Women of Warren Shire - Pat Christoff
26 May 2022
Pat Christoff has lived in Warren Shire since her early adulthood, moving to work as a Registered Nurse at the former Warren District Hospital in 1972. During this time Pat has become a valued and well-respected member of our Shire. She served as a Nurse and Phlebotomist for many years and has been an active member of multiple local organisations, including the Warren Historical and Family History Society Inc., Meals on Wheels, and the Visitors’ Information Centre.
A woman of many hats, we celebrate Pat’s community contributions as this month’s Woman of Warren Shire.
A usual morning looks like…
Eating brekky while watching the news on the ABC. Then, I’ll check my diary to see if I'm expected somewhere. I’m usually gone by 10am!
I’m most proud of…
Like most grandparents, my husband and I are proud of and enjoy celebrating the many achievements of our family and grandchildren.
On the weekend you can find me…
Reading a book, doing family history, chatting on the phone with friends or family, and catching up with the washing!
Did you grow up in Warren Shire? If so, what is your favourite childhood memory?
I didn't grow up in Warren, though I've lived here since l was 24 – my early adulthood!
One of my earliest childhood memories is going rabbiting in the hills around Dunedoo with the man employed by my Dad, and hearing the sound of the sandy soil hitting the paper in the trap.
I loved walking in the hills.
Favourite place in Warren Shire?
Apart from the river, my favourite place in Warren Shire is Endeavour Hall.
3 words that sum up living in Warren Shire?
Warren is… a green oasis!
What do you love most about Warren Shire?
Driving in after being away, it's wonderful to see the magnificent parks and green gardens, even during droughts! And I love our river.
Some more about you…
Can you tell us a bit about your journey, including some of your most significant achievements?
I completed General Nursing at Dubbo Base Hospital, as well as studying midwifery and working in the labour ward at the Queen Victoria Memorial Hospital (now known as Monash Medical Centre). I then came to Warren in 1972 to work as a Registered Nurse.
During that time, l married my husband Robbie and we had two daughters, both of whom have gone on to have their own families, giving us five wonderful grandchildren.
You worked as a nurse and carried out in-home blood test collection. What do you find most rewarding about this work?
I worked at the Warren District Hospital, now known as the Warren Multi-Purpose Health Service (WMPHS), until 2005.
I enjoyed the companionship and friendship of the many girls and women who worked there during those years. They were my extended family, and there are many friendships l enjoy still.
After retiring from the WMPHS in 2005, l began working as a Phlebotomist (blood collector) two days a week, finally retiring completely in 2015.
This role bolstered my contact with many of my former patients and families, which was a great bonus.
Can you tell us about your involvement in the Warren Historical and Family History Society Inc.? What role do you play within this committee?
My ‘hobby’ throughout the years has always been family history. Though it can be a solitary occupation, it did lead me to organise a family reunion in Dubbo for the Dollisson side of my heritage.
Eventually, l was encouraged to join the Warren Historical Society in 2010, ending up as Secretary and later becoming the President – a position l still hold today.
We have seen many changes in the Historical Society over the years, firstly gaining the use of the Endeavour Hall as our headquarters with the backing of Warren Shire Council. We've organised three displays: WW1, Warren at War, and the Sesquicentenary Exhibition.
These exhibitions were very well received by the community and added to our general history collection.
Subsequently, as a result of our WW1 exhibition, Lianne Clark and l compiled the history of the men and women from Warren Shire, which was published as a book, ‘For King and Country’, in 2019. Copies are still available!
You’re known as a bit of a history buff. What fascinates you most about history?
I relish being able to assist others in their research of both local and family history, and share my passion with my husband Rob, who also has a wealth of knowledge.
What advice would you give to other women living in rural communities?
I have found that joining organisations such as Meals on Wheels, the Visitors Information Centre and the Historical Society have grounded me in the community.
I enjoy the companionship of the committee members, and I recommend volunteering to all as a way of giving back to the Warren community.
To nominate a Warren Shire woman to be featured in this series, email firstname.lastname@example.org