Myrtle Emily [Grigg] Deamer
MEG
1922-2006

Bryn's view -
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Taking up residence again in the City Beach home, it became an active centre for the Bahá'í community hosting feasts, firesides, weekend deepening activities and youth activities. She continued to serve on the Local Spiritual Assembly, and work in various hospitals and doctors offices in her medical field. In 1969, Tony left Perth to pioneer to the British/French governed Condominium of the New Hebrides (now Vanuatu) while Meg and Bryn stayed on in Perth to allow Bryn to finish his high school. That done in 1971, they rented out the house took off to drive across Australia once again with the aim of visiting Tony at his pioneer post. Meg went ahead, while Bryn stayed to attend a Youth Conference in Sydney.

That year the New Hebrides were devastated by a “Cyclone of the Century”, code names Carlotta. The island of Tanna where Tony was working as the mechanic for the Public works Department, was particularly hard –hit. Meg and Tony have incredible stories of sheltering in a Land-Rover behind a road grader, as the mechanics quarters, workshop, and dynamite store, were torn apart by the winds. In the days that followed Meg provided immense support to Tony as he worked often single handedly to clear the tracks to the hospital and the airport, the general store and across the island.

Meanwhile Bryn, at the conference discovered that he had won a scholarship that would allow him to attend a college or university, so drove back to Perth to stay with friends and start his education. Shortly after, Meg returned from New Hebrides, and turned up on the doorstep of Bryn’s friends home, negotiated an end to the lease of 5 Oban Rd, and they moved back in, Meg finding work again, and keeping home while Bryn studied his degree in Library Studies at the Western Australian Institute of Technology (later Murdoch University).

A little later, Tony returned with his bride-to-be, Elizabeth, from the island of Tanna and they were married in 1972 in the back yard of Ottilie Stremple, the wonderful educator/ teacher who helped Tony so much in his early dyslexic struggles to read and write, and whose example in moving to New Hebrides after her retirement to share in the running Nur Bahá'í School, started by Knight of Bahá'u'lláh, Bertha Dobbins, was much of the impetus in Tony deciding to pioneering there.

After a short period of working at Exmouth, (where Mum joined them and did a stint of prawn packing!) , following 1972/73 youth camp, Elizabeth and their first-born son Robin, returned to Tanna. Tony went to work at Shay Gap, an iron ore mining community in the heart of N.W. Western Australia, then followed his new family back to the New Hebrides.

With Bryn’s imminent graduation at the end of 1974, the Oban Rd. house was finally sold, and together they flew to New Hebrides. By then Tony had gone solo, and was attempting to establish the first real private motor vehicle repair shop on Tanna. Meg and Bryn joined him, and helped him write the proposals. During this time, Meg was able to provide specialty nursing to a very ill child in the local hospital, so once again she donned her white uniform and sensible shoes and returned to the fray – this time as a volunteer. Eventually, the word came back from the British Colonial Government that Tony was to be permitted to stay for a one-year trial, but that Meg and Bryn were not to be allowed to stay.

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Meg and Bryn at John Forest National Park, WA, C. 1964.
Cousins: Julie, Jenny and Penny, with Bryn and Tony at Cottesloe Beach, WA - C.1964.
Tony, Bryn and the cousin's dog - Blackie.