Beryl’s legacy is beacon of blue

FAREWELL: Beryl Bryce dedicated her life to others. Her funeral will be held today at the Presbyterian Church from 11am. NOWRA has lost one of its community cornerstones with the death on Friday of long-time businesswoman and determined advocate for a range of causes, Beryl Bryce.The 83-year-old, who succumbed to pneumonia, spent her entire life living in Nowra, and started her working life at the age of 15 when she landed a position with major retailer of the time, Bashas.Years later she set up her own business, Beryl’s Handcrafts, in Junction Street with help from the Basha family.While her smiling face and helpful advice was a constant within the business, Ms Bryce was just as consistent with her support of many local causes.She was involved in raising money for organisations including the Salvation Army, DAISI and the Red Cross, and for the fight against cystic fibrosis.However in recent years she directed her considerable energy and attention at fighting to save the Nowra Swimming Pool when it was slated for closure by Shoalhaven City Council.Her connection with the pool went back decades, as the pool was built on land resumed from her father.When council started talking about closing the pool because it had reached the end of its useful life, Ms Bryce was prominent in the battle to save the facility, working closely with campaign co-ordinator Fiona Phillips.“Beryl is probably one of the most amazing people I have ever met,” Mrs Phillips said.“Beryl had a wealth of knowledge, was genuine, caring and probably had one of the best fighting instincts and determination that I have ever seen.“I mean she could run rings around younger people and she could get things done.“When the petitions started, Beryl went up the street; wherever she went she took the petitions and in about a week had a huge amount of support,” Mrs Phillips said.“Beryl would sit on a fundraising stall with her niece in the main street, which she did regularly in support of cystic fibrosis, and together Beryl and I sat in the main street as well gathering support.“Then there was the Nowra Show where all Friday and Saturday, Beryl, Lynne and myself manned a stall, again gaining further support,” Mrs Phillips said.Ms Bryce wore her support on her sleeve, making sure she was at every council meeting when the pool’s future was discussed.She was also at the centre of celebrations when council recently announced plans to restore the pool as part of an integrated riverfront precinct, saying that was part of the plan when council took her family’s land in the 1950s.Ms Bryce is being farewelled today during a funeral service at the Presbyterian Church starting 11am, organised by Murphy’s Family Funerals.This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.