In memory of Miss Doreen Joyce
On 29th September, a Requiem Mass was held at St Margaret Mary’s Church in Liverpool, in celebration and thanksgiving for the life of Miss Doreen Joyce. The service was attended by several Nurses’ League members and old working colleagues, as well as family members and friends from the parish, where she was an active member for many years.
Bishop Tom Williams conducted the Mass and began his homily by saying a Nurses’ Prayer chosen by her niece, which summed up her life. Always professional, her faith, family and nursing were the things that mattered to her. As he said, she would always be ‘Miss Joyce’ to all of us who worked with her; she filled us with fear and dread at times but her motto was if you ‘do it, do it properly.’ When Bishop Tom was appointed as Chaplain in 1975, he asked her what was expected of him and she told him to be caring, understanding and a presence, that’s what patients wanted. She herself was all of these and she loved caring for her patients, she was never happier than being a ward sister before she went into senior management at LRI and later in the new Royal Liverpool Hospital. I think we will all agree that she epitomized the discipline and ethos of the hospital and of traditional nurse training.
As student nurses we remember her for being a stickler for obeying the rules, and I’m sure we all have a story involving Miss Joyce and her strict regard for correctness. However her family knew a different Doreen Joyce. They called her Auntie Do and found her full of fun, loving family get togethers and birthday celebrations where her party piece was the ‘Kerry Dancers.’
She took early retirement to look after her mother, but was always very busy and her family had difficulty keeping track of her! She was also a keen member of the Nurses’ League where she could keep in touch with old friends. Latterly she was living in a nursing home but still enjoying seeing her family, and they were with her when she passed away peacefully in the Royal Liverpool Hospital after a short illness.
Her family asked for donations in her memory to be used to help nurses in need or distress, and have kindly offered the money to be included in our League Benevolent Fund.
A full copy of the eulogy given by Miss Joyce’s nephew will appear in the next newsletter.
Carolyn Rankine (President)