I rise to pay tribute to Wendy Eleanor Pearl, who died late last year. The massive attendance at the mass of thanksgiving held at St Francis Xavier Church in Corio on 30 December 2014 was an indication of the deep love and widespread respect in which Wendy was held by the people of Geelong and in particular its northern suburbs.
Wendy was a mother of four, a grandmother, a great-grandmother, a wife to Joe and a teacher. Wendy taught at Corio Primary School for many years, imparting reading, writing and maths skills along with the true nature of compassion and social justice. Wendy was always aware of those around her who were less fortunate, and she did whatever she could to improve their lives and the wider community. Children who needed help often ended up living with the family in their modest housing commission home. Wendy also found time to be involved in a vast number of community organisations. She was a life member of the Geelong Irish Society, the Geelong Greyhound Racing Club and the National Coursing Association of Victoria.
Wendy was a doer. She was clever. She walked tall, gave solid advice and brought out the very best in people. Wendy enjoyed a loving marriage to Joe Pearl — a partnership that was rich and enduring. I know Joe and the family keenly feel their loss, but they know they were fortunate to have such a wonderful woman in their lives for so long. Wendy’s life was one well lived, but the sky would have been the limit if she had been born at a different time where there were more opportunities for women. It was an honour to know Wendy Pearl. I will cherish her words of wisdom and her knowing smile. Vale Wendy Pearl.