Man for all sea­sons

Mur­ray Robin Born: Al­lora July 6, 1930 Died: Bud­erim Au­gust 19, 2017

Warwick Daily News - - NEWS - Tom McVeigh

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.

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