Joyce and Edward Buchanan at a bowls function.
Joyce and Edward Buchanan at a bowls function. contributed

We remember Joyce Buchanan: Mum rejoins soulmate

ONE of Joyce Buchanan's greatest passions in life were children - her own and other people's.

The Kingscliff resident died on January 20 at 79 years of age leaving a legacy of community work benefiting more than three generations of local kids.

Joyce was an infants teacher at South Tweed and South Murwillumbah for all her working life before retiring in her 50s.

Her students and her own four sons - John, Shane, Robert and Scott - were her pride and joy.

Her "other kids" were the Cudgen Surf Club Nippers which she and her late husband Eddie were involved in for over 30 years, long after their sons had progressed into the senior ranks.

Joyce and Eddie, known to generations of children as Mr and Mrs Buck, had a camera that was always full of happy snaps of carnival presentations.

The pair held various senior positions at the club over the years.

Recalls Adam Mills, president of the Cudgen Headland SLSC: "The Buchanans had a profound influence on all of the young boys and young ladies who became part of the Kingscliff nippers and it was unthinkable that you would not see the club on the beach on a Sunday or at a carnival without either Joyce or Eddie in attendance.

"Joyce was one of the most generous people that I have known," he said.

He said Joyce's enormous contribution to the junior organisation had helped mould many of the senior lifesavers currently patrolling our beaches.

Eddie, who died 18 months ago, did a stint in the 1970s as a Tweed Shire councillor and was also president of the Lions Club.

He was generally the member of the dynamic duo in the spotlight making speeches.

But it was Joyce who was toiling away quietly in the background making her own significant contribution to the community.

She was born in Bellingen on February 22, 1934, but happily spent most of her life in the Tweed. Son John Buchanan said his mum was the "caring heart" in a male-dominated household.

"Mum successfully raised four boys, five if you include Dad," he said.

"She was the calm voice when tempers flared and the quiet listener when you had a problem.

"She was the emergency taxi when you were stuck in Coolangatta with no money to get home.

"Mum's taxi got used a lot for sport, four boys, differing teams, differing times, differing locations.

"Nippers was the one sport where we were all together.

"Mum shunned the spotlight and just got on with the job.

"Whether it was doing the scoring at nipper carnivals or selling tickets for the raffles at the Kingscliff Bowling club, she just got on with the work.

"She was embarrassed when she was publicly thanked for her efforts, but also privately proud when her work was recognised.

"Mum and dad are together again.

"I think he would be saying, 'What's for dinner Joyce Mary'. Now she will be able to answer him again."

Joyce's other love was lawn bowls, a sport she used to swear she'd never have a bar of due to the "white leghorn uniform".

True to form, after joining the Kingscliff Women's Bowling Club in 1980, she went on to hold various positions from president to secretary and took out numerous championships.

Her prolific volunteer work included knitting garments for fellow bowlers and donating knitted items for the club charity day.

More than 200 people crowded into Melaleuca Station at Chinderah on January 24 to farewell Joyce and celebrate her life with her casket carried aloft by her four grandsons.

Did you know Joyce? Leave your tributes below in our comments section.

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