Beryl was my sister, my only sibling; she was 13 years older than me. As a direct result of this Beryl was often left in charge of her young brother when mum and dad went out. Those were not happy days for me! As a small boy it was no fun being left in the care of your bossy sister. In those early years I did not like her very much. Then there was the string of boyfriends whom I was obliged to meet and be polite to; boring! The last one was Alan Thyer. He was OK; I liked him. He had a BSA Bantam motorbike and it was fun too.
Beryl married Alan, and stayed married to him until she died in 2001. During these years I grew up and grew to like Beryl much more. By the time I had retired from General Practice she was an old lady, and we were the best of friends. She always admired and showed a keen interest in my work among African children. She and her friends knitted little garments for me to take to Cameroon – ‘for our Peter’s African babies’. She was knitting them during the final hours of her life. Alan and Beryl suffered the worst grief parents can, for just one year before Beryl died of cancer, their only child – Janice – also died of cancer at age 46. Alan now lives with me in Warkton.
Thinking over things after Beryl’s funeral, Alan and I came upon the positive idea of using my fundraising efforts as a memorial to Beryl. She was deeply Christian, and her church people donated generously at that time. The Beryl Thyer Memorial Africa Fund was thus started. The next step was to apply for Charitable status. At the beginning of January 2006 this had gone through to the Commission’s satisfaction, and so was launched the Beryl Thyer Memorial Africa Trust. Apart from the good this may do for the children of Cameroon, it is also an appropriate means of remembering Beryl. Alan is one of the Trustees of the Charity that bears his wife’s name.