Helen Ruth CATERER
Born: 14 March 1914
Died: 4 November 2018Special Achievements:
1 January 1964 - Appointed Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE), for charitable services, reviving the Sunday Mail Blanket Appeal, particularly to children.
2016 - Received Order of Australia (OAM) in the Queen’s Birthday Honours, for service to the community, especially through church and social welfare groups.
Circa age 13 she wrote an essay, Oh, what a night, based on a film with Charlie and Sydney Chaplin, and won “a prize of a guinea” from The Advertiser.
1940s - Completed freelance writing courses at the School of Mines.
1944 - Joined the Voluntary Aid Detachment (VAD) and served overseas.
After working at a bank before and after the war, which became dissatisfying, she obtained a job at the Sunday Advertiser when it launched. Two years later, it folded, and she obtained a position with Sunday Mail.
1957 – Revived and ran the Sunday Mail (Adelaide, South Australia) Blanket Appeal.
May 1957 - Founder and patron of a women’s advisory group, the Supporting Mothers’ Association, which lasted for about 30 years until “there were so many other things available”.
1960s - Created the Supporting Mothers Association appeal, to help mothers buy Christmas presents.
1965 - Received the Rotary Award for Vocational Service.
June 1973 - Co-authored, with Dr John H. Court, Stand Up and Be Counted.
1981 - Wrote book Australians Outback – 60 Years of Bush Church Aid.
1990 - Wrote book People, Places, and Blankets Galore: Fifty Years of Memorable Encounters.
Document - Full transcript of an interview with Helen Caterer, 4 April 2006
State Library of South Australia, J. D. Somerville Oral History Collection, OH773
State Library of South Australia