August, 31 2012
Port Hedland
Martin Parr
Photography

Beryl

 

I was originally from York and then was living in Perth. I came here in May 1961 when I first got married, my first husband was working here. My eldest son had asthma, and the doctor’s said the weather was better for him, but in actual fact, it didn’t make any difference at all. I came up for two years, but I’m still here. I remarried and we were together for 38 years, but my husband just passed away.

When I first came I worked at the Esplanade Hotel; we used to have a lot of fun. I’ve done a little bit of everything at the Pier Hotel, All Seasons, and Dempster’s Store; a general store and cleaned the nurse’s quarters. You used to be able to go down the street and know everyone, people got on well but now the atmosphere has changed.

I’m President of the Country Women’s Association (CWA). This is a nation-wide organization, there is one in every state and we formed in 1922. We’ve also been in Port Hedland for a long time. I heard about CWA so I joined, all the women meet and support each other. It’s not as big as it used to be, I’m the only old one left; but there are lots of nice ladies and we help in town wherever we can. We have emergency accommodation at the hospital, we have get togethers, we do barbeques, raffles, and sell Easter eggs. We also do craft, I knit and crochet. I volunteered at the Port Hedland Hospital Auxiliary Shop for 17 years. I love the races and my family is involved too. My daughter is on the racing committee; my older son trains horses and races them.

I have four children and a foster daughter, and many, many grandchildren and a few great grandchildren. Most of them live down south now but two grandchildren live here with their wives and children. I wouldn’t live anywhere else. I like the place, my daughter lives five doors down and she won’t leave.

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