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Esther Geddes

Female 1915 - 2003  (88 years)


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  • Name Esther Geddes 
    Born 12 Apr 1915  Ravensbourne, Dunedin, South Island, New Zealand Find all individuals with events at this location  [1
    Gender Female 
    Died 24 Aug 2003  Dunedin, Otago, New Zealand Find all individuals with events at this location  [1
    • Esther Lousia Tosh

      Esther Geddes was born in Oxford St Dunedin on 12 April 1915. She was the youngest child in a family of four (May, Dora & Bob). Her father was a drainage contractor, and her mother looked after the home and their small egg production business.

      Esther was educated at Forbury School. She was a bright child who enjoyed school and was particularly proud of her neat handwriting. She gained her proficiency, and, unlike most of her classmates went on to high school. She studied general business at King Edward Technical College for two years.

      At this time the Depression was in full swing, and jobs very difficult to get, so Esther went on to get further clerical training at the private Rossbothams secretarial school. Here she learned and excelled at shorthand dictation. She had fond memories of this time, and especially of the times when the weather was too nice to go to class - and she and her best friend Helen Ridd would wag (she saw her first talkie when she was meant to be at school).

      Her mother realised that it was time for Esther to get a job - she had been at Rossbothams for two and half years. The family had been attending the Methodist Central Mission and Esther's mother heard that the new minister Rev Leslie Neal needed a typist. So Esther was reluctantly volunteered into what was at first an unpaid temporary job. She soon proved her worth, was put on the payroll, and stayed in the job for the next 20 years - with "never a day off".

      Esther was a proficient secretary and administrator and was soon coerced into becoming a Brownie Leader, helping at Sunday School and running the annual summer health camps that were held at Company Bay. She found that she enjoyed these tasks and ran Brownie packs for 18 years.

      Leslie Neale was a very charismatic churchman, and the Methodist Mission was very much involved in charity work during the depression. The church owned the Octagon theatre, which was often filled to capacity during services. Leslie Neale was her mentor, and Esther loved her work, dealing with people, her Brownies, the health camp children and the social life associated with the office. She enjoyed having "fun" with her large group of friends.

      During the war years she continued working at the Central Mission. She was an air raid warden, and as a member of the Red Cross was required to do work at the hospital. She absolutely hated this, and spent most of her time avoiding the work - she was normally found sorting brooms in a broom cupboard. She stopped doing her duties after she was told she would be getting training in administering enemas. She hated illness and was always reluctant to visit doctors or go to a hospital.

      She toyed with joining the air force, but balked at having to leave home. Esther was very much a home person. She loved Dunedin and Otago, and had no desire to travel further afield.

      Within her family there was some concern that Esther had not found a husband so just after the war, her oldest sister May, using the pretence that she was buying a fur coat, introduced Esther to the fur merchant, Evan Tosh. A romance blossomed - but both were busy, and very much tied to their parents, so the ensuing engagement lasted many years. They even built a new house, but still there was no marriage. Eventually, in 1952, Esther left her job at the Central Mission, and to every ones surprise they sort of eloped, separately, to Auckland where they were married by the then retired Rev Neale.

      Mrs Tosh then devoted her time to domestic duties. Many were surprised when in 1954 her first son Evan was born, and this was followed in 1957 with a second son Geoffrey. She was a devoted mother. She took part in many social groups in Mornington and joined the Mornington Methodist Church. Because of her typing and book keeping skills she was always in demand as a club secretary and did much of her husbands business typing.

      As well as raising a family, Mrs Tosh looked after her father in law for a number of years in the 1960s and 1970s.

      Once her children had left school Mrs Tosh went back to clerical work as secretary at her husbands business of Fur Dressers & Dyers. Here she built up lasting friendships with the senior staff, Jim Robb, Charlie Debono and Ted. These were very happy years for her - despite her husband trying to embarrass her by popping into her office for a quick hug. She had very fond memories of the people who worked in the factory.

      She also took up croquet playing at Montecellio Croquet Club. Croquet became a passion and she spent many evening practicing. She was a good B grade player, a referee, a tournament manager and of course secretary.

      Aged sixty, she learned to drive. She enjoyed driving, and whilst she would have denied it she was no respecter of the speed limit.

      In 1984 disaster struck - her husband died suddenly at work. They were a devoted couple, and Mrs Tosh was devastated especially since this happened at a time when they were planning to spend more time together and do some travelling.

      When she retired from work a couple of years later she spent her time playing and administering croquet and with her friends, various social clubs and looking after he son Geoffrey. She experienced further tragedy when Geoffrey, the son that was still living with her, died suddenly in 2000.

      She continued to live at her home, and enjoyed a busy social life with her many friends. She loved Dunedin and Otago and always looked forward to her Wednesday bus trips. Her garden was her great passion and she took pride in the way her special gardener, Alan Bond, looked after it for her. She also very much appreciated the help she received from her neighbour Heather and the company of the Presbyterian cat. She looked forward to visits from Molly, her cleaner and the administrations of her hairdresser, - a highlight of this year was the trip they made together to central Otago and Milford Sound.

      Her social life was busy - every Thursday she enjoyed the company of Joan Robertson, Friday was scrabble day and her day with her niece Joan Cameron and the group at the church hall, Saturday she went out for cards, and Monday she had cards at her place. She was a great television watcher and hated to miss Coronation Street and The Young and the Restless. She was a keen rugby fan and enjoyed watching it on TV - she of course supported Otago.

      Mrs Tosh was a very determined lady who based her life on thinking of others and doing the right thing. She lived by the golden rule - do unto others, as you would have them do unto you. In true Brownie fashion she tried to do her best and not be a bother to others. She had a distinct set of values; she hated conflict and valued restraint and politeness. Her great wish was that everyone would adopt similar values. To the very end she lived life on her terms.
    Notes 
    • Esther Lousia Tosh
      Funeral remembrance ... Methodist Church in Dunedin, New Zealand


      Esther Geddes was born in Oxford St Dunedin on 12 April 1915. She was the youngest child in a family of four (May, Dora & Bob). Her father was a drainage contractor, and her mother looked after the home and their small egg production business.

      Esther was educated at Forbury School. She was a bright child who enjoyed school and was particularly proud of her neat handwriting. She gained her proficiency, and, unlike most of her classmates went on to high school. She studied general business at King Edward Technical College for two years.

      At this time the Depression was in full swing, and jobs very difficult to get, so Esther went on to get further clerical training at the private Rossbothams secretarial school. Here she learned and excelled at shorthand dictation. She had fond memories of this time, and especially of the times when the weather was too nice to go to class - and she and her best friend Helen Ridd would wag (she saw her first talkie when she was meant to be at school).

      Her mother realised that it was time for Esther to get a job - she had been at Rossbothams for two and half years. The family had been attending the Methodist Central Mission and Esther's mother heard that the new minister Rev Leslie Neal needed a typist. So Esther was reluctantly volunteered into what was at first an unpaid temporary job. She soon proved her worth, was put on the payroll, and stayed in the job for the next 20 years - with “never a day off”.

      Esther was a proficient secretary and administrator and was soon coerced into becoming a Brownie Leader, helping at Sunday School and running the annual summer health camps that were held at Company Bay. She found that she enjoyed these tasks and ran Brownie packs for 18 years.

      Leslie Neale was a very charismatic churchman, and the Methodist Mission was very much involved in charity work during the depression. The church owned the Octagon theatre, which was often filled to capacity during services. Leslie Neale was her mentor, and Esther loved her work, dealing with people, her Brownies, the health camp children and the social life associated with the office. She enjoyed having “fun” with her large group of friends.

      During the war years she continued working at the Central Mission. She was an air raid warden, and as a member of the Red Cross was required to do work at the hospital. She absolutely hated this, and spent most of her time avoiding the work - she was normally found sorting brooms in a broom cupboard. She stopped doing her duties after she was told she would be getting training in administering enemas. She hated illness and was always reluctant to visit doctors or go to a hospital.

      She toyed with joining the air force, but balked at having to leave home. Esther was very much a home person. She loved Dunedin and Otago, and had no desire to travel further afield.

      Within her family there was some concern that Esther had not found a husband so just after the war, her oldest sister May, using the pretence that she was buying a fur coat, introduced Esther to the fur merchant, Evan Tosh. A romance blossomed - but both were busy, and very much tied to their parents, so the ensuing engagement lasted many years. They even built a new house, but still there was no marriage. Eventually, in 1952, Esther left her job at the Central Mission, and to every ones surprise they sort of eloped, separately, to Auckland where they were married by the then retired Rev Neale.

      Mrs Tosh then devoted her time to domestic duties. Many were surprised when in 1954 her first son Evan was born, and this was followed in 1957 with a second son Geoffrey. She was a devoted mother. She took part in many social groups in Mornington and joined the Mornington Methodist Church. Because of her typing and book keeping skills she was always in demand as a club secretary and did much of her husbands business typing.

      As well as raising a family, Mrs Tosh looked after her father in law for a number of years in the 1960s and 1970s.

      Once her children had left school Mrs Tosh went back to clerical work as secretary at her husbands business of Fur Dressers & Dyers. Here she built up lasting friendships with the senior staff, Jim Robb, Charlie Debono and Ted. These were very happy years for her - despite her husband trying to embarrass her by popping into her office for a quick hug. She had very fond memories of the people who worked in the factory.

      She also took up croquet playing at Montecellio Croquet Club. Croquet became a passion and she spent many evening practicing. She was a good B grade player, a referee, a tournament manager and of course secretary.

      Aged sixty, she learned to drive. She enjoyed driving, and whilst she would have denied it she was no respecter of the speed limit.

      In 1984 disaster struck - her husband died suddenly at work. They were a devoted couple, and Mrs Tosh was devastated especially since this happened at a time when they were planning to spend more time together and do some travelling.

      When she retired from work a couple of years later she spent her time playing and administering croquet and with her friends, various social clubs and looking after he son Geoffrey. She experienced further tragedy when Geoffrey, the son that was still living with her, died suddenly in 2000.

      She continued to live at her home, and enjoyed a busy social life with her many friends. She loved Dunedin and Otago and always looked forward to her Wednesday bus trips. Her garden was her great passion and she took pride in the way her special gardener, Alan Bond, looked after it for her. She also very much appreciated the help she received from her neighbour Heather and the company of the Presbyterian cat. She looked forward to visits from Molly, her cleaner and the administrations of her hairdresser, - a highlight of this year was the trip they made together to central Otago and Milford Sound.

      Her social life was busy - every Thursday she enjoyed the company of Joan Robertson, Friday was scrabble day and her day with her niece Joan Cameron and the group at the church hall, Saturday she went out for cards, and Monday she had cards at her place. She was a great television watcher and hated to miss Coronation Street and The Young and the Restless. She was a keen rugby fan and enjoyed watching it on TV - she of course supported Otago.

      Mrs Tosh was a very determined lady who based her life on thinking of others and doing the right thing. She lived by the golden rule - do unto others, as you would have them do unto you. In true Brownie fashion she tried to do her best and not be a bother to others. She had a distinct set of values; she hated conflict and valued restraint and politeness. Her great wish was that everyone would adopt similar values. To the very end she lived life on her terms.
    Person ID I63089  7_families
    Last Modified 31 Aug 2003 

    Father Robert Henry Geddes,   b. 23 Aug 1877, Dunedin, Otago, New Zealand Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 30 May 1957, Dunedin, Otago, New Zealand Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 79 years) 
    Mother Eleanor Gertrude Logie,   b. 17 / 28 May 1880, Dunedin, Otago, New Zealand Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 22 Apr 1949, Dunedin, Otago, New Zealand Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 68 years) 
    Married 27 Jun 1905  Dunedin, South Island, New Zealand Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Family ID F24792  Group Sheet

    Family James Evan Tosh,   b. 1917,   d. Jan 1984, Dunedin, Otago, New Zealand Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 67 years) 
    Married 1952  Auckland, North Island, New Zealand Find all individuals with events at this location  [1
    Children 
     1. Living
     2. Geoffrey Robert Tosh,   b. 6 May 1957, Dunedin, Otago, New Zealand Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 20 Sep 2000, Dunedin, Otago, New Zealand Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 43 years)
    Last Modified 21 Feb 2005 
    Family ID F24793  Group Sheet

  • Event Map
    Link to Google MapsBorn - 12 Apr 1915 - Ravensbourne, Dunedin, South Island, New Zealand Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsMarried - 1952 - Auckland, North Island, New Zealand Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsDied - 24 Aug 2003 - Dunedin, Otago, New Zealand Link to Google Earth
     = Link to Google Maps 
     = Link to Google Earth 
    Pin Legend  : Address       : Location       : City/Town       : County/Shire       : State/Province       : Country       : Not Set

  • Sources 
    1. [S561] E-Mail from Evan Tosh to Lee Drew - 28 Aug 2003, Evan Tosh.