Sharing love, kindness and generosity

April 25th, 2024Sharing love, kindness and generosity

On a beautiful autumn day, surrounded by loved ones, friends and community, Ros and Keith Pyers, holding hands in the family home sitting room, did what they have done so well for so long – shared their love, kindness and generosity.

On a beautiful autumn day, surrounded by loved ones, friends and community, Ros and Keith Pyers, holding hands in the family home sitting room, did what they have done so well for so long – shared their love, kindness and generosity.

This article could easily have been written as a love story. Ros and Keith met as young teachers, fell in love and raised a family.

They navigated their way through Victorian schools and around the world, finally carving out a life on the outskirts of Daylesford. Ros and Keith have also dedicated thousands of hours to helping community groups, causes and committees prosper for generations.

But the real story is about Ros (pictured above) and her love and devotion to children’s education, music and local history and her desire to give back to her community.

Thanks to advice from her astute father, Ros invested in a parcel of shares which later she set aside as a gift to the community. During her long years of retirement, these shares grew to fund the four bequests, helping Ros to realise her dream of giving back to her community.

“It certainly wasn’t millions,” said Keith.

“But Ros always talked about giving back to community groups using that money and as a family we knew it was important for Ros to see it happen. It was just a matter of when.”

Of course, there were no objections from Keith and the family but there was a great deal of organising and planning that Keith has undertaken on Ros’s behalf, including bank meetings, the setting up of trust funds and liaising with the recipients.

Given how widely she has volunteered and the number of community groups she has devoted her time to over the years, it must have been quite a challenge for Ros to choose the recipients.

The grateful beneficiaries of her generosity include Hepburn Primary School, Daylesford Primary School, Daylesford Community Brass Band and Daylesford and District Historical Society.

For more than 30 years Ros was a member of the Daylesford & District Agricultural Society and the Daylesford Highland Gathering collective.

She was also a valued member of the Daylesford & District Historical Society and helped establish Australia Day celebrations in the town. A founding member of the Friends of Wombat Hill Botanic Gardens, Ros also supported Keith in his role as local Mayor over a four-year period.

Her devotion to charity, community work and volunteering roles was carried out while raising a young family, continuing her studies, and working as a school principal over a 40-year period.

Recipients spoke with gratitude and outlined the contribution the funds would make to their respective organisations.

A Rosalind Pyers stamp will be included in all new library books bought with the funds for Daylesford Primary School among other essential items.

Hepburn Primary School will plant a tree in Ros’s honour and will use funds to extend the school’s annual camping program.

An academic excellence award will be set up in honour of Ros to help children transition from primary to secondary school.

The Historical Society will use its donation to help preserve its newspaper collection. Funds will also support Daylesford Brass Band members to attend music camps. In a touching tribute to Ros, the band has also commissioned a piece of music to be written in her honour.

The gathering at the Pyers home celebrated important local institutions, each with their own unique stories. They are all an important part of Daylesford’s past and, thanks to Ros’s generosity, will continue to pave the way for the future.

Ros never wanted any accolades, just the knowledge that her community was being cared for. Ros’s legacy is so important for a small community like ours.

Making sure our history is preserved, our school children are cared for, and local institutions like the brass band can continue to proudly pop up at every community event.

At 90 years of age, her memory is fading at times. But on this beautiful autumn day, her husband of 67 years sits by her side along with her three boys and three grandchildren.

There is a strong sense of Ros’s contentment and happiness, emotions that are shared by most of the people gathered to honour her and her extraordinary legacy.

The gathering honoured family bonds, long-term friendships and a woman who embodies the very essence of community and generosity. It was one of those occasions when the true meaning of the words love, legacy and loyalty to a community shone through.

Hepburn Shire Mayor, Councillor Brian Hood perfectly summed up the feeling in the room.

“This is an extraordinary event. The impact of your generosity and compassion will be felt for many years to come. This is such a wonderful gesture and one that will make an incredible difference to our children and the wider community. What an extraordinary event to be a part of.”

Words: Narelle Groenhout | Image: Contributed

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