Man for all seasons
Murray Robin Born: Allora July 6, 1930 Died: Buderim August 19, 2017
THE late Murray Robin, revered by many, was fortified by his deep personal commitment to the dignity of work, the dignity of work being more valuable, the harder the work.
That was his character. Those of us who knew him and grew up with him were aware of how he he enriched the lives of many, and we have a bank of memories of his leadership and achievements.
He was renowned as a big engine of life which did not stop pulsating, no matter how difficult and challenging a solution was, be it in sport, business, innovation, trade or agriculture.
Murray led by example, courage enthusiasm, and discipline. He was born in Allora, the eldest son of a family of four sisters and another brother to Mr and Mrs Ches Robin, who were respected pioneers of the Allora district.
During the Second World War, when manpower was scarce and as much food as possible produced to provide sustenance to the service men and women and the local population, he, like many of his age group lived and worked with farmers while attending school.
He worked with Ralph Smith at Riverside, Forest Plains, milking the cows twice a day, and undertook general farm tasks while attending the nearby Berat School, some two miles across the Dalrymple Creek.
On several occasions I was responsible from him “wagging it from school”. We would spend the day unseen catching crabs in the creek and having a dip in the clear mountain spring water.
After leaving school he obtained work at the blacksmith of T. Maher at Allora. The pay was minimum, as was the custom of the times for young people. The work, swinging heavy hammers and moulding red hot iron was back-breaking but helped develop strength, timing and muscles.
He learnt how to make horse shoes and fit same often to fractious horses, and also how to innovate and adapt old style machinery to modern requirements.
He was an innovator who went and worked on a farm to see the problem was first-hand. Experience was the best educator – the resultant machine saved many, many hours of hand pulling corn and could do in one day what would take a team of six men three weeks to harvest.
In a determined effort to further develop his skills he worked with the local Allora panel beaters Wilson and Rigby. Murray with his dry sense of humour would recount “Others smash them, I fix them”. They were long days and he worked there for some decades.
Notwithstanding the hard work, Murray found time to train as a boxer and refine his skills first displayed as a schoolboy when he won the Darling Downs Schoolboy Championship.
He was trained at the rooms of the Allora National Fitness Club under the guidance of Edgar Gwynne and Ossie Hentschell.
Later on, when trained by old-time show-tent fighter, Andy Neilsen, he defeated such well-known boxers as Bernie Leahy, D McDonald from New South Wales, Johnny Schweirkt and local boxer of great renown, Maurice Graham, in state title events.
He participated in trials for the 1956 Melbourne Games.
He was unfortunate that, given it was the amateur era and there were insufficient funds to send a full team to the games, he missed out.
He would have done Australia proud.
He would never have said “Have had enough”. He would have kept throwing punches until the final bell. He kept his other sporting interests whilst furthering his boxing career.
He was the halfback in the Allora senior rugby league team which was undefeated and won all the trophies in the Central Downs and Pittsworth and District Rugby League Competition in 1951 and was chosen in the rep team.
Never a person to let the grass grow under his feet, he found time with fellow Allorite, Brian Nicholls to win the Queensland B-grade table tennis title.
He was at various times a member of representative teams in cricket, basketball, and rifle shooting and at time of his passing he was presented with Life Membership of the Allora Bowls Club and Clifton Golf
Murray led by example, courage enthusiasm, and discipline
He had a special passion for impacting fairness and good manners to young in the area.
He was presented with Life Membership of the Allora Pony Club of which he was also treasurer. He valued and treasured this honour.
In all of these pursuits he benefited and was always proud to acknowledge the co-operation and help of his wife Lenore whom he married in 1954.
They were blessed with four children, one of whom, Lynne, predeceased him.
He and Lenore passed on to their children all those attributes of character which were so integral to their lives.
Murray became a beekeeper, travelling with a truckload of bees to the vast plains and herbage of western Queensland where, on account of his trade skills, he could thank owners by repairing plant and equipment, particularly buildings and pumping equipment.
Once when he presented me with a tin of his golden honey I said to him “Murray, you were that tough and hard bee stings would not have hurt you”.
Humorously he said “Tommy, they did a bit,”. It was the first time I ever heard him say something hurt.
He leaves a legacy of honesty, integrity, fairness, compassion and loyalty.
He is survived by his Lenore, children Sue, Alan and Anne, and nine grandchildren and five great grandchildren.
They will have treasured memories of man who always gave his best no matter how difficult.
In recent years, he helped Lenore with her sight difficulties, reliving the love and companionship she had bestowed on him on their long life together.
MISSED: Murray Robin died in Buderim on August 19.