinudgel was one of her first clients and the late Elaine Norman her longest.

She cared for Mrs Norman for 18 years.

Times have changed, and her old fashioned values of putting client care first is outmoded in the 'category for costing' style of the modern world.

But that's the only way I have known how to do it, she said.

From now on, Jenny's vacuum cleaner will be well used.

"My house is going to be much cleaner, and I'm going to annoy my son-in-law by being a grandmother," she said.

There will be travelling with her husband, Phillip, and more time for the various community causes she has supported for many years.

This Byron Shire Citizen of the Year (1999) will reserve time for herself and her family, and although her clients are sad that she has retired she goes with their blessing.

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