(26 March 1935 - 6 November 2018)
  • Bob's Eulogy
    WELL – You all knew Jean - and I’m sure you will agree that she was a pretty remarkable person. If ever there was a “people” person - Jean was it. She just loved to talk - to anyone and everyone. She would strike up a conversation with a total stranger, and within minutes she knew pretty well everything there was to know about them. And as for meeting friends in Avalon! - there was no such thing as a 5 minute dash down to get a loaf of bread – it would take 2 hours minimum!!
    In this respect, as in many others, she and I were total opposites. Perhaps that’s why we hung together as long and as happily as we did. She was the ultimate “Black or White” person, whereas for me there arn’t enough shades of grey. We did however have a lot of interests in common. She loved to travel and, like me , had a huge interest in the people, the history and the culture – wherever we went. She also had a wonderful sense of humour and seemed to be able to see something funny in almost every situation.
    Being “black or white” - whatever she did was always taken to the extreme. As an example - she had a great interest in current affairs and politics, and as well as never missing the news or a current affairs program on television, she also never missed watching parliamentary question time! -- and that’s taking interest in politics to the the level of extreme sport. I could never work out though if she was more interested in the antics of the pollies or in what Julie Bishop was wearing on the day!
    She was surprisingly competitive, possibly because in her early life she had worked for Sydney Allard, - a well known racing driver and car manufacturer, and she had a lifelong love of motor racing. Many times we’ve sat up through the night watching Formula 1.
    Although she had never sailed before we met – as soon as we got our yacht she loved sailing. She would always be wanting to overtake or beat the nearest boat, even if we were only out for a quiet sail. If we were genuinely racing she became quite hypo - insisting on controlling the spinnaker - and always wanting it to blow harder, even though the rest of the crew might be shitting themselves! In later life, when she took up bowls, the competitive spirit was still evident, as many of you will know.
    In lots of ways Jean was a bit of a contradiction. Although she very happily lived in the present, always wearing trendy clothes etc, she was also very much a product of her era - a traditionalist, a royalist, and a lover of the good things in life. Her youth meant a lot to her and her memories of it are prodigious. How many of you can remember the name (and appearance) of all the teachers in your primary school, and the names of most of the kids as well? She could! Some of her fondest memories were of the four years she spent on a farm in Devon, as a little evacuee from London during the war. We went to see the farm a few years ago and met the grandchildren of her “foster” parents. Out came the family photo albums and there was one of Jean sitting on a huge carthorse. She kept in touch with the family.
    Jean was NOT “tech-savvy” AT ALL. Computers were totally beyond her and she didn’t even really believe they are needed at all. We eventually got a ‘smart’ TV – but it might just as well only have had an on-off switch. And as for mobile phones ----- Well!! I won’t go there!
    Her abiding love was music. The house was full of music all day. As well as the choice of hundreds of CDs her favourite radio station was called “Symphony”, which comes out of Singapore, streamed through the internet – a fact that she accepted but couldn’t understand. She taught me to love classical music, and I taught her to appreciate jazz. She was a frustrated pianist - but loved to play what she could, and had an uncanny ability to tell you the name and composer of any piece playing on the radio
    Jean was a lover of all things beautiful, luxurious and expensive. As many of you would know, for over 16 years she owned and personally ran Avalon’s classiest Lingerie shop, Hetty Belle, and through this she was able to indulge herself to the max. That shop ticked all the boxes – she could surround herself with beautiful things, spend all day talking to people, and spend up big. All her friends would just drop in for a chat. At times the shop was grossly overstocked - but what did it matter if the bottom line was not always as the accountant hoped it would be? Everyone was happy and there was always a husband to put the dinner on the table!!
    Jean had her share of medical problems – but she always bounced back. She was really good at bouncing back! One such problem left her blind in one eye, which actually never seemed to faze her but was always a good reason (or excuse) for some of the more bizarre episodes, such as when having her first ever pedicure, she sat in the footbath instead of on the seat. She thought this was hilarious, but the young Asian pedicurist was mortified. And as for letting her pour red wine – that was a total no-no!!
    I could go on relating “Jean stories” all afternoon, and I’m sure there will be a few told at the bowlo later, maybe even about her driving prowess –where the car had to be retrieved from the bowling green on one occasion, and dragged backwards out through the club front door on another.
    Life with Jean was a bit of a rollercoaster at times – but I really loved being along for the ride – and I couldn’t possibly have had a better life partner
    God Bless you Darling
    Uploaded by Mr Robert [Bob] Dummett
    • 2 years ago
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