Joondalup Health Campus’ popular chaplain remembered

Jim Reid at Joondalup Health Campus last year. Picture: Martin Kennealey
Jim Reid at Joondalup Health Campus last year. Picture: Martin Kennealey

REVERED Joondalup Health Campus chaplain James (Jim) Reid has been remembered for his “light, hope and comfort”.

He was 97 when he died on March 7.

The Reverend Reid became Ramsay Health’s oldest employee in Australia after joining the company’s Joondalup hospital in 2000 at the age of 80.

He survived being gravely ill in 2003, underwent triple- bypass surgery and continued working for another 12 years.

After retiring at age 95, he volunteered at the campus one day a week.

MORE: Kanyana Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre founder is the face of animal care for 40 years

MORE: Health concerns raised as residents rally against proposed McDonald’s

MORE: Kardinya Tafe student wins Vocational Student of the Year award

Last year, Mr Reid told the Times he kept working because he could see the benefits chaplaincy counselling offered patients.

Fittingly, he was under the care of Joondalup colleagues and with his wife and children on his death.

Long-time friend and congregation member Andrew Sproul offered a moving tribute.

“When looking at Jim, I always saw the person I wanted to, and ought to be,” he said.

A campus spokeswoman said he was a much-loved member of staff.

“He brought light, hope and comfort to those in need,” she said.

Born in Scotland, Mr Reid served in the Royal Air Force in World War II.

After the war, he was ordained in the Church of Scotland in 1951.

His work ethic drew the attention of the church in Australia and in 1958 he accepted a call to serve as minister of the St Andrews Presbyterian Church in Perth.

As chair of the church’s immigration committee in the ’60s, he became a familiar face to Perth’s new arrivals, greeting migrant ships as they docked.

Towards the end of the decade, he was troubled when he visited Derby to find there was no palliative care for indigenous people.

Mr Reid soon filled that void, overseeing the formation of Numbalanunga (place of peace), which cared for elderly Aborigines.

In his 50s he returned to Scotland to take up the ministry of a small church in Carmunnock, before being called back to Australia to serve in NSW in 1977.

He became a principal air chaplain and was afforded the rank of Air Commodore in Manly, where he lived for 23 years before joining Joondalup Health Campus.

Mr Reid was farewelled at Ross Memorial Church in West Perth on March 15.