John Beus arrived in Springvale North in 1950 from war torn Holland and found a country town where freedom and open paddocks abounded everywhere. He worked for Buckley and Nunn and later David Jones as a window designer for thirty-two years.
For many years he also designed the art and craft halls for the Royal Agricultural Show, of which he is a Life Member. His designs had won many awards including six gold medals from the National Display Association.
John has four children, ten grandchildren and four great grandchildren. John’s enduring commitment to the welfare of those around him had led to many significant roles in the Greater Dandenong community.
He was a foundation member of St Vincent de Paul in Springvale and the Springvale Benevolent Society. John helped three generations of less fortunate families and remembered helping a family, then their children and now the latest generation.
John established the Forsythe Home to help boys who were public guardianship settle back into the community. John spent twelve years on the bench of the Springvale Magistrate’s Court and as a Justice of the Peace for 31 years. In this role he was able to make a greater contribution to the future welfare of these young adults.
John helped to establish the Migrant Resource Centre in 2000, to provide women with training and future employment in sewing and machining. He also established the St Vincent de Paul Opportunity Shop.
These efforts resulted in the Senior Citizen of the Year award, City of Springvale award, a Paul Harris Fellowship from the Noble Park Rotary Club in 1999 and an Order of Australia Medal in 2000.
Through his long service to the community John believed there are always people needing help. John saw great loneliness hidden beneath the more prominent problems of unemployment, domestic violence, family break-ups and addictions and believed that listening is the most important thing someone can do. According to John, you don’t need to ask many questions, one can best determine how to help someone by simply listening.