Tuesday 11 April 2017

Behind every great man....Genevieve Tregear's story

Much is written of Mayor Clive Tregear, but not so much about his wife Genevieve. A local Ingleburn girl, Genevieve was loved by her community and worked tirelessly for it.
Born to parents Oliver and Belinda Kayess in 1918, Genevieve spent her early life in Ingleburn, before meeting Clive Tregear. Clive had been transferred to Ingleburn Army Camp, after serving in Darwin during the Japanese attacks. They became engaged in 1941, and married in 1942.
In 1946, what should have been a joyous occasion for any young couple became a tragedy. On May 6th, Genevieve and Clive became parents to twin girls, who only survived for four days. Named Virginia Sue and Christine Cheryl, they were buried at Rookwood on May 14th. Sadly, the Tregears would not have any more children.
A couple of years later Genevieve opened a haberdashery business at 2 Ingleburn Road, Ingleburn. This business would remain open for 28 years. Later, Genevieve would also become a partner in Ingleburn Travel Service.
Genevieve helped to establish the Ingleburn Baby Health Centre. It opened in 1951, and Genevieve maintained a special relationship with it, bringing her in touch with many local families.
In 1956 Clive stood for council and became an alderman. With Genevieve by his side Clive then became Mayor in 1964. Genevieve was Lady Mayoress for the next 8 years. She welcomed newcomers to Campbelltown and Ingleburn, particularly those from overseas. She loved to help them adjust to their new lives.
Genevieve on her last day in the haberdashery shop - (Campbelltown Ingleburn News)
Genevieve was a founding member of the Quota Club of Campbelltown, and in 1976 was elected Lieutenant Governor of the 35th District of Quota International. In 1977, Genevieve closed the doors of her business at Ingleburn, and the same year was appointed to District Governor of the 35th District. Also active in many other organisations such as St Barnabas Church Ingleburn, Ingleburn Girl Guides, Ingleburn CWA, Ingleburn View Club and Ingleburn Ladies Bowling Club, Genevieve was always busy helping others.
She was described as "a most sincere and gracious person, always happy and bright, never complaining, always busy, mostly working for organisations concerned with helping mankind." She was sometimes affectionately known as "Mrs Ingleburn".
On 29th May 1995, Genevieve passed away, having suffered a stroke 4 days earlier. The community was devastated, as Genevieve had been so active amongst them. She was buried at Forest Lawn Cemetery at Leppington.
The following year Genevieve was honoured with a posthumous Australia Day Award for Citizen of the Year. A plaque in her memory is installed in Hallinan Park, Ingleburn.
Clive Tregear survived his beloved wife by six years. Ingleburn Centrelink staff would see him every day in Hallinan Park cleaning up rubbish, to keep the park tidy for Genevieve's memorial.

Genevieve's plaque in Hallinan Park.

Written by Claire Lynch
Sources -
Campbelltown Ingleburn News

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