Jimmo, Beatrice Florence (Sister)

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                                                SISTER BEATRICE FLORENCE JIMMO
                                                 Freeman of the City Award 1995

MIRAMICHI – Harold Adams described the many contributions Sister Beatrice Florence Jimmo made when he nominated her for the Freeman of the City Award.

He also talked about her early years in Escuminac. Here is what he said: Rev. Sister Beatrice F. Jimmo has taught school for 28 years of which 25 were here at Saint Michael`s Academy. If one considers the average class to be around 35 students multiplied by 25 teaching years, we could guess that she has single handedly taught approximately 875 Miramichi children.

The Jimmo family of Escuminac were well known as that great musical family living near the breakwater. Beatrice, like so many others in her family, loved to play the piano and guitar and to dance, and was brought up in a family filled with music.

Both parents loved to sing, while her brothers Hilary (on the juice harp,) Wilfred (on the fiddle) and cousin Michael (with his fiddle and accordion) and her many sisters (on the piano) just filled their home with music and laughter.

When speaking of her family life as a child, Sister Bea remarked: “We as a family were as happy as a clam at high tide.”

Bea`s parents, Michael and Matilda Jimmo, had their fun filled home act as the Escuminac Post Office where Michael served as the postmaster and later Matilda was postmistress. Her parents also held the position of light keepers near the Escuminac breakwater.

Sister Bea often helped members of her family light the arrange lights at the break water setting a match to the oil lamps and pulling the light and glass up to the top of the tower by pulleys. She recalls, “Lighting those lamps was a very serious duty and responsibility since the lives of many seamen and fishermen were dependent on that beacon flashing in the darkness of night. Ì enjoyed helping members of my family fulfill our lightkeepers responsibilities, and have many fond memories of that activity.”

                                             Sister has no regret on entering convent

Sister Beatrice Jimmo entered the convent 55 years ago at the young age of 22 and has never looked back since, says Harold Adams in his letter to the city asking she be named a Freeman of the City.

“I have never regretted entering the convent – it was my vocation,” she said. “I believed that it was God through the intercession of his Mother, the Blessed Virgin Mary, that set me on the road to the front door of Saint Michael’s convent, although I originally intended to join the Sisters of Charity in Halifax.

“I was extremely blessed in my religious life to spend so many years with my fellow Miramichiers who are the finest group of people you would ever want to work and live with.”

                                                  City Freeman to be named
                                             Decision is expected by Thursday

Harold Adams has nominated Sister Beatrice Florence Jimmo for Freeman of the City Award. He said city council discussed the idea at a committee meeting held Aug. 14 and expected to recommend honouring sister Jimmo when it meets in public Thursday.

The council for the city of Miramichi has decided at its finance and administration committee meeting to make Rev. Sister Beatrice Florence Jimmo, RHSJ, B.A., B.T. a Freeman of the City. The date, time and place of ceremony is yet to be announced by the City Council.

Beatrice Florence Jimmo, born June 27, 1916, in Escuminac, Northumberland County, New Brunswick, is one of the 11 children of the late Michael James Jimmo(River Pilot) and Matilda Martin. Her brothers and sisters were Wilfred, Viola, Amelia, Lancelot, Elmer, Linda Hilary, Mildred, Alvin and Carmel.

Sister Bea completed Grade 8 at the Escuminac Public School and went on to graduate with her high school diploma from St. Michael’s Academy, Chatham.

She entered the community of the Religious Hospitallers of Saint Joseph in Chatham on Feb. 17, 1939 and on Oct. 17 of that same year commenced her canonical year, having received the white veil. October the 17th became a very special date for Sister Bea since on that date in 1940 she made her first profession (simple vows) and on that same date in 1943, she made her final profession (solemn vows). Beatrice will celebrate on Oct, 17, 1995 her 55th anniversary as a religious sister.

Sister Jimmo attended during the 1939-1943 period both evening, summer and inter-session classes at Saint Thomas University where she eventually received her bachelor of arts and bachelor of teaching degrees.

Immediately after making her solemn vows, sister Bea was off to Barrhead Hospital in Barrhead, Alberta where she worked in the hospital kitchen as a handy lady and where she was also involved in catechetical instruction.

She remained in Barrhead for approximately three years and in or around 1946 was assigned to teach at Saint Michael’s Academy in Chatham. She taught in Chatham from 1946 to 1952, mostly grades 1 and 3, when the community assigned her to teach Spanish at their school in San Jose de Acoa in the Dominican Replublic. She took her Spanish training from the Scarboro Foreign Missions society.

                                                        Swallow a fly

Bea tells the humorous story of how when speaking to some students she opened her mouth and in went a fly which she swallowed. Bacteria and virus from the fly made her ill, and she had to return home to Canada. The moral of that experience was: Thou shalt keep thy mouth shut!

Sister Jimmo returned to teaching at Saint Michael’s Academy and taught from 1955 to 1975 when she was given the pastoral care assignment in Palos Heights, Illinois, not far from Chicago. Her work included pastoral service and catechetical instruction.

She was reassigned in 1975 to teach again at Saint Michael’s Academy until her retirement in 1982.

                                                          Moving Soon

“Rev. Sister Beatrice Florence Jimmo was nominated for the award of Freeman of the city because of her 28+ years of devotion to Catholic education on the Miramichi, her fine religious example to others, and her over 55 years of community service,” said Harold Adams letter to the city asking she be named a Freeman of the City. “Sister Jimmo will move permanently on October 1, 1995 to the Motherhouse in Amherstview, Ontario near Kingston. She will be sadly missed.”

                                              Story about birth always a laugh

Sister Jimmo is well known throughout the Miramichi and beyond for her great sense of humor, says Harold Adams. Here is what he said as part of his letter to the city asking she be named a Freeman of the City.

She tells the story of her birth with humor. “My mother was soon to give birth to me. My father wanted to go fishing that evening with my cousin, Michael. “Since the mid-wife was on hand to help my mother and a farm hand, Mr. Sippley, was working about the place, my father felt it would be safe to leave my mother alone in their safekeeping.

“My father asked Mr. Sipply to raise a flag if my mother gave birth. My cousin, unknown to my father, asked Mr. Sipply to raise a flag if the mare gave birth to her colt.

“I was born about midnight; the mare gave birth to a colt; and our huge sow gave birth to a litter of pigs. All three events in one night.

“Mr. Sippley, as asked, ran up the flag. My father and cousin coming in from the sea, saw the flag and argued all the way into shore: “No, it’s a colt! No, it’s a child! They were both right.”

Source: Miramichi Leader – August 22, 1995

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