Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Trailblazing former Queensland councillor turns 100

A trailblazing former Queensland local government councillor and teacher celebrated her 100th birthday on the Gold Coast over the weekend.

Great-grandmother, Beatrice Tessier, marked her milestone birthday with a high tea with family and friends at her home, the Carinity Cedarbrook aged care community in Mudgeeraba.

Beatrice was born to Louis and Olga Soucatch in Bundaberg in 1923.

At the age of 14 she moved to Warwick to become a teacher. During a teaching career which spanned half a century, Beatrice taught at convents and state schools in Toowoomba, Brisbane, Cleveland, Mossman and Miallo, near Port Douglas, where she served as Head Mistress.

Cherril Mealing helped induct her mother Beatrice Tessier into the Carinity 100 Club for centenarians.

Beatrice spent many years tutoring in later life after her retirement. Her family say this gave her great pleasure and a sense of joy watching her students achieve.

She married the love of her life, Cyril Tessier, who served as a gunner with the Australian Air Force during World War II, in St Joseph’s Church at Kangaroo Point in Brisbane in 1947. The couple had one daughter, Cherril.

Whilst working at Mossman State School, Beatrice was the first woman elected to Douglas Shire Council in far north Queensland, serving from 1976 to 1979.

She later retired to Malanda on a five-acre hobby farm, before relocating to Brisbane and then the Gold Coast to be closer to her grandson.

“Beatrice’s secret to her long life is keeping mentally active and contributing to her community; whether taking an active role in the Douglas Shire Council, decades of teaching young minds in the classroom, or supporting youngsters to achieve their goals in her retirement,” says daughter, Cherril Mealing.

Guests from as far away as Sydney, including students that Beatrice taught, attended the centenarian’s birthday party.

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