Vale Shirley Wright OAM, 1925-2022

A loving, nurturing mother to Bindy, Bill, and Ian Wright, an amazing Grandmother, Great Grandmother, and loving wife to a Boat Builder.

Born to George and Lily Caffyn in Toowong, Shirley was the youngest and only sister to Hubert (Bill), Greg, and Ron in Toowong.

Shirley was not only respected for her athletic ability but also for her diligent social coordination. She was a keen traveller, a source of good humour, a mentor amongst her peers, and a compassionate and loyal friend to many. Shirley was a certain starter for a Gin and Tonic, whose real passion was for dogs.

Shirley’s love, care, and protection of her beloved dogs started at a young age. Her first dog, a gift from her brother Greg named Jerry, was her shadow and attended her first day of primary school. Shirley then attended St Margaret’s Anglican School in Ascot, commuting from Toowong on her bicycle each day.

After completing a Physical Education Degree at The University of Queensland, she returned to St Margaret’s as a Senior Sports Mistress until the outbreak of war. Her career then saw her at the National Fitness Council of QLD and QLD Recreation Council (1978) as an advisor to assist with the recreation for Disabled Persons.  Shirley contributed to the production of a film designed to raise awareness for disability, which premiered in 1981 at the International Conference for Disabled Persons in Edinburgh, Scotland. This elevated her presence within the industry, becoming a lecturer, and a member of many boards until she retired in 1985.

In 1988 she received the Order of Australia Medal for services to Sport and Recreation for people with disabilities. A fitting reward and acknowledgment for her commitment and generosity.

In the mid-1940s Shirley caught the eye of a young Engineer named Ron Wright. They were married in 1949, with the next generation of Wrights being born between 1951 – 1958.

The early ’60s were fruitful, with a thriving boat yard, successful careers, a healthy & happy family with many holidays in the Noosa beach house; a usual day entailing the beach all morning, and, of course, sailing across the Noosa River in the afternoons.

1966 marked the year of an unfortunate car accident while returning from Noosa. Life changed for the family, with a slow and tough five years of recovery ahead.

Shirley and Ron enjoyed a full later life together; living in Ascot with their loyal dogs, surrounded by a loving family, and traveling the world. When Ron passed in 2015, Shirley continued living in Ascot with their Labrador – Ferny for many years.

Shirley lived life the way she wanted, right until she reached the finish line.

She is now with Ron, and her dogs…. already missed by many.

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