Trav­eller Pat well re­spected

Mun­dub­bera grand­fa­ther made a name for him­self in sport and ac­count­ing

Central and North Burnett Times - - YOUR COMMUNITY -

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

PHOTO: CON­TRIB­UTED

FOND MEM­O­RIES: Pat and Mar­ion Whelan at Swans Bowls Club, Ma­roochy­dore, in 2003.

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