Our Priceless Past: The Story of Mrs Kerry Weinholz
KERRY Joy Weinholz was born November 7, 1951. Her parents, Austin and Joan Schmierer, were dairy farmers in the Gayndah district. Kerry is the eldest of six children, Marcia, Pam, Ashley, Russell (Tommy) and Lyn - who now live from Melbourne to the United Kingdom. Kerry was the only one to have left home and married, when her father suddenly died from a brain tumour.
As Kerry grew she loved the farm life and daily farm jobs which meant hours in the cow yard both morning and evening, and most of Saturdays. She attended the Gayndah State School and then the Gayndah State High School where she did very well in 'Commercial' (Business) subjects. Her mother encouraged her to become a teacher, then it was off to the Kelvin Grove Teachers' College in Brisbane before teaching in Biggenden, Monto and Gladstone.
After two years of study, Kerry was posted to the Biggenden Secondary Department and later, she was transferred to Monto State High School. Kerry became involved with the Inter-School Christian Fellowship (ISCF) movement, organising camps and Bible studies. During a Christian Youth Camp at Hervey Bay she met another Group Leader, Esmond Weinholz, who later became her husband.
More than adequately equipped with the skills for any task she has encountered, from the age of 13 Kerry had a fondness for other cultures, which is why she had about seven international pen-pals. Her son Daniel would meet one of them in Japan many decades later.
Over the years Kerry has supported missionaries, been a volunteer tutor and even a teacher at our very own Gladstone State High School. When questioned about her lifelong interest and career in Christian Youth Education, a beaming Kerry answered, "I've always had a passion for teaching.” After partially home-schooling all four of her children, Kerry went on to help others from around the world by being teaching English to migrants, locally.
Married for over 40 years to Esmond, Kerry and her husband have lots in common. They share a clear passion for Christianity, young people and, of course, each other. Their four exceptional children, now grown, were all amazing students with Samuel, David and Daniel achieving Dux in their senior year at Gladstone State High School and received scholarships to attend universities. Their only daughter, Sarah, is now working with Indigenous communities.
Grandchildren also add to Kerry's life, all eight of them! Some live in Perth, some in New Zealand and some locally, which means that they don't see some too often. Her childhood interest in international cultures has now flowed into her grandchildren with Burmese, Korean and indigenous flavours. Kerry does have opportunity to assist in the home-schooling of her local grandchildren. She and her teenage granddaughter Annaliese are also learning Hebrew together.
Even though she is "retired”, Kerry Weinholz still plans to live a full life valuing each day God gives her. She may have a long way to go seeing as both of her grandmothers lived past 100 years old - and her mother is 91 and still living on the family farm!