Tireless campaigner for the Beverly Hills community, Betty Evers dies aged 86

Beverly Hills resident and community activist Betty Evers passed away on July 14 aged 86.

Betty and her husband Mervyn were well-known in the community for their involvement in many grass-roots campaigns, particularly through the Hurstville Residents' Association and were jointly honoured as the 2005 Hurstville Council Citizens of the Year.

She was born Betty Quinn in Newtown on February 6, 1933 and met Mervyn in 1948 when she was aged 15.

They married on May 31, 1952 at St Stephen's Church, Newtown and settled in the suburb, first in Roberts Street and then Lennox Street, where they raised their two sons, Stephen and Robert.

Mervyn worked as a stevedore at White Bay and transferred to Port Botany in 1972 where he became involved with the Waterside Workers' Union.

In 1973 they moved to Beverly Hills where they became involved in community life.

"My mother absolutely idolised Beverly Hills," Betty's son, Stephen said. "It was so different from Newtown which in those days was a concrete jungle. Beverly Hills was green, spacious and quiet."

Betty led the campaign for a pedestrian underpass at Kingsgrove Station because she was worried about the safety of the local school children.

She was involved in saving the former Kingsgrove Bowling Club from development and seeing it converted for use as the Jack High Child Care Centre.

Other causes she took up were the M5, the campaign for the lift at Narwee station, seating for the elderly at Beverly Hills station, restoring the bus loop for the 450 bus at Beverly Hills, and trying to save the pedestrian crossing at Tooronga Terrace.

"My parents seemed to have an incredible awareness of the community's needs and what people wanted and took their concerns to Hurstville Council and the State Government when required," Stephen said.

"I was told that MPs often bounced ideas off my parents to find the community's attitude to changes.

"My mother cared about everyone. She was a deep worrier and genuinely cared about people.

"All this care came through her upbringing.

"She worked two jobs from the time she was 15. She started work in a button factory, drilling holes in buttons during the day and at night she worked in a cafe as a cook.

"She was a worker. She wasn't happy unless she was working. That's why she and my father got involved in so many community campaigns.

"And she loved children. She was still putting money in Christmas cards and handing them out to local children even if she didn't know their names. She was very generous."

Mervyn Evers passed away on August 28 last year at 87.

"After Dad passed away the spark went out of her life. She had her own health problems. She had a stroke before she was 50. But she kept working. She was tireless."

Betty Evers is survived by her sons Robert and Stephen, daughter-in-law Debra, and her four grandchildren, Liam, Kate, Matthew and Megan.

A funeral service will be held on Friday, July 26 at the South Chapel, Woronora Crematorium at 11am.

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