Fruit stand man laid to rest

Central and North Burnett Times - - LOCAL NEWS -

John Neville Smith, 86. Jan­uary 13, 1926 – Septem­ber 8, 2012.

JOHNwas the el­dest son of John (Jack) Nash Smith and Lena Vi­o­let Neville.

His par­ents met on the ship com­ing from Eng­land in 1923 and mar­ried in 1925.

John was born in Childers, where his fa­ther man­aged a cane farm, and shortly after­wards the fam­ily moved to Ider­away, Gayn­dah, where they had a dairy farm and pigs. John re­called milk­ing the 30 cows by hand and de­liv­er­ing cream three days a week to the lo­cal rail in a horse-drawn sulky.

He of­ten re­called milk­ing the cows and feed­ing the pigs be­fore­walk­ing three miles to school. On­the re­turn jour­ney he would stop at the Ider­away homestead for af­ter­noon tea be­fore walk­ing home to do it all again.

John joined Scouts in his teens, rid­ing his bi­cy­cle to town for the meet­ings. With his brother Eddie, he joined the CMF when the Sec­ond World­War started and had to leave school to help his fa­ther with the farm, where they then grew cot­ton.

The Smith Fam­ily had one of the four found­ing cit­rus or­chards in the dis­trict. And John, along with his fa­ther, in­sti­gated the first Orange Fes­ti­val in 1957, with the parade still be­ing led by a tree and a mem­ber of the ex­tended Smith Fam­ily to­day.

John sailed to Eng­land in 1952 and trav­elled around Europe for al­most six months. On his re­turn home he got the courage to ask a nicelook­ing young girl for a dance at a ball at the Town Hall, which led him to marry Ena Mar­garet Tuche six months later on May 28, 1955.

A fam­ily was soon to fol­low, with An­nema­ree in 1956, Neville 1959, Janette in 1960 and un­ex­pected twins Kevin and Lawrence in 1963.

John de­cided to move on from the fam­ily or­chard, work­ing for Frank and Al­li­son Robin­son and An­gus McGil­very on week­ends, be­fore start­ing his own cit­rus nurs­ery.

He later bought a house in town and grew his own or­chard at Jo­hena, pur­chas­ing Golden Acres at O’Bil Bil, which Kevin and Lawrence worked, and then graz­ing land at Ka­jabbi, see­ing the po­ten­tial for an or­chard.

John’s other love was Rotary. He re­li­giously at­tended and re­ceived many 100% at­ten­dance awards, and was awarded the high­est hon­our, the Paul Har­ris Fel­low­ship, in 1995. He also hosted Rotary ex­change students and In­ter­na­tional Agri­cul­tural Ex­changes.

John was very civic-minded, help­ing with many or­gan­i­sa­tions, in­clud­ing help­ing his wife Ena with the civic con­certs and community func­tions for Guides, Show So­ci­ety and Rotary.

He was also gen­er­ous in do­na­tions to dif­fer­ent char­i­ties, es­pe­cially the then 4SB Moth­ers’ Day auc­tion for the Spas­tic Ap­peal and Rotary’s Po­lio Plus Ap­peal.

The loss of his el­dest grand­son, Marc, from a tragic ac­ci­dent in 2006, and his nephewMarkin 2010, were dif­fi­cult times.

John did not han­dle re­tire­ment well, and will prob­a­bly be re­mem­bered in his later years for his fruit stand, where he sold the pump­kins, water­mel­ons and rock­mel­ons he had grown, and cit­rus, honey and peanuts, and en­joyed talk­ing to the cus­tomers.

John is sur­vived by his wife Ena, chil­dren An­nema­ree, Neville, Janette, Kevin and Lawrence, grand­chil­dren Re­nee, Jac­qui, Bryan and Tanya and great-grand­chil­dren Al­lie, Ash­ton and Casey.

John Neville Smith, 1926-2012.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.