Beryl Neilsen Death, Obituary – Not only was Mrs. Neilsen a long-time client of our company, but she was also instrumental in the establishment of The John and Beryl Neilsen Winchester Foundation, which was founded in conjunction with our former partner Mr. John Formosa and Mr. Cliff Flor of Flor-Hanly Commercial & Agribusiness Accountants. Since its inception in 2011, the foundation has awarded more than 1,400 scholarships to 460 students enrolled in secondary schools and tertiary institutions.
It is a testimonial to Mrs. Neilsen’s unparalleled modesty and generosity that she was granted a medal of the Order of Australia in 2021 for her commitment to the community through her nonprofit organization. In addition to awarding scholarships, the Winchester Foundation also continues to serve as the diamond sponsor of the annual Queensland Isolated Children’s Parents’ Association Conference.
Furthermore, the foundation will soon celebrate ten years of bringing primary school students from country schools located across central Queensland to the Whitsunday Voices Youth Literature Festival. On November 30th, 1941, Beryl Smith was brought into the world in Mackay by her parents, Mr. James Wilfred “Jim” Smith and Mrs. Mary Cecilia Smith (née Ryalls). On May 5, 1962, she wed her late husband John Oliver Neilsen at St. Francis Xavier Church in West Mackay.
From 1962 to 1980, Beryl and John made their home on Olive Downs Station. Beginning in 1980, they moved to Winchester Downs Station, where they remained until Beryl moved to Mackay in 2020. Beryl maintained her trips to Winchester Downs even after moving to Mackay, with the aid of her family and friends.
Mrs. Neilsen is one of the few people you will come across in your life who has such a good outlook and has had such an impact upon the lives of others as you will. She never appeared in public without a cheery smile. She found an abnormal amount of fulfillment in helping others, particularly rural youngsters, through the many philanthropic organizations she was involved with.
Mrs. Neilsen attended many graduation ceremonies for the recipients of her tertiary scholarships, despite the fact that she did not have any children of her own. She also always had a great time arranging the Winchester Day Luncheon at Winchester Downs in order to celebrate the scholarship winners on a yearly basis.
Beryl is survived by her siblings, as well as her nieces, nephews, and the extended family that is a part of the Winchester Foundation. She will be greatly missed by everyone. I pray that she finds eternal rest.