Beryl Pickering was one of the first babies to be delivered in the Lady Goodwin Hospital on the 26 of November 1930. As the oldest of six children Beryl remembers her childhood fondly, especially riding her father’s horses. She is proudly Rockhampton born and bred, confessing that, “Rockhampton is my favourite town. I’ve lived here my whole life, and it’s still my favourite place.”
During her childhood Beryl went to school in Theodore until Grade 3, when she then left to go to work to support her younger siblings. She worked all over the region housekeeping, ironing, even cleaning carriages at the train station and replacing the numbers on all the compartments.
She then married Stanley Maurice Pickering (Maurice) at age 19 in her favourite town, Rockhampton. Beryl remembers Maurice fondly as being a great family man and very brave, even fighting in World War II where he was wounded in action. Maurice returned home after he was shot in the leg in the on the field.
Beryl and Maurice went on to have one very large family, now spanning over 5 generations. She has 9 children, 25 grandchildren, 15 great-grandchildren and 6 great-great-grandchildren. The youngest being, Sonny, who is only three weeks old and has already visited his great-great-grandmother three times!
Although Beryl worked all her life, being a mother was always her favourite position. “Raising my family was always my favourite job, I’m very proud of my family and I’ve always tried to raise my kids with the right principles.”
Even with such a big family Beryl doesn’t have favourites, saying “I’ve never had favourites, I love them all equally, they are all just family to me.” With family and her work Beryl still had time for many hobbies that she still loves today, including sports, bingo, and most importantly gardening. Beryl was an avid gardener even winning the Rockhampton Regional Gardening Competition three times!
“I loved my garden, especially my geranium’s and desert roses.”
As well as gardening, riding horses as a child has led to a lifelong love for horses and horse racing, with Beryl’s favourite horse now being ‘Who Shot the Barman’. Her family would always take her to have a bet and watch the horses run.
Beryl now lives in Mardy McKean and loves Benevolent, especially her carers and the sitting room where her growing family visits every week.