There’s no stop­ping Janet

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - NEWS LOOKING BACK -

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

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