There’s no stopping Janet
Although born in Toowoomba, Mossman featured in Janet’s life from her very first breath. Janet’s mother, Muriel McCoist, had midwives Dot Berzinski and Babe Bettany at Janet’s birth. Both Dot and Babe were trainees from the Mossman Hospital.
There is a strong Scottish influence in the McCoist family, even to the spelling of their surname. According to Janet, the original name was McCoise however many years ago there was a misspelling and as far as she knows, there are no other McCoists in existence.
Janet’s grandfather come to Australia and made a name as the Grand Champion Piper of Australasia back in 1901. Ian, her father moved his family, wife Muriel and daughter Janet, to Mossman where some of the McCoist family had settled just prior to World War II. Janet’s brother John was later born in Mossman.
“My parents brought me up to Mossman to show me to the family, and my Mum and Dad liked it so much, they went back to Toowoomba and sold up everything and came here,” Janet said.
After working for mechanic Bill Brunton, Ian joined her uncle and grandfather and started up A McCoist and Sons Mechanics on the site where Mossman Auto Repairs stands today on Alchera Drive. She attended school in Mossman then boarded to complete her final two years at St Anne’s in Townsville. Her school friend, Valma Noli, joined her at boarding school and they remain close to this day.
“We used to make our own fun back in those days by going to the beach, playing volleyball and tennis.”
According to Janet, she didn’t get up to any mischief in her teen years as she prided herself “being well behaved and strived really hard at school”.
“John Pollock and I used to take it in turns coming top of the class at Mossman, and I always had ‘no days of absence’ on my report card.”
One of Janet’s fondest memories of her childhood is the seven week trip around Australia with her parents and brother. “In 1959 a trip like that was almost unheard of, and we got to meet lots of the station owners in NT and WA,” she said.
“We got bogged on the highway between Alice Springs and Darwin and one of the station owners came out with this tractor and pulled us out,” she said, “and from then on, the various station owners would peddle-radio ahead from one station to another to let them know we were coming.”
“We ate plain turkeys and rabbits cooked on the campfire – we had a great time.”
Janet worked as a receptionist for a doctor. “My mother insisted that, as I had done shorthand, typing and bookkeeping at school, I should work in an office.”
Janet then met Graham Goodall, who was a friend of her uncle, the local milkman and pineapple grower at Yorkeys Knob.
“I would visit my aunt and uncle and I used to help deliver the milk,” she said.
“It was in the days when milk was in glass bottles and the money would be left out with the empty bottles.
“If a customer didn’t leave enough money out, my uncle would only leave as much milk as there was money and leave the change,” she said, “and when he retired he was only owed a penny ha’penny.
When Janet planned a holiday in New Zealand, Graham said he wouldn’t wait for her, so she cancelled her trip.
They married in 1965 and Graham started work in the new McCoist Tyre Centre in Mossman, which was where Autopro operates today.
“Wages were pretty slim then, so after a couple of years, we moved to Mt Isa where Graham worked in the mine and I worked in the library.
“Our first child, Glynn was born in 1970 and as Mt Isa was a pretty rough town in those days, we moved back and I did some more library work and stopped in 1975 for the birth of Darryl.”
There was little to keep Janet away from work, and by 1979 Janet had opened up a florist shop – the first in the Douglas Shire.
“I had learnt the basics from a friend in Mt Isa and over the 13 years in the business, entered a few competitions and ended up State Champion and represented Queensland at the Nationals, coming fourth,” Janet said, “and that was the year I sold the business, 1992.”
Although happy to leave the business, Janet worked as a florist for another five years in Cairns and then went into cleaning at Mossman High.
“I really wanted to learn computers, so I enrolled and did every computer class each week for a whole year.”
After a six-year stint at Silky Oaks providing the turn-down service, Janet worked for Del Waters in Home and Community Care and then for the disability service at Mossman Support Services.
“I have been a support worker now for 10 years but it is time I stopped working,” Janet said.
She will remain the local engraver, working from home as she has done for 34 years, providing engraving and trophy services to the community.
“I have worked all my life and really loved it, but now I want to do some more travel.”
Janet and Graham have just returned from a trip to Lord Howe Island and she says they’re going back for another holiday there and then hopefully some cruises.
Janet has her heart in the Mossman community. Her commitments range from 13 years as a Leader in the Mossman Scouts to presently volunteering at the Daintree Wild Zoo. Many of her ‘good works’ are known to only a few.
At 71 there is just no stopping Janet, a true stalwart of this Shire.
Janet Goodall today. Inset: Janet in her award-winning florist days