REMEMBER WHEN: Cyril Mear looks over the memorabilia that documents his life, including 50 years as a JP.
REMEMBER WHEN: Cyril Mear looks over the memorabilia that documents his life, including 50 years as a JP. Janine Hill

Cyril talks with the voice of life experience

CYRIL Mear watched a boy pocket some firecrackers from his store and waited for him to step outside before asking him to pay.

The boy claimed he had bought them at another shop but was not keen to go back when Cyril offered to double the number of crackers if that turned out to be true.

"Now listen," Cyril said. "You're welcome here anytime. But you don't steal nothing."

The boy did come back, with his friends, and never stole anything.

If there is one thing Cyril has learned, it's how to talk to people.

"It's experience. I'm used to talking to people," he said.

"I've met a lot of people over the years."

Cyril, of Mooloolaba, was born 77 and a bit years ago in Toowoomba.

He left school the day before his 14th birthday to help on his father's fruit and vegetable run.

"I never did junior, I never did senior but my father taught me a lot." Cyril said.

After doing national service, Cyril went into business himself with a general store.

At one stage, he was doing so well that he owned three vehicles.

After selling the business, he took a seven month holiday in the United States and did not work again for three years.

OLD TIMES: The interior of Cyril’s Store in Ruthven St, Toowoomba, in the 1960s.
OLD TIMES: The interior of Cyril’s Store in Ruthven St, Toowoomba, in the 1960s.

He did other odd jobs over the years, including running his own lawn and garden maintenance business and driving a forklift.

But Cyril's life changed in the 1980s when he was in a serious car crash.

"I ended up in the pedals. My right leg was twisted up behind my back, compound fracture," he said.

"The policeman said to me later on that I should have died."

At 46, Cyril was told he would never work again and his wife sold their property and cleared out.

Cyril used to vent his hurt and frustration in loud and impolite language while feeding the pigs on his friend's farm.

"The doctor said it was the best thing I could have done," he said.

Cyril moved to Mooloolaba 17 years ago to be closer to his daughter from his first marriage.

He plays cards twice a week, and carpet bowls, and makes and watches movies that he has recorded on his video camera.

He is also a justice of the peace, something which he has done since 1964.

Member for Maroochydore Fiona Simpson recently presented him with a certificate for 50 years service as a JP.

"I don't find it any trouble," he said. "I'm used to talking to people."