Bay loses beloved Bill at 101
HERVEY Bay lost its chirpy centenarian with the big sense of humour on Thursday.
Bill Wilkin, raconteur, former realtor and removalist, died at Torbay Retirement Village on Thursday morning. He was 101 years and three months.
Bill was born in Killarney in Queensland in 1908 and in Kingaroy raised sister Mary and himself from the age of 14 after their parents died.
In 1950 he moved to the Bay with late wife Jean and their five sons, who all live on the Fraser Coast. “That’s when dad became actively involved in community and charitable affairs until his enforced retirement in 1974,” son John said yesterday.
“He was instrumental in having the Urangan Land Scouts Group reformed and was one of the three men who formed the Hervey Bay Sea Scouts Group, also purchasing and removing the building from Maryborough to the den’s present site.
“Dad was a member for years and chairman of the Urangan Progress Association when the decision to form the Town Council Promotion Committee was taken. That committee of which he was a member went on to see the declaration of the Town of Hervey Bay and subsequently the City of Hervey Bay.”
Bill served two terms on the council, one on the Burrum Shire Council and one on the Hervey Bay Town Council.
He was a member of the Torquay Progress Association and the Hervey Bay Ratepayers Association, the Hervey Bay Ambulance Committee, the Hervey Bay Fire Brigade and chaired the annual general meetings of the Torquay Country Women’s Association for 30 years. He also served two terms as president of the Hervey Bay Rotary Club and was still a Justice of the Peace when he died.
John said his dad bought land and built a garage on the Esplanade in Torquay where he was a mechanic. “He then went into real estate with my brother Les before moving on to furniture sales and removals.”
The foreshore strip between Bill Fraser and Ernie Organ parks is now the Bill Wilkin Reserve – appropriately because it sits opposite the site of the old garage.
Bill’s funeral is at 1pm on Monday at the Uniting Church in Exeter Street.