One of the area’s oldest residents, Beryl Cater from Castle Hill, was farewelled at a memorial service last week. The 101-year-old was remembered as a generous soul by family and friends.
Beryl was born in Carrington Rd, Castle Hill on September 30, 1918 to Minnie May and William John Stephens, their fifth child and only daughter. Her memorial service was held at the Allan Drew Chapel which was the former St Paul’s Anglican Church where young Beryl Stephens was christened on Armistice Day on November 11, 1918.
She was always a sickly child and didn’t start school until the age of 7. Her brothers Harry and Herb had already left Castle Hill Public School but she and her brothers, Fred and Alf, would take an hour to walk to the school on Old Northern Rd.
She repeated sixth class because her parents were not keen for her to attend high school in Parramatta because it would mean a tram journey from the end of Parsonage Rd. During World War II she got a job as a seamstress making military uniforms and it was while training at Granville Technical College that she met Ernest Colin Cater who was doing an apprentice in carriage building.
They married in 1944 and had two children, Colin and Elaine.
She was widowed in 1965.
She was a great cook and worked at Courtlands Nursing Home and cooked at Rydalmere Hospital.
She was also the first to volunteer for cooking duty on church and school trips.
Mrs Cater was always a VIP guest at events at Castle Hill Public School where she first enrolled in 1925.
She was given the honour of “closing the gate” at the school, founded in 1887, when it moved from its old site to its current site in Les Shore Place in 1998. Mrs Cater even returned to the school in November 2018 to the official unveiling of the school Honour Rolls.
She took along a birthday card she had received from Queen Elizabeth II to mark her 100th birthday to show students.
Her daughter Elaine Cater said: “Mum was a very kind and considerate person who would always put the other person first.
“She was passionately independent.”
She is survived by her children, Colin and Elaine, grandsons Tristan and Sean and Beryl at Castle Hill Public School in 2018 aged 100 ‘ great grandchildren April and Logan.