Vic’s early life began at Lismore where his father had a dairy farm. Early in his life, the family moved to Galston where Vic began his education at Galston Public School. He continued his education at Hornsby Tech then furthered his studies at Crows Nest Technical High.
After completing his trade certificate and declining a position as a Tech teacher, he set up a small metal work factory repairing farm machinery for local farmers. Answering the challenge from locals, he began designing his own farm machinery, often simply sketched on the floor with chalk. Pretty soon he was manufacturing under his own name and steadily grew the business until he was able to buy land and build a larger factory on the same site that the company still operates from today (Jarrett Implements).
Around the late ‘40s he started courting the love of his life, Marjorie. They met in their late teens at Church fellowship and were constant companions from the start. When Vic was 23 he asked Marj to marry him. They just celebrated their 65th wedding anniversary last December.
Vic was a hands on man. He did not like the limelight. He was just as happy sweeping the floors and loading trucks as writing the cheques. He ran an efficient factory and many people commented that they could have eaten their lunch off his factory floor. Often he was spoken to by the truck drivers as one of the workers and was more than once asked ‘hey mate, what’s the boss like here? Do you ever see him?’
As most people know, Vic never retired. When asked why, he simply said with a cheeky grin – “I was away that day so I have to go around again”.
Vic’s other passion was his love of vehicles. They had to be beautiful and fast! In his early days, this took the form of a motor bike, then he progressed to passenger cars, some of them luxurious for the time, but he was just as comfortable on his tractor. So much so that he would often be seen driving the tractor up the factory’s driveway to collect the mail. His daredevil nature would then take over and he would stick the tractor into neutral, and hang on tight for the steep decline achieving speeds that would normally involve a traffic violation!
Even in later years, his heavy right foot was well known. Some of his Probus associates would comment that he might be one of the last to get into his car, but he was certainly always first out of the driveway. ‘Pa Bic’ was often seen by his grandsons driving menacingly around the hills district at speeds that were not considered suited to his demographic.
His vehicle “piece de resistance” would have to be his Alvis which was lovingly restored during the 90s and Anthony had it presented to him in all its glory as a surprise on his 70th birthday. It was a very proud moment for Vic.
Anyone that knows Vic would describe him as a humble, quiet man. He was also known as an extremely honest and diligent businessman and employer. He was always respected by family, colleagues and employees. His generous nature in helping many causes was kept to himself. Only he and his recipients knew and that’s the way he wanted it.
Whilst Vic was out working hard, Marj was at home rearing the two children, Cheryl and Anthony. At home, Vic could be found in the kitchen on washing up duty, but he never mastered any cooking skills. He would happily help with homework, as long as it was maths. For leisure time, Vic would go to his friend’s home for some table tennis on Friday nights or watch some sport on the TV.
Vic was a great Dad, and family memories revolve around summer holidays with family friends, especially the Newhalls. Vic’s hidden talent came in handy as he was able to fit 30% more in the car boot than anyone else. They holidayed regularly at The Entrance then Forster, and later at Terrigal where they eventually built a family holiday house.
Life was simple and he worked hard. In later years, once the children had left home, just when others might be planning to take it easy, Marj and Vic embarked on a new project. They built their new home at Cherrybrook. The two of them made a formidable team. Vic, the ever hardworking man and Marj with her artistic talents created a beautiful home and garden that is the envy of many locals. A true sanctuary and a credit to them both.
Vic didn’t much like the computer age. He steadfastly refused to embrace the technological scene and was happy with his old fashioned systems. He even used to double check the calculator, often adding up in his head, just to be sure.
Vic became a much loved grandfather to his six grandchildren, Nic and Alex Jarrett and James, John, Robert and Kathryn Keane. The children were all given plenty of attention and his quiet patient nature meant that they loved spending time with him.
In keeping with his ‘no fuss’ self reliant nature, Vic was often designing little gadgets to make his life easier. One of the more quirky pieces was the old trolley that got turned into a chair stacker. Some of the grandchildren were most amused by this particular piece of engineering brilliance.
Vic and Marj generously welcomed family and friends to their beautifully maintained home and garden, hosting various functions for their favourite clubs, including the Alvis Car Club and Probus. In December, Vic had the honour of again hosting last year’s Christmas party for his fellow Alvis enthusiasts.
Vic’s life was truly blessed and he would be the first to agree. He had a loving partner, successful, happy children, and six beautiful healthy grandchildren which were his pride and joy. His life was very full and he had achieved much. His business was his ultimate achievement.
What started as a need to provide a living became a lifelong passion and how fortunate was he to enjoy his passion as a hobby in more recent years.
We will not mourn his departure. That would be selfish. He had a good life and left the world a better place. What more can anyone ask? Family, friends and colleagues will miss him dearly.