Jessie Guild Cook

Jessie Guild Cook

Jessie Cook (née Paton) was born in Dunedin in 1859, the daughter of well-regarded Scottish immigrants. In 1879 she married John Cook, a marine engineer and partner in Stevenson and Cook, noted Port Chalmers shipbuilders. The couple settled at St Leonards where Jessie brought up their eight children. She was also heavily involved in the Young Women’s Christian Association (YWCA), hosting meetings and organising fundraising campaigns. She continued her charitable work after war broke out in 1914, co-ordinating patriotic activity in St Leonards. She was involved in the Otago Women’s Patriotic Association which raised funds and organised events in support of soldiers. In 1915 the group organised a Soldiers’ Comforts Day (a day dedicated to making clothes and other comforts to send to soldiers overseas). The group also engaged in fund raising for the Belgian Relief Fund. For her efforts on the home front during the war Jessie was presented with the Médaille de la Reine Elisabeth (Queen Elisabeth Medal).

Family information

Parents: John Paton and Ann Paton (née Scott)

Born: 1859

Died: 22 July 1936, aged 76

Buried: Andersons Bay Cemetery, Dunedin, Block 95, Plot 3

Married: John Cook, 1879


  • John Cook, b. 1880
  • Annie Cook, b. 1882
  • Frances Cook, b. 1884
  • Robertson Cook, b. 1886
  • Jessie Cook, b. 1888
  • Duncan Cook, b. 1890
  • Nicol Cook, b. 1892
  • Robina Cook, b. 1894

Active in: Dunedin

Obituary/death notice:

Deaths: COOK – On July 22, 1936, at St Leonards, Jessie Guild, widow of John Cook; in her seventy-seventh year. Private interment.
Otago Daily Times, 23 July 1936, p. 10

Selected sources

'Young Women's Christian Association', Otago Daily Times, 16 April 1913, p. 9

'The War', Otago Daily Times, 7 May 1915, p. 3

'Otago Women's Patriotic Association', Otago Daily Times, 29 September 1915, p. 7

'The Otago Patriotic Fund', Otago Daily Times, 8 December 1915, p. 8

'The Otago Patriotic Fund', Otago Daily Times, 9 August 1916, p. 5

'Deaths', Otago Daily Times, 23 July 1936, p. 10

Community contributions

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