Vale: Bill Rudd knew the secret to life

Bill Rudd knew the secret to life

Billy Rudd celebrating his 84th birthday with family in Grenfell.

Billy Rudd celebrating his 84th birthday with family in Grenfell.

Roy William Rudd 1931 - 2019

Our grandfather was widely known as Bill or Billy. He was also known as Dad, Uncle Bill, 'Snapper' and Mr Rudd.

To us, he was Poppy and was very proud of us, interested in everything that we did and loved us all dearly.

My best memory of Pop and the memory that I hold onto most dearly was seeing him in his garden when I opened the back door of my grandparent's home at Warraderry Street.

Seeing that big smile lit up across his face whilst he was watering his garden and softly singing one of his favourite tunes made me think, he must know the secret to life.

Seeing him in his element made me feel so happy and so lucky to have him as my pop.

He was always a proud and loving pop, looking out for us and always asking the right questions, such as "found any good sorts down your way?", "did you bring your tennis racquet out?", "been playing any tennis lately?" and "what's the weather like?."

My personal favourite "should we have a game of cards?".

Common phrases while playing cards included: "it's a tragedy", "you wouldn't read about it", "jam tarts", "demons," "pick it up and go alone" and "just fishing".

He always told us how to play the card.

No-one wanted to be his partner.

Pop was always whistling a tune or singing songs with every activity he pursued.

As we discovered that Pop really enjoyed singing, it only made sense to buy a karaoke set so that when friends and family came to visit, we were made to sing along with him.

His most favourite food was fish and chips, and when he ate out for dinner, he saved whatever was leftover in his serviette to take home to eat later or to give to the birds.

In his retirement, he loved watching "The Bold and the Beautiful" and was sure to kick anyone off the TV so he could watch it at 4.30 pm. Everyone knew not to ring him until after 5 pm.

My sister and I are both passionate about media. I am a graphic designer and my sister is a copy editor for Bauer Media.

(The following is an abridged version from 'Faces In the Street' written by Margery Nicoll and Alison Rumps published in the Grenfell Record on Friday 16th December 2016. )

Bill was born on 8th February 1931 in Wyalong, the eighth of nine children of Jack and Flo Rudd of 'Laurel Park', Lake Cowal, near West Wyalong. Jack and Flo had come from the Goulburn/Yass area, so that Jack could take up a position as overseer for the the Buttenshaw family. With his brothers and sisters, Bill attended the small bush school 'Hazeldoon'. The school largely consisted of Rudds and Hermestons, a family which also later moved to Grenfell. Bill loved growing up on 'Laurel Park' and was known to go bird nesting on his way to school. Bill had three brothers who served in World War Two, with one being a prisoner of war. At the end of the war, the family moved into West Wyalong where Bill completed his last year of school.

At the end of 1946, a position became available at the West Wyalong Advocate newspaper for an apprentice 'compositer/printer'. He started his new career with the Advocate, beginning with the paper run. He saved his weekly 25 shillings salary, soon buying his mother a refrigerator, and himself a piano, which he taught himself to play. Bill loved music, singing and dancing.

He played the guitar, often crooning and yodelling country classics by the Everly Brothers, Slim Dusty, Reg Lindsay, Johnny Cash and Hank Williams. Bill loved dancing. In his twenties, he frequented the district balls doing the Fox Trot, the Waltz, Pride of Erin, Quick Step and the barn dance was an all time favourite.

Bill could always find a bag of 'Pops' to sprinkle on the dance floor and would share himself around the ladies. This continued when he met Marie and they were known to attend balls and social events in Grenfell.

Bill's apprenticeship included learning the work involved in the printing and laying out of the paper, printing invoices, invitations, envelopes, accounts, receipt books, cards, show schedules and books for the area west of the Bland.

Bill and his brother, Jim, were instrumental in establishing the West Wyalong Men's Hockey Club - but Bill started playing tennis when he was 20, and never looked back.

One of his special tennis memories, was refereeing a match for the young upcoming tennis star, Yvonne Goolagong. It was playing tennis where he met Marie Halliday, also of West Wyalong.

A romance ensued and they married in January 1961. They had three children, Dianne, Sue and Daryl.

In 1970, the owners of the West Wyalong Advocate, the Parker family, purchased the Grenfell Record.

Bill, together with another employee, Geoff Stivano, moved to Grenfell in November that year to manage the Record. In 1975, the Cowra Guardian bought the Grenfell Record.

Max Waters was the Editor from 1973 until 1978. In 1978/79, Colin Lloyd from Nowra purchased both the Cowra Guardian and the Grenfell Record and Bill became the Editor/Manager of the Record.

In 1984, the Cowra Guardian and the Grenfell Record were sold to Macquarie Publications, owned by John Amarti.

John sent Bill and Marie on an all-expense paid trip to New Zealand in 1993 in recognition of Bill's devotion to his work.

In 1994, Rural Press became the new owner of the Record, taking over all the local newspapers.

Over the years, the unrelenting workload carried by Bill was extraordinary.

Remarkably, he ensured the smooth continuity of news and events to the Grenfell community through changes of ownership and upheaval, quietly absorbing difficulties and demands single-handedly.

Bill was never phased as he loved his job.

He was often seen going up and down Main Street into all the local business houses, selling advertising space, grateful for regular contributors such as TF Armstrong & Co, Ryders and the Grenfell Pharmacy.

Assisting Bill's work load initially was Dot Hatkinson, followed by Leah Griffiths, Mardie Bucknell and Jan McLelland, who would help type up the copy for the paper until Bill's retirement.

Nearly every social event in the town was covered by Bill - and he became fondly known as 'Snapper' for all his photographs.

Bill, as the photographer for the social news, also became known as 'Take Two'. He always took two of every photo 'just to be sure'.

Bill worked full time for the Record until he finally retired in 1997 when he was 66.

In spite of his work load, Bill somehow managed to be involved heavily in many Grenfell community activities, which he maintained up until now. In recognition of all his work, in 1983 he was awarded the Vocational Service Award by Grenfell Rotary Club, later being made an Honorary Rotarian.

In 1988, Bill was presented with the Lions Club Citizen of the year Award and also made an honorary member of that club.

In 1997, Bill was presented with the Weddin Shire Citizen Award on Australia Day.

Rural Press marked Bill's 50 years of service to printing and the press by hosting a retirement dinner for him in March 1997 with 150 people present.

His first adventure in retirement was to accompany his eldest daughter Dianne and family on a camping trip out to Innaminka and Cameron's Corner, where he spent time with his fishing line in the Cooper for hours on end.

Holidays were spent with family in Bulli, Port Macquarie and Cairns where his three children lived with their partners and grandchildren.

At the Australia Day celebrations in Grenfell in 2013, Bill was presented with the Senior Citizen of the Year Award for 2012.

Bill continued to co-ordinate raffles for the Henry Lawson Festival, run raffles for the Grenfell Show, and monthly meat raffles for the Lions at the Railway Hotel.

He also helped Marie with Meals on Wheels and would regularly entertain residents of Grenfell MPS on his keyboard.

Bill started the 'Billy Rudd Christmas Party' at the Country Club.

He would contact people to attend and provide the entertainment on his keyboard. He loved getting people up to dance and always enjoyed hosting a party.

Bill played his last game of tennis at the Grenfell Tennis Centre on 18th December 2014, and up until his passing, covered the tennis results for the Record each week and the weather reports once a month.

Bill and Marie have lived in Warraderry Street for almost 50 years.

He spent his retirement devoted to his garden, which was full of colourful blooms, watering everything that showed a flower.

Bill was passionate about everything that he did - playing cards with family and friends, punting on horses, playing tennis, playing on his keyboard, fishing on the river, growing flowers, the weather, keeping canaries and feeding wild birds in the backyard and catching up with his friends and family.

A James A. Richardson Honour Award has been ordered for honorary Lion Bill for his outstanding service to the Grenfell Lions Club.

This was going to be presented at the annual Changeover. The Presentation will now be awarded posthumous to the family.

He loved everyone he had a relationship with, his immediate family, his extended family, nephews and nieces, the Brown family, his mates and the townspeople of Grenfell.

Poppy has made us extremely proud of his work ethic, and devotion to his family and the community and we will miss him every single day.

Rest in peace Poppy.

Family thanks the community

Dear Sir,

The Family of the Late Roy (Bill) William Rudd would like to thank the Grenfell Community, Hospital and Health Care Workers, Lions Club, Country Club, Cowra Palliative Care and all those who have visited, sent cards, flowers and condolences.

We have been overwhelmed by your love, kindness, thoughts, prayers and offers of help which have all been greatly appreciated.

Please accept this as our personal thanks.

Marie, Dianne, Sue, Daryl and their families.