Much-loved teachers recognised for impact on generations
THEY met and fell in love as teachers at Goodna State School in the 1980s and the Macey's legacy at the 163-year-old school will be recognised for generations to come.
Then known as Ms Gibson, Mrs Macey returned to the school in 1977 as a teacher after attending as a student and Tom started teaching at Goodna in 1986.
The school's recently constructed building, which is being used by Prep and Year 1 classes, has been named after the Maceys.
They both taught generations of local families and became passionate advocates for the proudly multicultural Goodna community as a whole, with the school at the centre of it.
Before he passed away in August, Mr Macey was told by the school of its intentions to name the building after the couple.
Mrs Macey left the school in 2017 as deputy principal and Tom finished up his tenure in 2014.
She said it would have meant the world to her late husband.
"It meant a lot to him, he was absolutely touched," she said.
"I'm absolutely honoured. The fact the principal at the time and the P & C had suggested and agreed for it to be called the Macey Building, it means a lot.
"Many families go there for generations and that's wonderful to see. They have such a close connection and a close bond with the school.
"The staff has always been very dedicated the entire time I was there. You couldn't find better staff anywhere."
Mrs Macey recalls there being about 1250 students at the school when she arrived but that number has dropped to about 800 as more schools in surrounding areas were established.
"The multicultural flavour of the school is such an exciting and important part of the whole community," she said.
"It's one of the reasons why I really enjoyed staying there.
"I really enjoyed immersing myself in some of the culture.
"You've got Pasifika, African, Asian and European culture. At one stage we had 52 children from 52 different countries.
"The countries that the children have come from have changed … but the multicultural flavour is still there. We have a lot of celebrations at the school to include those cultures so that everyone gets to understand them and enjoy them."
P & C president Kylie Soe was one of many students who passed through the gates at Goodna State School to be taught by Mrs Macey.
"I still can't call her by her first name," she laughed.
"The (construction of the building) has been in progress for a couple of years.
"It's great to be able to name it after them."