Sylvia Jessie Catherine BIRDSEYE
Also known as: née Merell
Died: 9/08/1962Special Achievements:
Pioneer of transport services in South Australia. First woman in South Australia to gain a Commercial Driving Licence (1923). Memorial cairn on Eyre Highway; Birdseye Highway - first highway in South Australia to be named after a woman; Birdseye Lane in Canberra.
Began work as a bus driver at 19. In 1928, she and her husband pioneered and maintained the Eyre Peninsula Motor Service. For almost 40 years, she drove 3,200 km a week, mostly at night. Renowned for providing a reliable and economic service under hazardous conditions, she was known as “Grandmother Queen of the Open Road.” Daisy Bates was one of her regular customers.