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Inspirational Women Interview: Ann MacInnes

Inspirational Women Interview: Ann MacInnes Name:-  Ann MacInnes

Job title:-  Retired: Researcher, University Lecturer (Jamaica), Open University Tutor/Counsellor and WEA Tutor.

Tell us a bit about your role:- Relationship to W@W e.g. Advisory group member
Network work member:-  I'm a member of the WEA Inverness Local Association Committee.   Hobby:- reading 

1.     What would you tell your 16 year old self?  Don't underestimate yourself  
2.     What was your first Job? The scholarship which enabled me to go to university (in Edinburgh) only covered my tuition fees so I covered my living expenses whilst I was a student by working during each vacation in jobs which included food and accommodation.  The first of these jobs was as a kitchen maid [at a holiday centre near Otterburn where one of my main tasks was to fill and empty one of the early industrial dishwashers - a very large, steamy and noisy machine, taller than me and the length of a room.]  Subsequently I was a chambermaid in a convalescence centre [run by the Transport and General Workers' Union] and then moved on to waitressing in hotels and restaurants which was more lucrative since I could add to my wages through tips.   These jobs were an important part of my education since I learnt a great deal about British society of the late 1950's/early '60s from the people I worked with, people I would not have got to know otherwise.  Most of them were very tolerant of an inexperienced young incomer from the colonies who needed to be shown how to do the work involved in each of these jobs.  
3.     What Woman/Women have inspired you? Barbara Castle, a feisty woman if ever there was one!   Mary Seacole (1805 - 1881), a pioneering Jamaican nurse who became a heroine of the Crimean War, her reputation rivaling that of Florence Nightingale.  Her father was a Scottish army officer and her mother a free black woman living in Kingston.  Her nursing skills were learned from her mother, a healer who used traditional Caribbean and African herbal remedies to treat disabled European soldiers and sailors, often suffering from the endemic yellow fever.   
4.     What one change do you believe would make the biggest difference to the life of women?  Equal pay  
5.     Who would be your ideal dinner guests? Friends made in the different parts of the world I've lived in but now seldom seen - in Jamaica, Bahamas, Canada, Australia, USA. Comparing notes as to how things have changed in these countries for today's youngsters - especially our daughters - would make for an interesting conversation...  
6.     What is the best advice you have been given?  Advice I gave myself - ironing is a fool's game!  
7.     Favourite holiday spot?                      Any tropical beach which is not part of a tourist development.

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