Traveller Pat well respected
Mundubbera grandfather made a name for himself in sport and accounting
ACCOUNTANT and brilliant sportsman, Patrick George Whelan claimed to have “sat with hobos, drunk with paupers and dined with princesses”.
Academically gifted at school, the first son of Joe and Kitty Whelan began his varied career at the Mundubbera Post Office, before deciding to work his way around Australia with good mate Bill Love.
Their excursion took them first to a cheese factory in Jandowae, then to a steel factory in Kembla Grange, New SouthWales, and finally to Morrinsville, New Zealand, where Pat began a career as a bookkeeper for a fertiliser company.
Here he met and married maid Marion, with whom he had two children, Kathy and Blaine.
After qualifying as an accountant, Pat became New Zealand’s youngest bank manager upon his
Patrick Whelan I have sat with hobos, drunk with paupers and dined with princesses.”
appointment asWaihi branch manager forWaikato Savings Bank.
After several years, Pat moved into local government and was appointed deputy town clerk at Mount Maunganui, before relocating back toWaihi as town clerk.
Fourteen years later Pat became Otahu Auckland chief executive officer where one of his highlights was hosting and dining with Prince Charles and Princess Diana.
One of his favourite sayings after a few ales at theWuruma Dam hut was: “I have sat with hobos, drunk with paupers and dined with princesses”.
Patrick returned to Australia in 1984 when his father fell ill. After his father’s death, Pat became deputy CEO, then CEO of Torres Strait Islander Shire.
He later returned to Mundubbera to work in the field of accountancy until his retirement, after which he assisted with the bookkeeping of close friends and local associations.
Patrick was a brilliant sportsman, gifted at cricket and rugby union.
Before leaving Australia, Pat was selected in the Queensland Colts Cricket team. He continued his sporting career in New Zealand where he achieved many sporting honours, including selection in the Northern Districts Provincial Cricket side, the equivalent of playing for his state.
He later top scored in the game against the Australian touring side and captained many rep sides including tours to Fiji. He was well known for achieving more than 1000 runs in five consecutive seasons.
He also played for his province in rugby union and was an accomplished golfer and lawn bowler.
Pat loved fishing, but rarely caught fish. He spent many weekends at the beloved old hut onWuruma Dam fishing with his old mates Muzza, Ray, the late Noel Duncan and his brother Dan.
On one trip, nephews Jud and Adrian tied Pat to his bed one night, and there was a mighty roar as Pat thought he was paralysed because his legs wouldn’t move when he tried to get up in the night.
He will be sadly missed by his two children, two grand-daughters, four sisters and brother.
- Councillor Faye Whelan, Mundubbera
FOND MEMORIES: Pat and Marion Whelan at Swans Bowls Club, Maroochydore, in 2003.