GRANNY BELL A LEGEND IN HER OWN LIFETIME

10 12 laurieton hotel

LAURIETON HOTEL

the story of Mary Ann McNeill – Granny Bell.

from THE VALLEY ADVERTISER 15-1-1975

 

The Rotary Club of Lauieton has completed what it terms as the GRANNY BELL Project and will on Saturday January 25 1975 at 3 pm conduct a dedication ceremony at the Laurieton Cemetery.

GRANNY BELL as she was affectionately known is a legend in the Camden Haven District.

Born at Taree on June 27 1859 she married John Bell in 1878 and from this union came a family of none children : James, Norman, Anne, Janet, Mary, Roy, Elizabeth and William.

Shortly after her marriage, they were settled on the Tweed River where for a number of years they engaged in cane farming until her husband suffered an unfortunate accident which rendered him an invalid and they moved to Laurieton in 1892.

To supplement their earnings and support their large family, Granny conducted a boarding house and established herself as a professional nurse and it was in this calling that she became a legend to all.

It would be impossible to narrate the many things Granny did in those early days for without doctors and the only transport being horse and buggy or boat, she was undaunted in her efforts to reach a sick bed. 

She waded through flood waters , crossed flooded rivers by boat and travelled for miles in an open  sulky to reach the sick, attend an accident or bring a child into the world.

She was always amongst the first to arrive at a stricken household , carrying out all that was required without fee or reward.

Granny will always be remembered not only as a professional nurse but one who on many occasions left her own sick bed, unselfishly spending hours with a bereaved family.

Her self-sacrifice will always be remembered and cherished with feelings of grateful admiration and undying gratitude  by all whom she befriended.

in 1902 , for her many good deeds, she was presented with an illuminated address signed by more than 80 residents and it was these deeds that , no doubt,  led the officiating Minister at her graveside to liken Granny to Florence Nightingale.

For this important dedication it is expected that many residents of the Camden Haven district will converge on the Laurieton Cemetery to pay homage to this remarkable woman – GRANNY BELL.

granny bell 001GRANNY BELL 

 

LYNNE BELL SANDERS

5 thoughts on “GRANNY BELL A LEGEND IN HER OWN LIFETIME”

  1. hi

    can i just say that i love your site its wonderful,

    i am the great great grand daughter of john and maryann bell i did notice that my grand fathers
    name was not on the list children his name was leslie d.r. bell b1878 d1941 married to margaret swan taree 4 children gary b.1935 d.1977 newcastle, elaine joy bell b.22.3.38 d.3.3.87 my mother ashes on big brother mountain where she wanted to be.(other 2 children still born)

    regards
    jude

  2. HEllo to you Jude, I had found your site once before and wanted to get back to you and then lost it. I have added the details on this site http://www.myheritage.com/site-29656891/lynne%27s-heritage-web-site and hope that I have them correct. if you have anything else you would like added to the site do let me know. My own Mum was named Joyce Bell and usually called Joy Bell. Thank you for the story of your Mother’s ashes on Big Brother Mountain. I knew that we were all from Laurieton and that Granny Bell and The Invalid Mr Bell ( John) had farmed cane on the Tweed but I didn’t have any details. My Mother Joy grew up in a street in Rosebery Sydney called Tweedmouth Avenue.
    7 years ago I moved to the Tweed River and lived in Tumbulgum a tiny 7 street village and now I find that the Bells’ land was within a few kilometres of there from 1862-1892 with relatives still in this area although I havent located them as yet.
    I shall put some maps and images up but as you can see I have minimal organsational skills here.
    The Tweed Fanily history Centre also located James Bell and Wilhelmina McLeod ( John’s parents). James being the convict from Gallowsgate and Wilhellmina being from the Sutherland Shire where the tenants were “removed” and “assisted” in emigrating to Australia. Wonderful stuff. If you have any more details of your own family or ours I would love to have them. Yrs Lynne.

  3. HI LYNNE

    CAN I JUST SAY HOW EXCITING TO BE LIVING SO CLOSE TO WHERE THEIR UNION BEGAIN ALL THOSE YEARS AGO.AND I THINK YOU ARE DOING OK I FEEL YOUR SKILLS ARE FINE. I DONT HAVE MUCH IN THE WAY OF FAMILY DETAILS ONLY WHAT I HAVE HEARD OVER THE YEARS, YOU SEE MY MOTHER WASNT RAISED BY HER MOTHER BUT BY THE AUNTY ANNIE(ANNIE MCLEAN BELL) THE SISTER OF MUMS FATHER LESLIE BELL SON (GRANNY)FROM MY GRAND MOTHER(MARGARET SWAN) SHE SAID THAT WOMEN IN THOSE DAYS WERE NOT SEEN TO HAVE CHILDREN WITHOUT A HUSBAND SO MUM AND UNCLE GARRY WENT TO LIVE WITH THE BELL FAMILY SOME YEARS LATER GARRY WAS STOLEN BACK WHILE COMING HOME FROM SCHOOL AND TIGHT SECURITY WAS PUT IN PLACE FOR MUM SO NAN COULD NOT GET HER TOO. SO MUM DIDNT HAVE MUCH IN THE WAY OF FAMILY PIC AND OTHER THINGS. MOST IF WHAT I HAVE WAS UNCLE GARRYS WHICH WENT TO MUM AFTER HE DIED IN 1976.

    ONLY WISH MUM COULD SEE WHAT HAS BEEN DONE SHE WOULD BE SO SURPRISED TO FIND OUT THE THINGS I HAVE.MOST OF WHAT I HAVE DONE IS FIND OUT WHAT I COULD RE: MY GRAND FATHER ARMY RECORDS WHICH WAS INTERESTING IN ITS SELF I ALSO HAVE A DIARY THAT HE KEEPED WHILE IN FRANCE.

    MUM WAS TOLD THAT HER FATHER DIED OF CANCER HE DIDNT. AND THATS WHY I STARTED THIS TO FIND OUT IF THE GENES CARRIED ON IN THE FAMILY NEITHER JOHN OR LESLIE (DONNY BELL) DIED OF CANCER BUT MUM AND GARRY DID BOTH IN THEIR 40S. SO I DO HAVE CERTIFICATES THAT CONFIRM THIS.

    I AM GOING OVER THE WEEKEND TO SEE WILHELMINAS GRAVE SITE @ ROOKWOOD POST PIC

    RE:

    JUDE.

  4. Hi Lynne, Kevin Bell is my name & i live at Laurieton. Granny Bell was my great grandmother, my grandfather was Roy Bell. I am interested in your research which i have just started to read. Look forward to learn more with great interest. .

    Regards Kevin

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