It’s the end of an era at Harristown State School in Toowoomba, with long time convenor, Beryl Nicholson, hanging up the apron one last time, after 45 years of service.
Starting out as a volunteer back in 1976 when her eldest child started school, Beryl was quickly convinced to take on the convenor role just one year later and hasn’t looked back since.
What started out as a one-day-a-week service, quickly evolved into two, with the tuckshop now operating three days a week, serving the 500+ strong student body.
Over the years Beryl has played a crucial role in volunteering at school events and has more recently even taken on the role of running the uniform shop.
It’s all in a day’s work for the dedicated grandmother, who has credited her children, and their children, for sticking around for so long.
“My three children all attended Harristown State School, so I wanted to be there for them throughout their schooling years,” Beryl explained.
“Then my own grandchildren have also come through, so I thought it was only fair that I stayed until they all finished too.
“By the time I finished up, half of the students were calling me Granny. I made an effort to go to all the graduation ceremonies at the end of each year, and even took care of ordering the graduation cakes.”
With her service spanning almost five decades, challenges and change were inevitable, but they were something Beryl always took into her stride.
“Finding volunteers always proved to be the biggest challenge, but I’d always say that it’s such a good reason to get out of the house,” Beryl said.
“When we introduced ordering, instead of just over-the-counter sales, it made things a lot easier and reduced the wastage. It was a real turning point.”
With a new convenor taking up the reins in 2022, Beryl has just one piece of advice.
“Take every day as it comes. Change is inevitable so you just have to go with it.”