Kyabram Free Press
OBITUARY: LAURIE BOLITHO
Fruit grower, bus driver, comedian and community campaigner, Laurie Bolitho wore many hats but according to his family the most important were loving husband, father and “pop”.
Whether it was taking the kids fishing and camping, mentoring them in a hard work ethic on the orchard, making a joke with a cheeky laugh or having a chat, Laurie was clearly a loved family man, sharing 54 wonderful years with his wife, Lorraine, raising five children together and watching 12 grandchildren grow up.
“You have always been there for us, Pop,” Laurie’s grandchildren wrote to him.
Laurie passed on July 27, 2021 and was laid to rest the following Saturday.
At the funeral Laurie’s daughter Leanne summed up the sense of love and loss for the family.
“Not sure how we are going to do life without you yet, Dad,” she told the mourners. “You played a big part of it. My boys are quietly hurting but are comforted by the memories we all have. You and Mum always came to their footy games, school activities . . . and every birthday since they were born.
“I was always amazed if we were up the street — every second person would say, ‘Hi, Laurie!’ Your cheeky grin and hearty laugh will always be remembered.”
Coming to the Goulburn Valley in the late 1940s, the Bolitho family made a success of fruit growing with a road bordering the original family orchard named in their honour.
Laurie earned the praise of many local growers for his commitment to the industry, describing him as innovative and thoughtful.
Laurie spent many years as part of the Fruit Growers Association and Kyabram Fruit Growers Association.
From the early ‘60s to the mid-'90s, he was a delegate to the Northern Victoria Fruit Growers Association and was active on numerous subcommittees that represented growers in Northern Victoria.
He was also involved with the Nashi Association. Laurie’s representation widened further when he was elected a delegate to Goulburn-murray Water representing hundreds of farming irrigators as well as fruit growers. More recently he was involved in the Banksia collapse, helping secure a better outcome for investors.
Laurie’s other love was driving buses, a pursuit that lasted over 30 years and took him to Sydney to support the 2000 Olympics. He cherished the friendships he made with parents and kids alike.
Whether through family, representation in the agricultural sector or fighting for his community, Laurie Bolitho has left a lasting legacy on the Kyabram community.