A former Penarth resident living in Texas has set up a scholarship in memory of his late wife.
Geoffrey Mules, 76, was born on Glebe Street and his wife, Annette was born on Salop Street. Sadly, Annette passed away on September 6, 2021, her 75th birthday. “We [the Mules family] just thought, in her honour, because she was from Penarth that we could inspire the children of the city with big dreams,” Mr Mules said Penarth Nub News.
The scholarship is open to students between the ages of 13 and 19 and applicants must write an essay of at least 200 words explaining how the money will be used to achieve their life goals.
Geoffrey and Annette were born in Penarth. (Image credit: Geoffrey Mules)
One girl and one boy will be chosen to receive a cash reward of £500 each. All applicants must live in Penarth or attend a school in Penarth and the essay must also include a reference from a teacher, relative or friend. “If you want to buy a flute, go on vacation, buy a Bible – I don’t care what it is. Send us your story and we’ll judge who should get it,” says Mr Mules.
The humble beginnings of Annette, who worked as a saleswoman as a teenager to start her own business in Canada and America, is the inspiration behind the launch of the exchange. “Annette left school when she was 14 and started working at a little store called Perks selling bacon and cheese,” he says.
“But working in a small shop from the age of 14 to become a controller in a large company with 120 employees, managing the accounting functions with his training.
“I’m the one with a degree in economics and she’s the one who did all the accounting!”
Annette’s humble beginnings and rise to starting her own business is the inspiration behind the scholarship. (Image credit: Geoffrey Mules)
The couple left Penarth in 1977 and settled in Canada, where two of Mr Mules’ brothers were already in the country. Upon their arrival, Annette started working in a department store before getting a job at the Toronto-Dominion Bank, and the company enrolled her in a typing course.
After five years, the couple moved to Texas and embarked on building their own business, first home remodeling and then manufacturing. “She ran the companies for more than 25 years,” says Mules. “We were a great partnership, a big family and successful businesses.”
After picking up a guitar in her early 50s, Annette and Mr. Mules also performed music with their daughter, Kathy, at a few local bars and major music venues to raise money for various charities.
About $350,000 raised by the couple helped launch the International Space School Foundation (ISSF) at Stanwell School in 1998.
The couple have raised over $350,000 playing music together. (Image credit: Geoffrey Mules)
Eventually, students from around the world could apply to live with astronauts or at their home near the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) for three weeks. “After a while, we ended up with 40 children from 20 different countries who came to live with us and we funded everything,” says Mr Mules.
For her contribution to space science education, Annette was awarded a NASA Outstanding Public Service Medal in 2003.
A concert celebrating the life of Annette will also take place at the Penarth Ex Servicemen’s Club on September 4, between 2:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m., where Geoffrey will return to town to perform with other musical guests.
Scholarship applications should be emailed to [email protected] no later than midnight on August 30.
Remember to include your full name, address, age and school attended.