Jessie Delaney (nee Rooke)
The following photo and story was submitted by Jessie’s daughter Kay Hartwell of Queensland.
Jessie joined the AIM in Cloncurry after completing her education and Junior exams in Townsville. She told me many stories of those days including some of the famous Rev Fred McKay. She used to stay back and type letters for him when he passed through. Morse Code was used especially when the telephone lines were down or static made phone or radio conversation impossible. The AIM also transmitted telegrams from the post office in Morse Code. Jessie learned this skill and, despite her advance dementia at age 91, she can still sometimes go through the alphabet saying the Morse Code for each letter. She tells the story of how one fellow at the post office used to recognise her tapping style and would try to go faster and faster, but she always managed to translate his messages. She worked with Vernon Kerr and Maurie Anderson who was the manager of the AIM Centre (see photo taken ca. 1937. Vernon is wearing glasses). Jessie is very proud of this time and the skill she acquired.