24 September 2016, Powerhouse club house, Albert Park, Melbourne, Australia
John Hutchinson - son
Greg and I were in Berlin when we heard of dad’s passing. We thought long and hard about putting a post on Facebook to let our fiends know what had happened – was it a bit tacky? Is that what people did these days? What would Mandy and Mum think? But boy are we glad we did. It gave people an opportunity to pass on their condolences and to also tell us stories that reminded us of the “old” Hutchy.
Something that consistently came up was the kind of man Dad was, a gentleman, a gentle giant, a generous, kind and loving man. It made me think about the topic of masculinity that has been discussed a lot recently and how it wasn’t the fact that Dad was big and strong and handy in a fight that made people react like this.
I’m sure Allanis Morisette would agree that its ironic that we choose a gay pub in Berlin to discuss masculinity, but its there that Greg told me how his father Bob had taken him line by line through a poem written by Rudyard Kipling called “If” as an instruction on how to be a man.
We ignored the international roaming fees and googled it, read it and cried. And reflected how even though it was written way back in 1895 as an instruction on how to be a man there was nothing traditionally masculine in it, it was an instruction on how to be a good person.
So I’ll read it now with thanks to Bob, and Carroll, for raising such an amazing person and thinking that Beryl could well have read through it line by line with Dad as it reflects the kind of person he was and the comments about him on Facebook from many of you:
If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:
If you can dream—and not make dreams your master;
If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools:
If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breathe a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: ‘Hold on!’
If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with Kings—nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son!
Mandy - daughter
Dad was the most beautiful wise encouraging positive patient loving father. He was the best hugger ever. He taught me to give 100% in everything I do. A most fun and scrumptious grandfather- a Somers father to so many, and a particularly beautiful father figure to my lovely Dom.
Dad was so loved as a child that it seemed so effortless for him to love. He had an endless well of love. I think John and I have this well, we love easily. Thank you for sharing this with us Dad.
I have these little snap shots of Dad at:
Easter Camps- - sleeping in the Medium Room, Dad as the ultimate decider of the wobbly slice award (thanks for that memory Jim Paxford), cooking Chinese food, Hutchy’s infamous meatloaf, Swannees – wherever it was Dad would be there, checking with Harry to see if Heather and I were in our hut.
Driving our Patron Dorothy McAdam down to Lady Somers Camp every January. She thought he was very special indeed.
The beautiful letters I got from him when I was in Brasil
Arriving back from Brasil to see that had bought a car so luminously green it was so embarrassing We named it the Pea green machine
His Story telling was legendary, and often quite long.
His little sayings: spurkling bargandy. Fit dit, foot, His prolific apple tarts.
Demonstrating how to roller skate - zoom zoom
Football- the smell of linament, mud and sweat and the loud war cries
Love of people and fun, parties, undies in the lemon tree- wine bottling in the back yard, singing – so much singing
Dad would enter our 4 ft Clark rubber pool, by launching himself over the edge- the joy we felt as the enormous tidal wave would crash all around us.
His love of my great ability in Chemistry- he is not here to dispute it
Taking me to the Turf Club for a counter meal after my last HSC exam
Dad was brought up by strong women, his Mother Beryl was deliciously naughty and wise. He married a strong beautiful woman, and then had a daughter, just like many of his friends, Woots, Harry, Johnno and Dake to name a few– Lady Somers Camp was born with the love and support of all these wonderful men.
Mum and Dad were our cheer squad. I mean who would have pictured me milking cows?! - Dad milked cows- though I think he enjoyed bringing beer to the shed more. Dad and Mum came to every event our children starred in, and enthusiastically supported and were embraced by our lovely friends in our community, who also in turn loved them. Thank you for being here today.
Kim Wootton described my mum as the most graceful woman she has ever met. She then said that I was nothing like that! I do think though that it sums up mum’s approach to Dad and the slow pervading relentless alzheimers disease.
Dad never lost his love of people and would greet everyone with his famous smile and cuddle.
He went into Windmill Court in April. It was the hardest thing we have ever had to do.
However his simply remarkable ability to turn any subject back to football continued on.
He also continued to be highly competitive, and so was so impressed when Mum was able to trounce the other residents at the nursing home in trivia competition one day. She’s my wife he would say, proudly. In true Hutchy fashion he won the footy tipping competition this year!
They said he was the most popular resident they ever had.
Thanks to all of you who visited him there.
He slipped away so quickly and quietly it took us by surprise.
Thanks my beautiful brave Mum, who seems to have an endless amount of resilience, compassion, and as Kim says, grace. Thanks for looking after my beautiful Dad. She loved him so… and he loved her.
My Aunties, Aunty Margaret and Aunty Mary Took Dad to his appointments with Mum and were Mum’s go to people. Mary sat with my Mum all day Saturday until I could get there. Mary gave me the best advice. –Just close your eyes, and listen- it’s still his voice.
John and Greg – the rock has lived up to his great reputation and has been seriously the most wonderful support to Mum and Dad. Bravo John Ronald, and thanks to Greg for loving him so well.
Dom, Sam, Paddy and Jem – thank you for being my rocks. For understanding when I have been sad, and for making me laugh. For being by my side. For loving our Hutchiano as much as me.
Finally thanks to all of you for your support over the last week and the beautiful help in getting us ready for today.
Gwennie Hutchinson - wife
What a lucky girl I was to meet Pete and then for him to marry me.
We’ve had 51 great years with not too many hiccups along the way, rewarded with 2 of the best children ever, who in turn chose great partners and presented us with 6 lovely grandchildren to share his love.
You will be[have been] reminded of his sporting prowess, his teaching, his community service, his family and how the wonder of his personality affected such an amazing number of people, who passed through his life.
AD is hideous: to affect such a personality as Hutch - but he took up conversation in a big way, unfortunately we lost the knack of understanding too much of it - but that did not worry or deter him at all. He’ll be missed at Windmill Court as he saw himself as the Assistant Manager to Rachel – who will fold the laundry in the middle of the night? who will visit all those bedbound – he sometimes spent time with them by having a snooze on the next bed – who will challenge their emergency plans by setting off the fire alarm – what a dilemma he leaves behind.
There are many people to thank for easing especially his last months: his sister Mary who remained a constant to us both, the lovely staff at Cumberland View whom I could not fault, Harry, Ray, Rick, and Ish’s regular contacts as they were geographically distanced, Ross & Lee, Barb and Glen, John and Bev plus so many of you who visited, cared, prayed and quietly supported all of us, our sincere thanks.
Dom has a great story about coming to meet Pete and I for the first time.
Dom - son in law
Thank you Gwennie and all the wonderful previous speakers.
The first time I met Hutchy and Gwennie, I’d been going out with Mandy for a few months, and as it happens with these things the time comes when you have to meet the parents.
In fact I remembered this story when looking through photos with Paddy who noticed that Hutchy was a very rather large and imposing figure
He asked “Dad were you a bit scared when you met Hutch for the first time?’
Well he was rather an intimidating figure.
But after the initial introductions and chit chat, he asked Would you like a beer, Pete bought out pewter mugs, there couldn’t be much harm in that could there?
Many people here would know the danger of the pewter mug- Hutch kept topping them up with long necks.
I thought I could handle myself pretty well.
I was Having a very enjoyable night listening to stories- footy featured highly - little did I know that this would continue for the next 26 years
We were having a Beautiful meal- Gwennie clearly wanted to marry mandy off
Next thing Hutch asked if I’d like a Red Wine? Truthfully I hadn’t drunk a lot of red wine, being an innocent country lad.
One bottle came and went, another bottle, there could have been more….
I started Losing touch with reality….
Pete being the great host out came with the port
Things started going downhill
I had drunk port before in little glasses, Pete utilised these pewter goblets.
I was hitting my straps becoming quite witty.
Then I heard a couple of statements I was to hear consistently over the next 26years.
‘Well that’s the end of the port, ‘what about a cleansing ale?’’
I thought to myself ‘Cleansing ale’ Cleansing ale!!!??
The second one was “Oh Peter, leave the Boy alone”
I was a little seedy the next day, and mowing lawns was not fun
Hutch however was up and going the next day, he never showed any sign of a hangover, ever.
For when the One Great Scorer comes
To write against your name,
He marks-not that you won or lost-
But how you played the game.
In honour of Hutchy’s fine tradition at the conclusion of this celebration at 5pm, we invite you to have a cleansing ale at the PHFC club rooms, Ross Gregory oval. Please join us
In a final tribute to Hutchy please join with us in singing 'The Game Song'