Beryl Ivy BEALE

Also known as: née Laidlaw, Cloudy

Born: 1898

Died: 18/03/1979

Special Achievements:

Beryl Ivy Beale was known as ‘Cloudy’ because she was a heavy smoker.

‘......an artistic, sensitive, music-loving woman with the down-to-earth determination, fortitude and hard physical endeavour which was demanded of her in earlier times in a ruthless and often unforgiving country.  Whether she lived in a bough shed or a modern home, she cultivated good books, good music and an appreciation of cleanliness and ordered living.’ (The Alice Springs Star, 1979).

The family lived in a tent during the 1930s and worked Taylor Well, watering droving stock.  In her early bush homes the furniture was made from packing cases and covered with her own embroidered linen and lace-work.  Cloudy also ran the post office at Glen Maggie (Ryan’s Well) during the Granites Gold
Rush when hundreds of men came looking to make their fortune during the depression years.  Cloudy set up a restuarant to provide these travellers with a cup of tea and something to eat.  She made scones and boiled water for tea in kerosene drums.
She had run miners’ messes in Central Australia including Barrow Creek and
Tennant Creek.  Her husband Hughie suffered shell shock after serving in
World War I.  After the Heffernans bought Woolla Downs from Mrs Price (Pearl Powell’s mother), they allowed Cloudy to live in the homestead.  She later ran a boarding house in Alice Springs and taught violin and piano.  She was active in the Alice Springs Theatre Group, the RSL Women’s Auxiliary and the CWA.

‘Being and doing is much more important than looking and talking.’


  • Image - Beryl 'Cloudy' Beale

    Image taken by Diana Calder and donated to the NPWHF by Daphne Calder

  • References

    Nugent, Maria.  (2002).  Women’s Employment and Professionalism in Australia:  Histories, Themes and Places.  Canberra, ACT:  Australia Heritage Commission, p. 67.
    “Glen Maggie Homestead was established 500 metres from Ryan Well to take advantage of the wells and Overland Telegraph Line.  Sam Nicker and his family established ‘Glen Maggie’ in 1914 as a sheep and cattle station.  From 1921, the homestead served as a small telegraph station and local store.  Glen Maggie Station was incorporated into the Aileron Cattle Station.  However, Mrs ‘Cloudy’ Beale operated the telegraph station and store until the services were abandoned in 1935.”