WE’LL BE THE FO­CUS

SEY­MOUR AS A GATE­WAY TO GOUL­BURN VAL­LEY

Seymour Telegraph - - FRONT PAGE - By Ali­son O’Con­nor

The Coali­tion un­veiled a ma­jor plank in its de­cen­tral­i­sa­tion strat­egy at Sey­mour last week, re­veal­ing a plan to drive growth across the Goul­burn Mur­ray re­gion.

Dubbed the Goul­burn Cor­ri­dor Growth Au­thor­ity, the plan in­volves spend­ing $15 mil­lion on es­tab­lish­ing a new body to over­see and drive in­fra­struc­ture spend­ing and pop­u­la­tion growth.

The au­thor­ity will be based in Sey­mour and be re­spon­si­ble for a bold vi­sion to grow the re­gion.

It will be tasked with at­tract­ing new busi­nesses and jobs to the re­gion, and will be chaired by re­spected busi­ness­man An­drew Fair­ley.

Na­tion­als leader and shadow Re­gional Vic­to­ria and De­cen­tral­i­sa­tion Min­is­ter Peter Walsh said his party was com­mit­ted to open­ing up the Goul­burn Val­ley to ben­e­fit the re­gion and ease pop­u­la­tion pres­sures in Mel­bourne.

‘‘A Lib­eral Na­tion­als gov­ern­ment will take back con­trol of pop­u­la­tion growth and make sure we have the right growth in the right places, at the right time,’’ he said.

❝I think Sey­mour is go­ing to grow, but it’s whether we take con­trol of that process and grow in the way we want it to❞

While turn­ing 90 felt like ‘‘just an­other day’’ for Jack Walsh, the charis­matic Sey­mour res­i­dent said he was just thrilled to still be able to en­joy life.

And he’s cer­tainly packed plenty in to his 90 years — 66 of which have been spent liv­ing in Sey­mour.

Jack, who shows no signs of slow­ing down, has an as­ton­ish­ing 11 chil­dren, 28 grand­chil­dren, 38 great-grand­chil­dren and five great-great-grand­chil­dren.

His fam­ily and friends gath­ered for a lunch at the Rail­way Club Ho­tel to hon­our his spe­cial mile­stone re­cently.

‘‘I felt about 150 af­ter that, but it was great to see fam­ily that you never get to see, it was a great day,’’ he said.

Jack and his wife Eve­lyn (dec.) ar­rived in Sey­mour in 1952, when Jack was work­ing as a sig­nal­man on the rail­ways.

He was orig­i­nally from the area — he was born in Shep­par­ton and went to school in Long­wood — but his work had taken him to Mel­bourne and then Swan Hill, be­fore re­turn­ing to Sey­mour, where he has stayed ever since.

‘‘Dad has lived in Sey­mour for 66 years, he’s raised his 11 chil­dren here who are still en­joy­ing liv­ing their lives,’’ Jack’s daugh­ter Dorothy Hunt said.

‘‘Dad’s al­ways been a hard­work­ing man through­out his life, work­ing on the rail­ways for close to 30 years and he also took on a me­chan­ics job at the same time, so he worked two jobs.

‘‘Dad never had much time for him­self but when he did find time, he joined the lo­cal mo­tor­bike club, and af­ter the rail­ways dad went to work with Jim Sum­mers at ru­ral equip­ment then he also worked at the dye works for a num­ber of years be­fore he re­tired, giv­ing him time to spend on his great pas­sion of fish­ing.’’

That great pas­sion has taken Jack to all corners of Aus­tralia, and he has just come back from a fish­ing trip in South Aus­tralia.

While fish­ing has al­ways been the num­ber one pas­time for Jack, he’s cer­tainly given many other ex­tra-cur­ric­u­lar ac­tiv­i­ties a red­hot go — cards, golf, mo­tor­bikes and darts have all been tried and tested by Jack.

‘‘I like to have a go at ev­ery­thing,’’ he said.

‘‘Just be­cause you’re 90 doesn’t mean you can’t do any­thing, so I find enough ways to oc­cupy my­self.’’

Good age: Sey­mour’s Jack Walsh has just turned 90.

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