Jane Waterston (1843-1932) het die sendeling Dr. James Stewart vergesel na die Oos-Kaap toe hy aangestel is as hoof van die Lovedale Institution. Sy het die Girls’ Institution begin, maar haar eintlike begeerte was om te werk as mediese dokter, spesifiek met die vroue van die binneland van Afrika. In 1874 keer sy terug na Engeland en word een van die eerste vroue om opleiding te ontvang aan die London School of Medicine vir vroue. Na ‘n kort en ontnugterende verblyf in Nyasaland verhuis sy na Kaapstad. Hier praktiseer sy en word ‘n noemenswaardige figuur wat aktief deelneem aan die politieke lewe van die stad. Sy behou haar vriendskap met James Stewart en skryf gereeld aan hom oor ‘n wye verskeidenheid onderwerpe.

Jane Waterston

Waterston is op 18 Januarie 1843 in Inverness, Skotland gebore. Sy word tuis onderrig deur ‘n goewernante en later woon sy die Inverness Royal Academy by. Êrens in haar jeug besluit Jane Waterston om ‘n sendeling te word. In 1866, op die ouderdom van 23, tree sy in kontak met die Buitelandse Sendingkomitee van die Free Church of Scotland. Op 9 Oktober 1866 word sy aangestel as die superintendent van die Girls’ Institution wat by Lovedale ontwikkel moet word.

Die Girls’ Institution word amptelik op 23 Augustus 1868 geopen met 10 kosgangers. Jane Waterston se doel vir die skool is van die begin van duidelik: die skool moet vroue in stede van skoolmeisies oplewer, daar moet ‘n gemaklike huislike atmosfeer heers en daar moet niks vir die meisies gedoen word wat hulle nie vir hulself kan doen nie. Die skool het vinnig uitgebrei, en teen 1872 word ‘n werksafdeling asook ‘n babaskool bygevoeg.

Dr James Stewart
Jane Waterston met studente van die ‘Lovedale Institution’, in die 1870’s.
Die sertifikaat van lidmaatskap toegeken, in 1925, aan Jane Waterston deur die “Royal College of Physicians of Ireland”.

Jane Waterston se eintlike historiese belang lê daarin dat sy ‘n ongewone vrou in Suid-Afrika was. Eerstens was sy betekenisvol as ‘n verteenwoordiger van die skraal snoer van liberalisme wat deur die Suid-Afrikaanse geskiedenis loop. Verder was sy belangrik as vrou van seldsame deursettingsvermoë, moed en intelligensie – ‘n unieke figuur in negentiende-eeuse Suid-Afrika.

Vir haar onvermoeide werk het Waterston die Suid-Afrikaanse naam Noqataka gekry, “die moeder van aktiwiteit”. In 1925 is sy die tweede vrou wat ‘n genoot van die Royal College of Physicians of Ireland word en in 1929 word Waterston deur die Universiteit van Kaapstad as doktor in die regte aangestel.

Sy is werksaam by Lovedale tot 1873, waarna sy na Engeland terugkeer om mediese opleiding te ontvang. Na sy haar opleiding voltooi het, sluit sy aan by die Livingstonia Free Church sendingstasie (hedendaagse Maclear) op die oewer van Nyasa meer (Malawi meer). Sy is gou ontnugter toe sy sien met watter lae agting die sendelinge die inheemse bevolking hanteer. Sy keer terug na Lovedale waar sy drie jaar spandeer voor sy sendingwerk verlaat en haarself as dokter in Kaapstad vestig. Hier speel sy ‘n prominente rol in die samelewing. Tydens die Anglo-Boere oorlog vorm sy deel van ‘n Britse regeringskomitee wat toestande in die konsentrasiekampe ondersoek.

Jane Waterston in die akademiese gewaad van die Universiteit van die Kaap van Goeie Hoop, 1889

Die voortbestaan ​​van haar briewe aan James Stewart, skoolhoof van die Lovedale Institution, geskryf oor veertig jaar van 1866 tot 1905, maak dit moontlik om nie net haar prestasies op te teken nie, maar ook die kwaliteit van haar helder, praktiese intelligensie en haar sterk, entoesiastiese en menslike persoonlikheid vas te vang.

UITTREKSEL UIT DIE TEKS

[..] ….caring for him does not depend on his being good but on his being Louis, so you see I have a good deal of the woman about me yet.

I am busy and new patients turning up. I am satisfied there is a corner for me to fill. I have spent part of this evening fitting a truss on a young girl. It was dangerous for her going without but she never would have allowed a man to do it. I have had two gentlemen patients today and I am getting more of them. I shall not refuse any without good cause. I am also getting more black patients. They feel, I think, that I treat them like human beings and not niggers as the term is here.

I give a lecture in May for the same Society as last year. I have refused all the other Societies. It will be a sequel to the one I gave last year and the title “The Higher Education of Women. Its duties and responsibilities”. I have not begun it yet but I am in a thinking mood at present so hope to evolve something.

My letter has got to be longer than I intended. One puzzle here is, where the bounce has gone to of our Dutch brethren, they are very docile at present. Sir Hercules has got a well deserved slap in the face and MacKenzie is to the front again. Noble is greatly pleased for he has been a very loyal friend to MacKenzie and has steadily backed him.

I must stop or you will stop half way in reading this screed. Much love to Mrs Stewart and the children. Yours very truly, Jane E. Waterston.

  1. To James Stewart, Lovedale.

61 Plein Street, Cape Town.
Sunday, 21st November 1886.

Dear Dr Stewart,

I went to Moore when I got the Express and gave him the paper and spoke to him about the Argus. I have been again and again to his Office about it and never found him in. I think round about ways are very long.

I send two Cape Times which will show a marked change of front in the course of two or three days. Read them in order. I should have sent them some days ago but was waiting until I had time to write.

I hope the parcels arrived all right. I wrote to Mrs Stephen telling her I have sent them off.

I have been doing very little writing for the last two or three months simply through press of engrossing work. Many confinements and other very anxious and worrying work taking it out of me in every sense of the word and sending me home so tired at night that the sight of pens and paper was enough. Sunday work was the rule and sometimes all Sunday. This is the first real Sunday rest have had for a long time and so I am writing a few letters. I have been thirty years now here and have gained a lot of experience in every way and yet I feel if I knew nothing. I am engaged already for a number of confinements next year. What a wonderful difference the antiseptic method makes in a confinement. My patients are delighted with the sweetness of their rooms and if absence of fever, even of milk fever. To do it perfectly takes any amount carbolic wool and gauze, Iodoform pessaries, Quinine and Condy. But if purity and sweetness of the patient, bed and room are worth it all. I never syringe now. It does not always do and with the present method is not needed.

If l am spared and can afford it I will go Home in two years time form surgeon’s Diploma as I can get it in Edinburgh now. I also want to perfect myself a little more in medicine and, last but not least, I am anxious to see m father and mother again for they are getting very old. Death has been busy among people I know at Home, so many deaths, not like Mr Weir’s, full of days with a gentle fitting end.

I am satisfied with the profession I have chosen. When most worried I have never wished myself not a Doctor.

It is a pity you do not get the Cape Times. I like it better than the Argus although in many things not agreeing with it. The Times gave full reports of the Synod, far better ones than the Argus and one longed for one of our old Scotch heroes to stand up and lash them with his tongue. For an elder to stand up an say that total Abstinence was the work of the Prince of Darkness and for others to wish that no member with the blue ribbon on should get the sacrament, a to please the wine farmers, made one think that the Devil himself must be inspiring the deliberations. What hope for the country when such is the highest spiritual teaching.

I send you the Times with the leader on the close of the Synod. I only hear