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In just 18 years, Kenmore residents Walter and Beverley Wood have raised more than $76 000 for Mater Little Miracles, by dedicating the Christmas season to giving all that they can to their community.
Now a senior couple, Walter and Beverley have been wowing locals with one of Brisbane’s best and most renowned Christmas lights displays since 1977.
The multi-award winning display, which includes almost 75 000 lights, won ‘The Best Lighting Display’ in Brisbane in the 4KQ Christmas Lights Competition, for 21 years in a row.
“We began in 1977, just shy on 40 years ago. We had only 20 party lights back then, and we have just tried to outdo ourselves every year since,” Dr Walter Wood said.
“Improvements in lighting technology have changed dramatically over this time. Many years ago we hand painted our white incandescent fairy lights so that we could have colour in our display. Now we have brilliant multi-function LED lighting!”
As more crowds flocked to their home year-on-year, they decided in 1998 that the lights should have a much greater purpose.
Walter and Beverley have been collecting donations from those who visit for Mater Little Miracles, in support of more than 2000 seriously ill and premature babies cared for at Mater Mothers’ Hospitals annually.
With the help of their community, the couple have now raised more than $76 000 for the charity.
“We chose Mater Little Miracles as our beneficiary, because all those years ago when I was a medical student, I spent two years as an intern at Mater,” Dr Wood said.
“I loved the atmosphere at Mater—it’s a feeling that I’ll never forget. It has really been my Alma mater all of these years, and I really wanted to be able to support some of Mater’s current work.”
Four decades on since hanging the first string of lights across the front of their leafy Kenmore home, Walter and Beverley are determined to continue creating their display every year, with the special cause in mind.
The couple will continue raising important funds for Mater Little Miracles, despite no longer entering the annual Christmas lights competition.
“We have now retired from the competition, but the thing that keeps us going each year is supporting Mater Little Miracles.”
“And of course my dear Beverley keeps me going as well; I could not have done the display for all of these years without her help and dedication.”
The Wood’s Christmas Lights display, located at 10 Warunda Street Kenmore, will be on every night from 7-10 pm, including Christmas Eve, the final night.
This year for the first time, Walter and Beverley will not turn on their lights on Christmas night, opting instead to focus on spending the time with their children and grandchildren.
You can support Mater Little Miracles this Christmas by visiting the display or by donating at materlittlemiracles.org.au