Interview with Elizabeth Austin


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Interviewer: Okay Aunt Lizzie, where did you go to get your training?

Elizabeth Austin: To the Grace hospital, St. John's. From August the 15th to the end of September, 1949.

Interviewer: That's when you got your training.

Elizabeth Austin: Six weeks, yes.

Interviewer: Six week course.

Elizabeth Austin: Yes, six week course.

Interviewer: Okay and was there any reason that you decided to become a midwife?

Elizabeth Austin: Yes. I guess it was because the old midwife was [overseas?] and the nearest one was Burlington in Nipper's harbour and well, besides that I worked with a nurse in St. John's in my teens – I guess somebody thought that I knew a little bit about it, you see. So, one stormy night, April 9, 1944, I was called to a home to stay with the patient while the husband went to get a midwife. Finally, hours later, he returned with the midwife. But the baby was here. A big boy, ten pounds, all by myself.

Interviewer: So that was your first baby that you delivered?

Elizabeth Austin: Yah. So the midwife said, “You'll make a fine midwife in this place.” I said, “No, no not me my dear.” [laughs].