HUBBARD, Mrs Merlyn (Merle) Florence

1933 - 2015

Hubbard Mrs Merlyn Florence - Creswick Historical SocietyMerle was born in Geelong on 1st August, 1933, and grew up there with her parents Frank and Irene Butler and brother Wilf.

She attended a number of schools prior to Ballarat High School and Emily McPherson College, and finished her nursing training at the Queen Victoria Memorial Hospital.  On 5th February, 1955 Merlyn married Ted Hubbard who worked as a railway Station Master.  They had four children, Glenn, Dawn, Wendy and Andrew, and when Ted’s work took him to Koondrook, Merle was able to resume her nursing career at Barham District Hospital.

The Hubbard family arrived in Creswick in 1962 when Ted became Station Master here. Merle was then aged 29.  The children enrolled at the state school and Merle was immediately involved with the community through the school Mother’s Club, where she was President for six years. 

She became a foundation member of the Creswick Netball Association, doing all those menial but necessary jobs for the teams.  She also collated team results and competition ladders and had them published each week.

Ambitious to promote and develop Creswick, Merle also stood for Council and was elected in 1970 where she enjoyed the spirited debates on local matters and took part in decisions impacting the future of Creswick and Districts.

Once her children were grown Merle decided to resume her nursing career, this time at the Queen Elizabeth Geriatric Centre in Ballarat.  Having acquired a degree in Nurse Education she moved to the QEGC Nursing School to train State Enrolled Nurses and in 1979 transferred to the St John of God Hospital Nurse Training School as Deputy Principal Nurse Educator.  She continued there until 1988 when nurse training was moved to the Universities.

With a continuing ambition to achieve, she completed a Degree in Administration and became an Assistant Director of Nursing. 

Undertaking a further qualification in Infection Control she became Supervisor of the hospital and its Infection Control Program and Supervisor of the Central Sterilising Department.  Merle held this position at a time when this discipline was being developed and illnesses such as HIV were being identified and managed. 

She was well known in infection control within the State and was instrumental in establishing a regional Infection Control Group in the Grampians Region, a networking and educational opportunity and a way of bringing smaller regional hospitals into contact with the larger hospitals as a resource.

Merlyn also coordinated the Secondary School Work Experience program within the hospital until she retired in 1999, although she carried on editing the St John of God Hospital magazine The Pomegranate, a task she undertook for fourteen years.

Following retirement her interest in local community affairs continued, with her election to the Board of the John Curtin Hostel in Creswick in 2000, where she was the first female Chair of the Board and served for nine years. She was active as well in the Havilah Lodge ladies group and was a foundation member of the Creswick Probus Club.  Strong willed and a born organiser, she took the lead in all the tasks she adopted, and brought her considerable expertise to often difficult projects.

Her husband Ted’s enjoyment of lawn bowls led Merle to join the Creswick Bowling Club and, as with all her activities, she enthusiastically took on leadership roles as President and Secretary, and Treasurer of the Social Committee.  She also attained a level 1 national umpire qualification and became a valuable resource to the Club.

Merle passed away on 23rd August, 2015.

Learn More About our Society

  • Family History
  • Creswick & District
  • Migration
  • Honour Roll
  • Membership

Contact Creswick and District Historical Society today. We would love to hear from you!