LADY HILDA DOROTHY JOSKE DStJ (nee Larcombe) 1900 - 1990

Hilda (known as Dorothy) Thomas was born in Melbourne 1900 and lived in Victoria until her marriage to James Larcombe of Sydney in 1936. Their home was a lovely house 'Somerset', with its beautiful garden setting, in Strathfield (Sydney). Here Dorothy lived for the rest of her life, making 'Somerset' available for many of the fund raising functions for St John. She was widowed in 1943.

In 1969 Dorothy Larcombe married the Hon. Percy Joske CMG QC. He was a distinguished Jurist and Author, who was Knighted in 1977 and deceased in 1985. Lady Joske was deceased on 26th November 1990 after a long and very useful life.

In 1958 Australian Linen Guilds were established with three Branches in New South Wales and Mrs Larcombe joined the Western Suburbs Branch. Her Excellency Lady Slim (wife of Governor-General) graciously extended her Vice-Regal Patronage and Lady Berryman (wife of Governor of NSW) accepted the position of President. Each year the Guild sent money to the Linen Guild of the Grand Priory to help in the purchase of necessary supplies for the Ophthalmic Hospital in Jerusalem (linen, bedspreads, uniforms, bed jackets, pyjamas etc.). Mrs Larcombe became the President of the Western Suburbs Linen Guild in 1965 and in 1968 was appointed President of the New South Wales Linen Guild and served continuously as a member for the rest of her life.

Prior to the establishment of the Linen Guild a Hospitallers Club existed in New South Wales and other states of Australia. The Hospitallers Club of NSW was formed on 24th September 1948. Membership was open to 'those of both sexes who are willing to interest themselves in the promotion of the Order of St John in NSW, the promulation of the historic aims and objects of the Order and Social events'.

In 1971 Lady Joske accepted the appointment as President of the Linen Guilds of Australia. As National President she visited all states of the Commonwealth organising support for the Hospital in Jerusalem.

Lady Joske retired in 1983.

1966 - Admitted to the Order of St John as Member
1972 - Promoted to Officer of the Order
1979 - Promoted to Commander of the Order
1984 - Promoted to Dame of the Order

Comment by Betty Stirton
A mere account of her works does not do justice to the witty, intelligent, warm-hearted woman whose friendship inspired love and admiration. She was always modest about her achievements. For those who had the privilege to know Lady Joske not only admired her activities but loved her dearly as a friend.

Researched by Betty Stirton

Photos to be researched