Lumen Christi Catholic College honour philanthropist Mary Beswick

The naming ceremony in honour of Mary Beswick at Lumen Christi College. Photo supplied.
The naming ceremony in honour of Mary Beswick at Lumen Christi College. Photo supplied.

This week Lumen Christi Catholic College officially named it's music room the 'Mary Beswick Music Room' in honour of the philanthropist who so generously donated $20,000 to purchase musical equipment during the College's inception in 2000.

On Wednesday, July 29, Lumen Christi conducted an official naming ceremony in honour of Mary Beswick.

Principal Shane Giles was in attendance, with Fr Pale to give his blessing, and stories of Mary's life and generosity were shared in tribute to the woman who was such a remarkable philanthropist.

Mary Beswick started life in the Bega Valley as Mary Cavill where her grandfather found gold around Wolumla and built the Goldfields Hotel.

She was a boarder at St Joseph's in Eden and was very fond of the Sisters of Saint Joseph who taught her, and Mary kept contact with the sisters all her long life.

Mary married George Beswick, a very well known lawyer from Sydney and George and Mary became very generous benefactors to the Catholic Church, the Prince of Wales Hospital at Randwick and countless other charities and causes - they gave away millions, but lived frugally themselves.

Mary heard about the restoration work John Liston was doing to churches at Pambula, Eden and Wolumla and asked him to include the St Joseph's Convent in Eden. She sent down thousands of dollars to pay for materials and labour.

In 2000, Mary heard a new Catholic school was being planned for Pambula Beach and made contact to see if she could help in any way.

John suggested that she could help purchase musical instruments and she immediately sent down a cheque for $20,000 which the Foundation Principal Mr Paul Carroll took to Magpie Music to purchase amps, keyboards and string instruments, which was the start of Lumen's musical legacy today.

Mary passed away not long after, but her son Peter and two daughters Maria and Judy continued the generous legacy started by their parents.

The George & Mary Beswick Fund continues to support charities, hospitals, women's shelters and those experiencing homelessness.