I first met Cheryl at the beginning of 1968 in Sydney when my cousin brought her along to a Raphael fundraiser event. It was a Japanese luncheon prepared by Jenny at Barbara Coleman’s home in Sydney.
Cheryl joined Ryder-Cheshire for the next 50 years. She was a Director on the NSW Foundation for 12 years. We met again when she moved to the Hunter Valley and she joined the Singleton Ryder-Cheshire Support Group where, for many years, she was our President and Public Officer, maintaining her support of the Ryder-Cheshire NSW and the National Foundation. She sold copious Christmas cards.
With a background in Real Estate and Banking, her expertise and competence were invaluable. She was compassionate and generous, and had a unique balance of firmly standing up for what she believed was right, coupled with a sense of fun. She could turn her hand to anything, even running up the curtains forLocksley, the then Ryder-Cheshire Home in Singleton, NSW. It was under Cheryl’s watch that we incorporated and eventually wound up the Singleton Home, distributing the funds to other Ryder-Cheshire projects. She was delighted with the progress reports of that money being promptly utilised where needed.
She managed to make a mark with other causes as well; St. Michael’s Church and community groups in Wollombi, Family Support in Cessnock, St. Patrick’s Church baptisms in Singleton, St. George Bank Foundation and the National Party to name some, but Ryder-Cheshire was her favourite charity. Her hobbies were many; a talented artist, cook, gardener and perfect hostess.
A devout Catholic, her battle with cancer extended over four uncomplaining years. We saw her as brave, beautiful, and positive. In detail, she calmly organised her affairs so that her family would not be unduly burdened, attending to any maintenance issues. A fortnight before dying, she told a tradesman that he needed to expedite the job as she was going away soon, travelling.
Cheryl was an inspiration, a dependable friend. She shall not be forgotten. We all miss her deeply.