The Gateball community wishes to congratulate Beryl Holmes for her Australia Day award of a Medal in the Order of Australia.
Most of us know Beryl as a player in McIlwraith teams, where she has been a member for over 20 years. She has been, and still is, a passionate advocate for our game. She has not been unknown to accost passers-by and encourage them to give Gateball a go. She is always ready with advice and assistance. She is responsible for playing a major role in educating the first member of the current Canberra Gateball Team,when he first walked through Auchenflower and saw the game in action!
Beryl’s award was for services to the community and women’s organisations. She was a founding member of Children by Choice in 1972, served in a number of roles and is a life member. She has counselled women with unwanted pregnancies and has served in a number of prominent women’s advocacy organisations. She has been a long term member of the Queenland Council for Civil Liberties and was a made a life member of that organisation too. Much of her service in these organisations was at a time when the political climate in Queensland would have made her campaigning a challenging task.
Beryl never rests from her advocacy. She continues to argue that we should use the term ‘mallet sports’ because it is inclusive. Any off hand reference to the ‘Ladies’ at McIlwraith is always addressed. Beryl is the first to try to support those with physical disabilities wishing to continue to play the game.No doubt she is looking forward to a day when at least fifty percent of recipients of the award she obtained are women too. I have no doubt that in some way she has already started campaigning for that!