Re­mem­ber­ing Robert Hay­den as told by his son, Patrick

Ovens & Murray Advertiser - - LETTERS TO THE EDITOR - By WENDY STEPHENS

ROBERT John Hay­den passed away last week aged 82, sur­rounded by his lov­ing fam­ily.

He was the son of Wil­liam and Veron­ica Hay­den and a brother to Ge­orgie, Kerry and Pe­ter.

His son Patrick Hay­den de­liv­ered this eu­logy and said that his fa­ther was born in 1936 at Alexan­dra in the cen­tral high­lands of Vic­to­ria, and af­ter the dis­as­trous of­fered in­cen­tives for saw millers and log­gers to move to the Gipp­s­land re­gion to har­vest the burnt moun­tain ash.

“The fam­ily moved to Tan­jil Bren where Rob­bie and his broth­ers at­tended school un­til he was ex­pelled at the age of 13 – he never told the fam­ily what he had donebut given Dad’s na­ture and sense of hu­mour, there is no doubt there was prob­a­bly a tale to be told,“Mr Hay­den said dur­ing his eu­logy for his fa­ther.

his brother Ge­orgie work­ing in the bush.

“Those were the days of cross­cut saws, axes and bul­lock teams.

“It was a hard life, but he thrived on work, be­com­ing an ac­com­plished ax­e­man and de­vel­op­ing a life­long love of the Aus­tralian bush.

“As well as work­ing at Ta­jil Bren, Dad worked in many other lo­ca­tions across Vic net River as well as in Tas­ma­nia at Fin­gal and St Marys.

Dad, in con­junc­tion with his fam­ily, moved to the Stan­ley Plateau where he and his fa­ther started a mill at Blue Gum Ridge be­low Hills­bor­ough.

“He told me it was a great job – the only prob­lem was that his fa­ther wasn’t pay­ing him.”

Mr Hay­den then de­scribed that it was shortly af­ter mov­ing to the re­gion that Robert Hay­den met his wife to be, An­nette Cham­bey­ron.

“I know you are aware that work in hard phys­i­cal jobs like tim­ber milling can lead to some hard drink­ing and hard play­ing and Dad was no ex­cep­tion.

“On one oc­ca­sion he was go­ing to visit Mum who was un­der­tak­ing her nurs­ing in Al­bury.

“He had one too many ‘sher­bets’ and ended up crash­ing into a tree and vault­ing an eye in the process.

“When Mum and Dad were mar­ried An­nette’s fa­ther Jack Cham­bey­ron was not too keen to at­tend the wed­ding and only by the ac­cede.

“Over time, of course, dad and mum es­tab­lished a home in Beech­worth and went Pat, Kate, Christo­pher and Terry in their High St house.”

Hay­den, af­ter much prompt­ing from his wife, be­came a porter at the Ovens and Mur­ray and later would go on to do his SEN train­ing in the early sev­en­ties with Frank Carey and oth­ers.

“This was a tough ask for some­one who Hay­den said.

“Dad worked for ap­prox­i­mately 15 years at the O& M Hos­pi­tal be­fore mov­ing to May­day Hills and even­tu­ally, on its clos­ing, to the houses.

“In the 1980’s, our par­ents moved from their house in High St to a brand new home in John St.

“With all the kids gone, they moved into the next phase of their life start­ing to travel and en­joy their life.” Now “Un­for­tu­nately, this was not to last with Mum’s un­ex­pected death in 1990.

“Dad was dev­as­tated by her loss and it shook him and the rest of the fam­ily hard.

“He de­vel­oped a nightly rou­tine be­fore go­ing to bed, he would kiss her photo, say a prayer and then cross him­self, he truly loved his An­nette.

“You know, Dad loved a drink and a chat; af­ter Mum’s death, he could of­ten be found with a se­lec­tive group of sim­i­larly aged gen­tle­man form­ing a group of drinkers at the Com­mer­cial ho­tel.

“Col­lec­tively known as “The Cor­ner of Knowl­edge” I am sure many of the per­sons in­volved in this think tank would be known to you - the il­lus­tri­ous names of Scot­tie, Ko­jak, Merv, Tommy Methven, Ral­phie etc.

“No doubt dur­ing the im­bib­ing of many a pot, they re­solved all the ills of the world in a civilised man­ner with many a rib­bing meant in jest, un­like some of our cur­rent lead­ers.

“Dad al­ways loved his fam­ily and took great pride in what they were do­ing and what they had achieved; this was no more so than with his grand­kids who all idolised him.

“We have loved watch­ing him with our chil­dren over the years and he al­ways could make fun of a sit­u­a­tion even to the end.

“Be at peace Dad, united with your beloved An­nette.”

VALE: Robert John Hay­den.

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