Retiring after 35 years in pathology
Patricia Clutterbuck takes her last sample for testing
IT IS possible she had taken enough blood in 35 years to fill an Olympic size swimming pool.
Her experience and caring nature, means getting a blood test in Childers will never be the same as Patricia Clutterbuck (nee Sutton) has downed her swabs and cotton balls and welcomed in her retirement.
Known to all her friends and family as Trish, she was born in Childers and attended St Joseph’s Primary School and later moved to Lourdes Hill in Brisbane.
Trish’s family owned the famous Suttons Bakery in Childers.
Her career path lead to her being trained as a nurse at the Mater Hospital in Bundaberg and then midwifery at the Lady Chelmsford in Bundaberg.
As a midwife, Trish delivered many of babies from the Childers area and in the 70s she also nursed in Biggenden.
In 1981 she made a bold move from nursing to work for Sullivan & Nicolaides in Childers as the only pathology specimen collector in her room in Ashby Lane.
Trish was without a doubt, a one-person show; bleeding patients, taking account payments, delivering reports to the surgeries and making the rooms beautiful.
She has walked alongside many of her patients, facing battles long and hard and although was touched deeply by these experiences, always stayed professional and got the job done whatever it took.
Being in the same position for more than three decades it is really quite strange in this day and age.
Trish has done many duties above and beyond what was expected of her and quite often drove blood for a patient over to the laboratory in Bundaberg herself after she finished work for the day.
She has been a familiar face to many people in Childers and surrounding areas who when experiencing periods of ill-health regularly visited Trish for tests.
Trish meet her husband-to-be and father to her much-loved children, Ben while working as a nurse in Bundaberg and when Ben was an ambulance officer.
The couple married and lived in Bundaberg, Ravenshoe and then returned to Childers in 1972.
The proudest of parents of their five children, and 15 grandchildren that they both just adore.
Trish has been talking about retiring on and off for more than a decade but has always loved her work.
She could’ve retired earlier but always would say “but what will I do?”.
Her spare time is taken up with volunteering with St Vincent De Paul, as an active member of the Childers Choral Society and also reads with the Prep class at St Joseph’s Primary school.
Known for being a fantastic cook and seamstress, she made wedding dresses for her daughters.
Trish is going to miss everyone at work as much as the community will miss her and her smiling and reassuring gentle touch.
Neil She could’ve retired earlier but always would say ‘but what will I do?’
RETIRING: Patricia and Ben on their 50th wedding anniversary. PHOTO: CONTRIBUTED