Geraldton woman Barbara Allen, 92, writes book about her three decades at local blood bank

Jessica MoroneyGeraldton Guardian
Barbara Allen, front, third from left, with blood bank nurses and volunteers in 1989.
Camera IconBarbara Allen, front, third from left, with blood bank nurses and volunteers in 1989. Credit: Supplied

Not many people can boast about writing and publishing their first book at the age of 92, but Barbara Allen can.

The Geraldton woman, known for her keen involvement in the community, will launch a book this week based on her 30 years as sister in charge of the city’s blood bank.

Blood Sisters is written around the history of the Geraldton blood bank and a memoir of the author’s time working in the field. The book will be launched at Wonthella Bowling Club on Tuesday, July 19.

Mrs Allen spent three decades taking blood, and became known to many donors around the Mid West. Leaving the blood bank, she volunteered at the city’s hospital for 14 years, and for four years drove the Activ bus.

Get in front of tomorrow's news for FREE

Journalism for the curious Australian across politics, business, culture and opinion.


She is one of two women who were instrumental in helping build the first basketball stadium in Geraldton, and helped build the now-demolished canteen at Geraldton Primary School.

Mrs Allen was once the president of the Geraldton Golf Club, and a close ally in the establishment of the infant health centre in Beachlands built in 1963 — a building that still exists today as a child-minding centre.

Mrs Allen said writing Blood Sisters was her dream and she was ecstatic to be launching the book.

“I loved my job, the staff, the voluntary helpers and the donors,” she said.

“This book is dedicated to all those people.

“I started in 66 and finished in 96. It was marvellous. People think they do something for five minutes and expect a medal. My volunteers worked 10 hour days.”

People can buy a book on the day for $15 from the bar and stick around for afternoon tea or coffee.

Get the latest news from thewest.com.au in your inbox.

Sign up for our emails