Husband to Norah
Father and father in law to
Greg and Margaret
Mark and Barb
Lynne and Norm
Gayle and Tony
Danielle, Megan, Kate, Jason, Emily, Kirby, Abby, Christine, Luke, Scott and Trent
Son of Beatrice
Dad lived a long, fortunate life. He was able to see his own kids grow, marry, establish themselves and start families of their own. He knew all of his grandkids. Managed to skirt around potentially fatal conditions many times and was even reunited with his long lost mother.
He was born to a single mother in Newtown, Sydney on the 7th of October 1926. She kept him with her for the first 3 years of his life, but was forced to send him to an orphanage in Westmead once the depression hit.
On turning 12, the brothers at the orphanage decided it was time to put dad to work, so with nothing more than a 6th grade education, he began working at the dairy at Saint Joseph’s College in Hunters Hill.
On turning 18 Eric decided to jump on a train and head out west. To all the places he could have chosen to go, he end up in Gilgandra, with the prospects of farm work. He found himself work on a property called “ Colgoa“ owned by a Reichelt family. This began a life long relationship with total strangers who became close friend with dad, a friendship that stretched over a lifetime.
In mid 1950’s, it was a time for a change with dad moving to Dubbo. He began employment as a mechanic with the local ford dealer and NRMA agent Harold W Taylor and Son. He was not a qualified mechanic being self-taught. But his reputation as a mechanic is still talked about today by some of his customers that are still with us. It was while working at Taylor’s that he was to meet a woman who would just sweep him off his feet. Dad began courting a young local lady by the name of Norah Hayden. They were married on the 20th August 1960 in Dubbo. Without blinking an eyelid, Eric took over the Caltex Service Station on the Cnr of Darling and Cobra Sts as well becoming a father.
In 1969 Dad and mum decided to give up the Service Station and head back to country life on a farm at Elong Elong. After 12 month here, they moved the family again to a property 25 miles south of Narromine, after dad got a job there as a Manager. “ Rosedale “ became the family home for 13 years. Dad put some long days into that property. Nothing could keep him down. Not even the time when a header backed over him or even when he tried to cut his leg off with a chainsaw. Dad made close friends with many of the families on the neighbouring properties. But times changed and in 1982 we were once again on the move to a new property, Allawah, the other side of Narromine. After a couple of years here Dad & Mum called it quits to property life and headed back to Dubbo.
Dad took a job with Thompson Brothers, driving a car carrier in the early 1990s. He went on from Thompson Brothers to work a couple of casual jobs such as cleaner in the local Grace Brothers Store. His final position before retirement was as the Maintenance Man and Gardener at Bracken House. Upon retirement he drove for Community Transport.
Dad was a very proud man. A man of his era. A little chauvinistic, traditional roles type of guy, but whom would always put himself out to help others. He loved classical music, old movies, good comedies, cricket, football, Fords, friends and family. He was one of the strongest fighters that I think you will every meet. Having fought and beaten cancer 6 times, the 7th proved too much for even dad to find the will to keep going. He did however finish his life the was he always lived it. When it was time to go, he just went, no fuss, no bother, just time to go.
May his memory live on in all of us.
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