Our Priceless Past: The Story of Mr Jeffrey Reeves
"STAND up for what you believe and be true to yourself,” said one of Gladstone's senior citizens, Mr Jeffrey Reeves, a member of the local community, for over 40 years.
Jeffrey was born August 14, 1939 in London, England, to Cecil and Edith Reeves, a motor vehicle inspector and homemaker. He was an only child growing up attending Braintcroft Primary School from 1945 to 1951. Jeffrey enjoyed school and playing cricket and soccer for his local club. He continued his education at Willesden Grammar School from 1951 to 1956.
Post schooling years, Jeffrey joined the British Merchant Navy from 1957 to 1964. On leaving the merchant navy, he went to Southampton University, studying History and Economics, as well as undertaking a post-graduate Certificate in Education. Moving to East Africa, Jeffrey taught in Kenya from 1969 to 1974.
In 1974 he moved to Australia, intending to stay in the country for six months. However, he ended up on a 12-month contract at Gladstone State High School, which eventuated in his long-term stay in the country. Jeffrey worked at State High for 10 years. He became an integral part of the school community, where he worked as Subject Master for History, whilst teaching Modern History and Economics, mainly to the senior school. Jeffrey was present at the opening of the Gladstone State High School Library in 1975, where he witnessed a Year 12 student climb upon the roof and play the trumpet, as a prank.
Jeffrey met his wife, Helen McGree, through the Gladstone Light Opera Society (GLOS), where she was a singer and he was a stagehand. He proposed in April 1976, in Brisbane where she was living at the time. They married later that year in December. Following their marriage, they had two boys, born in Gladstone, namely Jeffrey and Michael, who are both currently living in Brisbane. Jeffrey and Helen now have six grandchildren.
In 1985 Jeffrey took up employment at Chanel College, becoming the Humanities Coordinator. He taught Modern History and Economics in the Senior School. Semi-retired in 1998, Jeffrey continued to work part-time at Chanel. He taught there until 2002, teaching many students including our very own Gladstone State High School, Junior School Coordinator, Mr Glen Hooley. During this time, he joined the Rotary Club of South Gladstone, which continues to benefit the community through fundraising events and endorsements of youth events, such as the National Youth Science Forum.
Nowadays, Jeffrey is retired and is the President of the Senior Citizens Centre in Oaka Lane, where he enjoys playing bridge with his fellow senior citizens, hopefully for many years to come.