Jean Begg

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Jean Begg

A smiling white woman with short wavy dark hair, wearing a white blouse with a sprad collar, over a dark jacket or cardigan
Jean Begg in 1931
Born7 October 1886
Port Chalmers, Otago, New Zealand
Died15 February 1971
Dunedin, New Zealand
OccupationSocial worker, educator, YWCA executive

Jean Begg CBE (7 October 1886 – 15 February 1971) was a New Zealand welfare worker, educator, and YWCA administrator.

Early life and education[edit]

Begg was born in Port Chalmers, Otago, New Zealand, one of the ten children of Scottish immigrants Eliza Johnstone and John Begg. Her father was a tanner and rug maker.[1] She trained as a teacher at Dunedin Training College[2] attended the University of Otago,[3] and held a diploma in social work from Columbia University.[4]

Career[edit]

Begg was a teacher at a missionary school and ran a health clinic in American Samoa as a young woman,[1][5] and helped to establish the Samoan Nursing Service.[6] In 1922, she represented New Zealand at the world convention of the YWCA in Philadelphia.[7]

She was general secretary of the Auckland YWCA from 1926 until 1931,[3] when she became general secretary for the National YWCA for India, Burma, and Ceylon.[4][8] Also in 1931, she headed New Zealand's delegation to the Pan-Pacific Women's Conference in Honolulu.[2]

During and immediately after World War II, Begg was director of the YWCA in the Middle East and North Africa,[9] setting up YWCA programs, including lodgings, weekly concerts in Egypt and a mobile library.[10][11] She worked in Lord Louis Mountbatten's South-East Asia Command, at hospitals for former prisoners of war in Singapore,[12] and served on the Middle East Welfare Council.[13] "The problems that beset the world will never be solved unless they are approached in a spirit of helpfulness and sacrifice," she declared in a 1945 speech.[14]

In 1946, Begg went to Tokyo for an ANZAC Day ceremony.[15] In 1947, she was director of YWCA Welfare in Japan,[16] and represented New Zealand at the YWCA World Council, held in Hangchow, China.[17] In 1948 and 1949, she worked in London, setting up Helen Graham House, a YWCA hostel.[18][19]

Jean Begg had an audience with the Queen in 1943.[20] She was appointed an MBE in 1943, an OBE in 1946,[21] and a CBE in 1948.[1]

Personal life[edit]

Begg retired to New Zealand in 1952.[22] She had a war pension, inherited a house, and died in 1971, aged 84 years, in Dunedin. She was given a military funeral at the soldiers' cemetery in Dunedin.[1]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Coney, Sandra. "Jean Begg". Dictionary of New Zealand Biography. Ministry for Culture and Heritage. Retrieved 23 April 2017.
  2. ^ a b "Indian YWCA; Miss Jean Begg to Go". New Zealand Herald. 20 January 1931. p. 3. Retrieved 24 November 2021 – via Papers Past.
  3. ^ a b "Woman's Work in Many Spheres: No. 3, Miss Jean Beg". Sun. 17 September 1927. p. 8. Retrieved 24 November 2021 – via Papers Past.
  4. ^ a b Kabadi Waman P. (1937). Indian Whos Who 1937-38. p. 78 – via Internet Archive.
  5. ^ "Miss Jean Begg Honored". Evening Star. 6 September 1915. p. 2. Retrieved 24 November 2021 – via Papers Past.
  6. ^ "Samoa Revisited after 30 Years; Impressions of Miss Jean Begg". Press. 8 October 1953. p. 2. Retrieved 24 November 2021 – via Papers Past.
  7. ^ "Our Representative to World's Convention". White Ribbon. 18 August 1922. p. 3. Retrieved 24 November 2021 – via Papers Past.
  8. ^ "Miss Jean Begg Given Position in India". Star. 20 January 1931. p. 10. Retrieved 24 November 2021 – via Papers Past.
  9. ^ "YWCA War Services; Miss Jean Begg in London". Evening Star. 9 August 1943. p. 3. Retrieved 24 November 2021 – via Papers Past.
  10. ^ "Miss Jean Begg; Valuable Work in Desert". Otago Daily Times. 9 February 1943. p. 4. Retrieved 24 November 2021 – via Papers Past.
  11. ^ "Servicemen Abroad; Miss Jean Begg Describes Welfare Work". Evening Post. 26 November 1945. p. 10. Retrieved 24 November 2021 – via Papers Past.
  12. ^ "With Singapore Prisoners; Miss Jean Begg's Quick Transfer; Broadcast from Hospital Wards". Evening Star. 8 September 1945. p. 6. Retrieved 24 November 2021 – via Papers Past.
  13. ^ "Miss Jean Begg; Arrival from Singapore". Evening Post. 25 October 1945. p. 8. Retrieved 24 November 2021 – via Papers Past.
  14. ^ "Post-War Problems; Difficulties Ahead; Address by Miss Jean Begg". Otago Daily Times. 7 November 1945. p. 6. Retrieved 24 November 2021 – via Papers Past.
  15. ^ "ANZAC Day in Japan". Evening Star. 1 May 1946. p. 8. Retrieved 24 November 2021 – via Papers Past.
  16. ^ "Miss Jean Begg Honored". Press. 3 July 1948. p. 2. Retrieved 24 November 2021 – via Papers Past.
  17. ^ "Miss Jean Begg to Attend Y.W.C.A. World's Council Meeting". Otago Daily Times. 22 August 1947. p. 2. Retrieved 24 November 2021 – via Papers Past.
  18. ^ "Miss Jean Begg to Manage London Hostel". Otago Daily Times. 4 November 1948. p. 7. Retrieved 24 November 2021 – via Papers Past.
  19. ^ "Miss Jean Begg". The Press. 18 November 1949. p. 2. Retrieved 24 November 2021 – via Papers Past.
  20. ^ "Miss Jean Begg Received by the Queen". Auckland Star. 9 August 1943. p. 5. Retrieved 24 November 2021 – via Papers Past.
  21. ^ "Birthday Honours; Miss Jean Begg Included". Otago Daily Times. 26 June 1946. p. 4. Retrieved 24 November 2021 – via Papers Past.
  22. ^ "Miss Jean Begg Return to New Zealand". Press. 24 June 1952. p. 2. Retrieved 24 November 2021 – via Papers Past.