Betty Pringle celebrates 90th birthday

By Sonia Isaacs Clark

BETTY Pringle’s granddaughter Daley Johnson recently contacted GC&M News to let us know about a lovely surprise 90th birthday bash for Betty held at Glasshouse Mountains Sports Club, the home of the Beegees.

Daley said the original celebration for around 100 people had to be pushed back to July 24 due to COVID restrictions. However, family were able to celebrate with an extended family get-together on July 4, followed by an impromptu gathering of friends at Betty’s villa at Glasshouse Views on her actual birthday, July 5.

We caught up with Betty to find out about her life, pineapple farming and the long association she and her late husband Colin had with the Beegees (Beerwah Glasshouse United Football Club), which started soon after they bought their 85 acre (34ha) farm at Beerwah.

Elizabeth (Betty) Pringle was born in Kingaroy. Her family had a dairy farm near Alice Creek on the eastern side of the Bunya Mountains where she lived until she was six.

The family relocated a number of times before buying a pineapple farm in Woombye, which was where she first met her husband-to-be, Colin.

“We met one night when a bunch of us met up to go tin kittling, where you would go and surprise a couple after their honeymoon,” Betty said.

Betty and Colin married just shy of Betty’s 22nd birthday in 1953. Initially they lived on Colin’s pineapple farm located between Woombye and Palmwoods before Colin started dairy farming in Hivesville near Kingaroy and had a farm swap to East Maitland. In 1967 the couple and their children moved to Bundaberg where Colin worked on a cane farm before the family relocated to Yeats Road Beerwah in 1970, which they owned for nearly 35 years.

Betty and Colin had seven children, four boys and three girls. The youngest children went to Beerwah State School and the eldest were at Caboolture High School, before there was a Beerwah High School.

In the early 1970s Colin stepped in to managing Beegees teams, starting with the U16 team and then moving to the men’s team. They were involved with the club for more than 25 years and Betty is a current life member.

Betty remembers helping with the canteen and washing the jerseys for many years, and said the club was like Colin’s second home – so much so that when he died in 2007, his memorial service was held there.

In later years the couple moved to Glass House Mountains before Betty moved to her Beerwah retirement villa in 2017 where she enjoys an active retirement including membership of Glasshouse Country Senior Citizens Club and Probus.

For her birthday, Betty’s daughter-in-law Anne-Marie baked a special pineapple cake and Betty’s friends and neighbours dropped by to sing happy birthday outside her house.

Betty said the party at the sports club was a complete and utter surprise and she was delighted to have so many friends and family take the time to attend what she remembers as a wonderful day.