In memory of Luke Joseph O’Reilly
The De La Salle Brothers, have been saddened, recently, by the death, on 1st September, of Mr Luke Joseph O’Reilly. Luke was a great supporter of the De La Salle Brothers, most especially in relations with their works through BoysTown, Beaudesert.
The following is from the eulogy, from Luke’s Funeral Mass, at St William’s Catholic Church, Grovely, Brisbane. It was delivered by his eldest son, Luke Jnr.
Luke O’Reilly was born 8 October 1939, in Beaudesert, Queensland.
He was the son of Luke and Marie O’Reilly. Marie was from another well-loved Beaudesert family, the Enrights.
Luke attended St Mary’s Beaudesert, conducted by the Mercy Sisters, for his primary schooling, moving on to board at the Marist Brothers’ College, at Ashgrove, Brisbane.
Luke enjoyed a wonderful childhood, on the Lamington Plateau. His parents owned a dairy farm, surrounded on three sides by rain forest, and looking west, over the Kerry Valley. His father’s ill health left the family without their Dad, from a young age.
On leaving school, Luke spent some formative years at the Divine Word Fathers seminary, at Marburg, Queensland, and later went to Chicago, USA. Following this, Luke studied law, for a time, but found his life-long passion at BoysTown, Beaudesert.
Luke and his wife Elaine developed a large family of two girls and five boys. Luke and Elaine have enjoyed a long association with the De La Salle Brothers.
At Beaudesert, Luke engaged with the young men, as a teacher, for 35 years, managing the schooling aspects of the facility, for much of that time.
Upon retiring from fulltime active involvement, at BoysTown, in Beaudesert, Luke continued his ministry to young men, assisting with other works under the BoysTown banner, especially the visitation of prisoners, in the several prison facilities, in SE Queensland.
Luke’s dedication and long service to youth and the poor were recognised through his being acknowledged as an Affiliated Member of the De La Salle Brothers.
Luke is survived by his wife, Elaine, their two daughters, five sons and fourteen grandchildren.
Luke was a man of quiet nature, sincere faith, and a love for his family, as well as animals, birds and all aspects of the natural world.
May our good God grant Luke eternal peace and happiness, in reward for a life of devotion and service.