On Friday, April 29, 2022, Elizabeth Hamilton Brown, wife of Jim, mother of James and Annette, passed away at the age of 72.

Beth was the first born to parents Jim and Barbara Goodwin at Bingara on March 13, 1950.

Beth was later joined by two younger sisters, Meg (dec) and Annie (dec).

During Beth’s childhood, the family lived on the property ‘Ermelo’, near Bingara.

Farm life was tough in the 1950s and the three girls spent most of their time there, including attending school, as the local primary school was situated on the property.

In their senior years of school, Beth, Meg and Annie attended boarding school at MLC in Sydney, where Beth made some lifelong friendships.

After completing her schooling, Beth moved to Narrabri to commence a short-term contract with the Wheat Research Institute in the plant breeding division.

Beth thoroughly enjoyed the country social life, and it was at a dance held at the Narrabri Golf Club where Beth met the love of her life and future husband, Jim Brown.

After 18 months of courting, Jim asked Beth to marry him. Beth was elated.

However, the news was not met with equal enthusiasm by Mr and Mrs Goodwin, and they forbade the wedding going ahead until Beth was 21.

Beth and Jim extended their engagement to meet her parent’s wishes, and the couple were married in Newcastle on Beth’s 21st birthday, March 13, 1971.

Beth and Jim built their home in Narrabri, and both worked at Amos Smith and Sons, Jim as a mechanic and Beth as a secretary.

They welcomed their first born, James in September 1974 at which time Beth gave up her secretarial role for motherhood.

Annette arrived only 13 months later.

Despite the trials and busy lifestyle that come along with parenthood, by the time the children were four and five, Beth was cycling her way around the neighbourhood, one child on board, another in tow, delivering Avon orders.

Once the children were attending school, Beth took on a part-time role at the Adelong Motel, and later worked part time for the picker shop at Amos Smith’s.

Around 1985, Amos Smith’s changed ownership and it was then that Jim and Beth decided to venture into a mechanical repair business of their own, at first in partnership with Tom and Shirley Rogers, and within 12 months, as JT and EH Brown.

Times were tough, and Beth’s budgeting skills were really put to the test as they weathered the ups and downs of starting a new business.

Within a year the business was running successfully with Jim doing the mechanical work and Beth steering the ship in the background.

The family has fond memories of numerous weekends with a ski boat at Yarrie Lake.

Family holidays regularly consisted of road trips to visit cousins, aunts and uncles and grandparents.

Beth loved spending time with her nieces and nephews.

Beth’s financial skills were always a huge part of who she was.

She dabbled in the stock market and before long had set the family up for a comfortable future with a self-managed superannuation fund, yielding greater returns than many of the industry funds at the time.

Later she participated in a monthly breakfast with a group of other investors to discuss shares.

In the late 1980s, Beth and Jim moved the family to a small property near Narrabri which they named ‘Ermelo Hill’.

With the help of a local builder, the couple designed and built their own house, where they lived for 15 years until well after the children left home.

The mechanical business was operated from the property and continued to thrive.

It was not an unusual sight to see Beth in the shed re-bushing spindle nuts and fitting new spindles.

And of course, she did it as twice as fast on a manual press as it would take on a hydraulic one.

During this period Beth and Jim (with the children in tow) were involved in the local mud trial club and later became members of the Vintage Car Club.

Beth has held positions of either secretary or treasurer in both of these clubs over the years.

The couple also managed to fit in many caravan trips around Australia either together or with close friends.

In 2003 Beth and Jim sold off part of their property and had a second house built on the property where they lived and continued to work at a slightly slower pace, as their son James started his own business.

However, Beth found this slower pace unfulfilling and true to form, took on studies to teach computer and financial courses at the local TAFE and later the Community College where many people who undertook Beth’s classes benefitted from her astute business expertise.

In 2004, Beth and Jim were blessed with their first granddaughter, Lauren, followed by Andrea, and then later Jasmine.

Beth loved her granddaughters and was very proud of them and their achievements.

International travel was also a huge part of Beth’s life – she and Jim caught the travel bug, and for 10 years or so, they travelled much of the globe at different times, together and sometimes accompanied by close friends.

Alongside Jim, Beth has been involved in many local clubs and charities, the annual Masonic Debutante Ball, the Deep Creek rural bushfire brigade, and the volunteer group supporting the Westpac Rescue Helicopter Association.

Beth’s efforts have included baking, cake decorating, taking minutes, manning the gate of many events, preparing financial information and anything else that was required.

Over the years, Beth said goodbye to many of her loved ones, her brother-in-law, her parents, many good friends and only three years ago, her cherished sisters.

In late 2020, Beth was diagnosed with non-hodgkins lymphoma.

Through numerous treatments, many of which were away from home, Beth was brave and uncomplaining.

Known to the family as Beth, Mum, Grandma, Ma Ma and Aunty Beth, she was a bright, intelligent and passionate woman who made good use of her time.

She was small in stature with an abundance of energy.

Her guidance and advice were greatly valued by family and friends.

Beth made anyone who visited feel at home and welcome.

She loved cooking for family and friends and created recipe books for her children and granddaughters.

True to form, Beth also wrote a guide on money management which she shared with her children, nieces and nephews, and grandchildren.

Beth is survived by her husband Jim, son James and his wife Mandy, daughter Annette and her husband Marty, and granddaughters Lauren, Andrea and Jasmine.

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