A love of Eugowra: vale Dudley Weekes

Dudley Weekes, formerly of Orange and previously of Nanima Street Eugowra, passed away at the Eugowra MPS on Wednesday 26th December aged 88 years.

He is predeceased by his wife Judith and and survived by his children and their spouses/partners Julie and Larry Wright, Alison and Graham Watson, Paul and Debbie, Neil and Sonya, Jodie-Lea and Terry James his 10 grandchildren and 13 great grand children.

Dudley's funeral service was held at St Matthew's Anglican Church Eugowra on Wednesday 2nd January at 10am with Reverend Joy Harris officiating.

His son Paul wrote the following obituary … 

Dad loves this town, and Eugowra was very lucky to have someone like our father grow up here.

Dad was involved in just about everything he could be at Eugowra in his younger years.

He owned a very respected Business, he was a Member of Lions, Bowling Club, President of the Hospital Board, Church, Ambulance, Meals on Wheels and he loved his Footy, Tennis and Cricket.

I have only touched on the areas he was involved in as there were more strings to his bow within these organisations.

Dad was born 20 August 1930 to William and Ada Weekes.

He was an only child.

Mum and Dad were married on April 6, 1953 in Eugowra.

They had five children, 11 grandchildren and 13 great grandchildren.

They moved to Orange some nine years ago to be closer to family.

Mum passed away on 19 April 2015 and he missed Mum terribly, even though he didn’t let on.

Since then Dad had lost his mobility and was fortunate enough to be offered a room at Eugowra Multi-Purpose Health Centre in May 2018.

Dad was diagnosed with a large growth in his stomach in May last year, which was inoperable.

He mentioned to me recently that he has had a very good life and was not wanting for anything more than what he had achieved.

Dad managed his family and business with a strong hand.

He was difficult at times to talk to about any difference of opinion, but we got through it.

There was no getting away with anything with our Dad.

He set some high standards and we know he would be tipping his hat to the achievements of our siblings.

We have done all right, Julie - teaching, Alison - nursing, Neil in the building industry, Jodie Lee - school principal and me in banking.

The reason we all played sport while growing up was that not only did it keep us fit and healthy but, if we were not doing anything, Dad would have us down at the Cheney and Weekes Garage serving petrol, doing bookwork, processing spare parts, repairing and changing tyres, grease and oil changing vehicles, grinding valves etc.

In the summer months when the farmers were exceptionally busy, and they needed their machinery fixed, Dad would take us out to the farms on weekends to work on headers, tractors etc.

I think it may have been the reason why none of us wanted to take over the business: hot summer days and cold winters out on the farms working with grease, dust and the occasional snake rolling past.

Mum and Dad sold the business when Dad was 45.

He then spent 10 years driving a school bus on the West Wyalong Road back into Forbes each morning. They retired at 55.

On our visits to see Dad in Orange, one of the first things Dad would get out for me every time we went there was the Eugowra Magazines/Newspapers and the Forbes Advocate highlighting the Eugowra section.

I left Eugowra when I was 17 and was being kept up to date on what was happening in Eugowra every time I went home.

It showed to us the love he had for this town.

We would like to say thanks for all the tributes given to Dad via the Eugowra Bushranger Facebook page.

It keeps locals like me up to date with what is happening in my home town.

To use a comment from Warren Walsh about Dad, “Another sad blow for our Community, Dudley was a good provider for his family, a great bloke and a tireless worker for the town.

Bowls achievements, Dad loved his Bowls and the Bowling Club.

His highlights were Zone 5 No 4 Pennants in 1992 at Tamworth.

He has his name on the Board at the Bowlo many times.

He was President for three years: 1973, 1974 and 1975.

He was made a Life Member on the 22 July 1989.

He played cricket until an accident at work.

A chain gave way on a hoist that was supporting a motor.

It fell on Dad and he had ongoing treatment for his back.

That said he could still send down a quality bowl.

I would like to thank all the nursing staff at the Eugowra Multi-Purpose Centre, who cared for Dad in the last eight months.

I couldn’t do your job but I highly respect what you nurses do.

We know Dad is challenging at times, but he had a kind heart and would do anything he could to help-out anyone in time of need.

Dad also loved a microphone and to say thank-you for whatever occasion.

As he is not here today it gives me great pleasure in saying thank you to you and your families for making Dad’s life such a memorable one.  

We saw Dad for the last time on 8/12 and were discussing our Pop William Wallace Weekes who always said that he was WWW never to trouble you etc.

Dad said you would have thought Pop would have been better at the Internet ...

Dad never lost his sense of humour right to the end.

And finally ... I can hear Mum saying “Cuddly Dudley” is back with me now ... so Dad please say hello and give Mum a big cuddle from all of us.

Rest in peace Dad, we love you.

Contributed by Paul Weekes