Fred­er­ick Percy Kean - A Man of His Dis­trict

Galston, Glenorie and Hills Rural News - - Community News - By Hon.Alan Cad­man

Hon­our­ing an amaz­ing life. Our moth­ers were sis­ters. Phyl­lis Cad­man and Hilda Kean.

Born in Par­ra­matta 14th Jan­uary 1926. Percy started school at Ar­ca­dia Pub­lic School. He was the first stu­dent at the newly opened Ber­rilee Pub­lic School.

Percy went to high school at Hornsby, then to Hurl­stone Agri­cul­tural Col­lege - a se­lec­tive high school. He re­turn to the farm at age 15. This was 100 acres mostly un­der cul­ti­va­tion, be­ing the lead­ing cit­rus or­chard and poul­try farm of the dis­trict.

Percy was an ex­tremely hard worker morn­ing to night. Even on Christ­mas Day. As a child I re­mem­ber, shortly af­ter a mas­sive Christ­mas lunch at the Kean's, Percy was off col­lect­ing eggs, and we did not see him for the rest of the day. The girls tell sto­ries of sit­ting in the old Dodge truck on Sun­day nights, keep­ing their dad awake whilst tak­ing a huge load of fruit to the Hay­mar­kets. Ca­pa­ble, cre­ative, dy­namic are the words I would use to de­scribe Percy Kean at work.

In the com­mu­nity, he was a leader, and fol­lowed the lead­er­ship of his fa­ther Fred Kean. Pres­i­dent of the P&C at the Ber­rilee School, com­mit­tee mem­ber of the Ar­ca­dia School of Arts, and trustee of the Ar­ca­dia Methodist Church. The Kean fam­ily are nat­u­ral lead­ers and the farm's sit­u­a­tion to­wards the end of Cal­abash Road made it al­most au­to­matic that Percy should be­come Cap­tain of the Ar­ca­dia Fire Brigade for 20 Years and Group Cap­tain Hornsby Shire. I am told that he went to his first fire as a young­ster so he knew ev­ery dan­ger­ous fire con­di­tion, wind shift gully, ridge and fire trail.

Later on he be­came a vol­un­teer bus driver and main­te­nance of­fi­cer for the Com­mu­nity Aid and In­for­ma­tion Ser­vice and Dis­as­ter Wel­fare Of­fi­cer. It does not sur­prise me that a num­ber of sig­nif­i­cant Hornsby iden­ti­ties wanted him to stand as a Coun­cil­lor for Hornsby Shire. Percy did not see that as he is role.

He loved sport. He was a fast bowler for Ar­ca­dia Cricket Club and the Kean's ten­nis court was al­ways, day and night, a favourite spot for lo­cals and Percy in par­tic­u­lar.

What about fam­ily? They all say he was al­ways fun. As an ex­am­ple, he told his younger sis­ter, Frida that the name of the new lo­cal teacher was Harry Id­iot not Harry El­liott. Mr El­liott was quite sur­prised to be given that new name by the un­sus­pect­ing Frida but sug­gested Frida com­pro­mise by call­ing him just Harry.

Percy loved his fam­ily in­tensely, with his wife Betty at his side. Betty grew up in Canowin­dra. They met on 20th April, 1947 and were en­gaged on 28th May 1947. Love at first sight!

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.