Berrice Avril Lindsay (formerly Mikkelsen) Photo Contributed
Berrice Avril Lindsay (formerly Mikkelsen) Photo Contributed Contributed

Berrice loved vistas, poetry

ANOTHER direct link with Bundaberg's pioneering past has been severed with the death of Berrice Avril Lindsay ( nee Mikkelsen) in Calgary, Canada.

Berrice was a granddaughter of the late Hans Mikkelsen, who left an indelible mark on the Bundaberg district after arriving as a young boy from Denmark in the 1880s. He worked as a labourer alongside Kanakas in the canefields before buying his own farm and eventually co-launching one of the city's early real estate businesses (Clark and Mikkelsen).

The Margam Sugar Experiment Station at Kalkie was formerly part of his extensive farm and business holdings prior to his sudden death in 1942. A city street and an environmental park reserve in the Kolan area now honour his memory.

Berrice was born in Bundaberg on July 26, 1936, the eldest of four children of the late Garnet and Ivy Mikkelsen, who also spent most of their long lives in Bundaberg. She died on September 15, 2015, in Alberta, Canada, where part of her extensive family now lives.

Berrice spent her formative years in Bundaberg before studying to become a school teacher.

It was during her teaching career in Townsville that she met a strapping visiting physical education teacher, Peter Lindsay.

Two years later they married and then, seven children later, Peter and Berrice moved to Canada in 1966 so Peter could complete his PhD at the University of Alberta.

Berrice tirelessly looked after the household of nine while also typing Peter's thesis (in triplicate) into the late night hours until Peter achieved his PhD.

Ever the artist, Berrice also busied herself in metal art and macrame, running a store to make ends meet. Amazingly, she even found time to complete an arts degree.

Over the years, she divided her time between her idyllic beach cottage at Elliott Heads, and Alberta, Canada, visiting family and friends as well as following her passion for vistas (beaches and mountains), poetry and painting.

During her regular extended visits to Bundaberg, she became a dedicated caregiver for her elderly parents and two aunts until their deaths.

Her care was then directed to Peter who became ill with a brain tumour in 2004.

Berrice focused all her talents and energy towards caring for him during his last two years.

In 2006, they were fortunate to celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary together, but in early 2011, Berrice was diagnosed with lung cancer.

Modern medicine allowed her to live a full life right up until the end, allowing her to constantly debate with her relatives the merits of living in Canada versus Australia.

Berrice leaves her three siblings, Alan (Barb), Janette (David, dec) and John (Cathy), her seven children, Steven (Meredith), David (Barb), Graeme, Bruce, Ian, Paul (Linda), and Jan (Don), and her grandchildren, Meghan, Mathew, Emma, Kate, Michael, Steven, Adam (dec), Jason (dec), Ashlea, Allie, Sami, Mary, Luke, and one great-grandchild, Jordan.

A private service for Berrice will be held in Calgary tomorrow.

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