Daphne Ashfield reading her birthday card during the video link with guests

100 years for Belmont Services Ladies’ Daphne Ashfield

by jgrey

Belmont Services Ladies Bowling Club held a celebratory morning tea for their member, Mrs Daphne Ashfield, who turned 100 years old on August, 15. Invited guests included Bowls Queensland President Peter Williamson, Ross Vasta MP, Steve Minnikin MP, Cr Lisa Atwood, Rose Beauchamp representing Gateway District Ladies BC, Patron Keith Gilchrist, Belmont Services Bowls Club President Noel Seawright and Belmont Services Ladies’ Patron Lilian Noble. 

Owing to COVID restrictions re-introduced at the time, it was considered unwise for Daphne to leave her home at Prescare Vela Carina so she joined us via video link. Thank you to Daphne’s niece, Kay Millsom who, together with Belmont Services Ladies, arranged for her aunt to join in and participate in the birthday cake cutting and tributes paid to her. Thank you also to Kay who provided the following background information on Daphne’s life.

Daphne Ashfield was born into the Gough family in Ingham, North Queensland, on August 15, 1920. Daphne had an older brother, Roy, who returned in 1945 from WWII in poor health and died not long afterwards. She also had a younger sister, Irene, who lived to a mature age. At the end of her school days, Daphne was encouraged by a local GP to commence hospital-based registered nursing training at Royal Brisbane Hospital. She then completed her midwifery training at RBH before returning to Ingham for a time and then travelling to many Australian hospitals to gain further experience.

In 1948 Daphne was appointed matron of Ingham Hospital and then matron of Mt Isa Hospital where she met and married John William Ashfield (known as Bill) in 1957. Bill was the stipendiary magistrate at Mt Isa’s Court House. He and Daphne were then transferred to many Queensland regional centres where they shared their love of sport, excelling at lawn bowls and golf.

Daphne and Bill’s final move was to Brisbane in the 1960s where Bill was appointed as magistrate of the Children’s Court. They joined Camp Hill Bowls Club, playing regularly and using their skills to coach other members. Daphne served a term as President of Camp Hill Ladies in 1976. Later Daphne and Bill joined Belmont Services Bowls Club where Daphne is still a member of Belmont Services Ladies to this day, albeit a non-playing member!

In later years Daphne and Bill moved from their home at Camp Hill to a unit at Aveo Carindale. Needing higher care, Bill moved to Prescare Vela Carina where he lived until his death. Daphne moved there in late 2019.

Kay Millsom reports that her Aunt Daphne enjoyed her 100th birthday dinner with Kay and her family at Kay’s home and received congratulatory phone calls from family in Ingham and in West Australia. This was followed by the morning tea celebration on August , 18 at Belmont Services Ladies where Kay joined Daphne in seeing her bowls friends and hearing their greetings, reading birthday cards, appreciating floral tributes and short visits from staff and fellow residents at Vela.

Contributed by Sandy Ellis