House debates

Thursday, 4 February 2021

Statements by Members

Reeve, Mrs Mary Jo

1:37 pm

Photo of Julian LeeserJulian Leeser (Berowra, Liberal Party) Share this | Hansard source

I rise to pay tribute to Mary Jo Reeve, who passed away on 25 January. Mary Jo was an essential part of the Beecroft community for a generation. She's well known for the restoration of Booth Park in Beecroft. Mary Jo and her husband, Professor Tom Reeve, moved into a white house beside Booth Park, with an Australian flag flying for 60 years. The park had become a dump for unwanted fridges, old stoves, car parts and general rubbish. It was overgrown by privet, blackberry and lantana. Mary Jo became the unofficial caretaker, working to enable sport to be played again in the park. She also paid children to help her weed and plant shrubs. She provided afternoon tea for those who didn't have mums at home and listened to them do their spelling homework. As the years passed, her labours extended into the land surrounding the oval.

Her philosophy was that every Australian should be responsible for some patch of the country and that, if you create beauty, people will also see and nurture the beauty. I spent a couple of hours with Mary Jo and Tom a few years back and enjoyed her sparkling intellect and her passion. Mary Jo was a local identity, passionate about the community, and a regular attendee of the civic trust meetings. She never hesitated to speak up for the community, whether to stop a redevelopment or to pressure the council to improve civic amenities. I want to extend my condolences to Tom and her three children and four grandchildren as we remember her as somebody who transformed Beecroft, was a great community identity and had a wonderful and engaging mind.


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