Photos recall Jobina’s life of caring in Third World

Geraldton Guardian
Jobina Matten surrounded by children in a Papua New Guinea orphanage.
Camera IconJobina Matten surrounded by children in a Papua New Guinea orphanage.

Nazareth House resident Jobina Matten has a photo of a 10-year-old African boy in her bedroom.

About 30 years ago the boy was told to “go away,” by his parents and no one else was willing to look after him.

While working as a missionary nurse in Ghana in the 1980s, Ms Matten decided to take the boy in.

She worked hard to get him placement at an African children’s ward, earn his trust and become his friend.

Despite her best efforts he died from unknown causes about three months later.

Nazareth House resident Jobina Matten celebrated her 94th birthday in November.
Camera IconNazareth House resident Jobina Matten celebrated her 94th birthday in November. Credit: Tamra Carr, The Geraldton Guardian

Ms Matten doesn’t remember too much else about her time in Africa but for her 94th birthday in November, long-time Northampton neighbours Tony and Coral Ryan decided to remind her.

Digging up hundreds of photos of Third World travels, the married couple highlighted Ms Matten’s visits to isolated tribes, treating lepers, caring for orphaned children and nursing back to health babies found in rubbish bins.

“I’ve had a beautiful life,” Ms Matten reminisced.

Mr and Mrs Ryan agreed.

“She’s just so caring and always willing to help,” Mrs Ryan said.

“She’s been like a grandmother to us, baking cakes and looking after the house and dogs while we’re away.

“She would also look after people’s toes in Northampton and help deliver podiatry.

“She’s been doing it for about 20 years.”

Jobina doing missionary work with several children on an island.
Camera IconJobina doing missionary work with several children on an island.

After a stint in a respite centre, Ms Matten moved to Geraldton about two months ago to live at Nazareth House.

She only hopes for one thing in 2019.

“To go to heaven,” the senior admitted.

“I’ve been wanting to go for some years.”

Jobina and a companion next to a nursing post in the Kimberley.
Camera IconJobina and a companion next to a nursing post in the Kimberley.

While Mr Ryan seemed to agree that Ms Matten deserved a well-earned rest, he only had one ask.

“I keep telling her she’s got to wait until the Queen sends her telegram,” he said.

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