The 100th Birthday of Tom Berry marked a special milestone in the busy life of a cherished Ipswich centenarian, and current covid visitation restrictions didn’t deter his devoted family members from attending to help celebrate.
Some of Tom’s tribe had already travelled a great distance, for what was planned to be a big celebration of Tom’s life. When visitation restrictions were suddenly enforced by the Government, due to covid transmission risk in the region, an alternative plan had to be made. So a gathering on the grass outside our Ipswich home saw Tom seated in VIP position on the balcony, as he was sufficiently showered with love from 40 of his friends and family. Read more on their celebration here.
The love for Tom, and his wife June, both of whom have resided with Infinite Care since April 2020, has been earned during a life devoted to their family and local community. Tom has spent his entire life and Ipswich and he and June have been married for 73 years producing four children, 11 grandchildren and four great grandchildren!
Tom started driving buses from the moment he had his driving licence, and started working for Highway Coaches in 1939 as an 18-year-old motor mechanic. He continued in this position until he took over the bus company in 1979, when the company owner became too unwell to continue working. Since then the business has firmly been a family affair with Tom’s twin sons Bruce and Gordon, his daughter Kaye and Kaye’s husband Max all still working to run the business.
Tom continued to drive his buses for more than 60 years (until he was 90!) and loved to regale stories of his bus runs driving locals to the movies, or to church, in a time when not many people owned cars. It was a tight knit community and Tom loved seeing his regulars. His wife June proudly states that, “local kids all loved Tom and there would be very few who had never been on a bus with Tom Berry driving.”
To read more about Tom please click through to a wonderful article published by ABC Australia in 2017.
Happy Birthday Tom!