20 years ago I was asked to join the newly formed Eurasian Club but had to decline due to personal commitments and it has been a privilege to be able to finally join the membership. It has been absolutely rewarding and enjoyable.
I was born in Singapore, in a cow shed, just like Jesus was! (Kandang Kerbau Hospital) the only justification I have for a maternity hospital with such a name! My wonderful parents were originally from Malaysia – my late dad Sydney Boudville was from Penang and my mum Margaret Beins from Malacca. I am the eldest of three children. My early childhood was spent in Katong, a very Eurasian part of Singapore but at the age of 5 we moved to Serangoon and I started my schooling at St Joseph’s Convent, a branch of the Convent of the Holy Infant Jesus. I spent 10 years at this Convent and two years of Pre-University at the government run Serangoon Gardens Secondary School. At age 15 we moved to Serangoon Gardens. After completing HSC, I enrolled in a Private and Confidential Secretarial course at the International Training Centre.
Armed with a London Chamber of Commerce Certificate in Private Secretarial Duties, I started my career at the Straits Times as Secretary to the Managing Director of Encyclopaedia Britannica then went on to work for a British Oil and Gas personnel recruitment company— Overseas Technical Services.
I met my husband Michael De Souza while he was holidaying in Singapore and we were married in April 1981. Michael emigrated to Darwin when he was 15 and after Cyclone Tracy in 1974 he moved to Perth. Our son Troy Michael was born in 1982.
I opted not to continue my career when I moved to Perth but instead pursued my passion of volunteering my services to the Catholic Church and the community. I have since been heavily involved in choirs, parish councils, school boards and for the past twenty one years an active member of the St Vincent de Paul Society. I have held various leadership positions in the Society which culminated in the position of State President from 2005 to 2008.
I am currently still an active member of the Society and administrator and caretaker of my local Parish centre in Gosnells. I am enjoying my role on the Heritage Committee of the Eurasian Association. It has enabled me to indulge in such wonderful nostalgia by re -kindling memories of holidays spent with my grandparents Felix and Nellie Beins where “Kristang” was spoken daily and I can still smell the gorgeous aroma of chicken stew coming from grandma’s kitchen. Long live our Eurasian culture and heritage!
Genevieve Boudville De Souza