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Beaudesert a tsunami of colour for Joy Drescher's final farewell

BEAUDESERT was awash in colour for the funeral of former mayor Joy Drescher today as mourners, including six of her sisters saw her off in a fashion befitting the Joy we all knew and loved.

Their was no black in evidence and most people went out of the way to don "joyful" colours.

Local leaders, community members and residents joined Ms Drescher's widower Doug and three of her four children to say a last goodbye. Ms Drescher's daughter Carmel, who lives overseas, was stuck in London and forced to attend via live stream.

Scenic Rim Regional Council was represented by Cr Michael Enright and Cr Virginia West.

Scenic Rim MP Jon Krause attended the service, as did Dr Michael Rice.

St Mary's Church was filled to capacity for the requiem mass, which included all the rituals associated with the traditional mass for the dead, including holy communion.

The ceremony was conducted by parish priest Father Kevin Njoku.

Ms Drescher was born in Cunnamulla on November 15, 1944 and died at Beaudesert on November 28, 2021.

The bush poet, Rotarian, artist and local leader was loved and respected by her adopted community of Beaudesert where she had become part of the social fabric of the town since she ran for council the first time in 1979.

She served two terms as mayor and three as a councillor.

During the service, the church choir performed several hymns and a Power Point presentation showed photos of Ms Drescher in all her colourful, quirky glory with Cat Stevens' If you want to sing out, sing out as background music.

In her eulogy, Ms Drescher's daughter Madonna Guy shared personal anecdotes about her mum and spoke about how much she loved being part of a large family with eight sisters and two brothers.

She also spoke about her mother's fabulous fashion sense, her loudness, rebellious streak and her love of a good party.

"Mum loved practically sharing her birthday with my oldest brother Jimmy and never let him forget that she left her 21st birthday party to give birth," she said.

"I'm so glad Joy and Doug recently celebrated her 77th birthday in style at a party hosted by Jimmy with string quartet, a band who sang mum Happy Birthday and bright colours, sparkles, feathers, sequins and masks as far as the eye could see."

Ms Guy spoke about event leading up to her mother's death.

"On mum and Doug's last day together they made their way to Brisbane by 8.30 for a Power Talk meeting in which mum competed and came second in an Australia-wide speech competition- for a speach on happiness where ironically she started with, 'Today is the happiest day of your life. How do I know? Because you are alive.'

"They travelled back to Beaudesert for the freedom rally at Jubilee Park where mum gave an impromptu speech, hugged 500 people, dropped in for coffee with a friend, went out for dinner at the Chinese ... what a day, but not uncommon for mum.

"She was a great mum who supported us all in anything we ever wanted to do.

"Mum proudly loved her whole huge, crazy family.

"So Joy Stapleton, Sheil, Drescher, the girl from Cunnamulla, one of a kind, blossomed from her humble beginnings to a woman who has touched so many people's lives."

Outside the church was a sign erected by the Beaudesert Rotary Club in bright colours, reading "In Loving Memory, Joy".

Ms Drescher had been a stalwart of the club and her fellow Rotarians were joined by representatives of the Rotary Sunrise Satellite Club and Jimboomba Rotary to form a guard of honour when the pallbearers exited the church.

Ms Drescher's coffin, lovingly painted bright pink and decorated by local BADCAP artists, was carried from the church by David Sheil, Jim Sheil, Blaise Guy, Ben Drescher, Peter Sheil and Daniel Matthews.

Ms Drescher was laid to rest at Beaudesert Cemetery with Gary Drescher, Marty Henrion, Jason Guy, Josh Hoffman, Nava Sheil and Jon Wolters serving as pallbearers.

A party was held after the interment at Jymbilung House and generously provided by the Mununjali community.

Refreshments were served and several of those in attendance took the opportunity to speak about their fond memories of the irreplaceable Joy Drescher.

This story A fitting farewell for Joy Drescher first appeared on Beaudesert Times.