Contributed by Donna Medway (nee Ramm)
Bob came into this world on the 17th November 1941, in a little cottage on Cattai Ridge Road in Glenorie (which is now a real estate).
Bobs parents, Robert (Jnr) and Gwen remained in Glenorie until Bob was 5 years old when they purchased 33 acres of land at Maroota and relocated.
Bob went to Maroota Public School and then Richmond high school. He would ride his bike to Maroota school each day and then ride straight home to help his dad with the farm.
Bob met Barbara when her family moved two properties up from him in 1955. She was – almost the girl next door. They married in 1963, the day before his 22nd birthday, and lived in a granny flat at his mum and dad for 4 years.
They welcomed Donna into their lives in October 1965, and 16 months later, in March 1967, a baby brother was born, Robert. The day Robert was brought home from the hospital was the day they moved into their own new house they had built on eight acres Bob and Barb purchased from his mum and Dad.
Bob remained at this property, farming some vegetables but mainly oranges and lemons as an orchard for almost 75 years. He was very proud of the ‘crystal clear natural spring dams’ located on both his parent’s property and his own.
Over the years, most of the orchards became paddocks, but Bob still had one bed of oranges beside his house that he kept so he could sell them at stall beside the road to anyone who would drop in, which gave him an opportunity for a chat.
Bob loved to share local history with us, he had lived through so much change. As a five-year-old, he had moved to Maroota when it was still entirely bush. Initially, when they moved there, they had no power.
To keep food cold, they would lower it down into the water well in a bucket. Bob had watched the land be cleared by cutting the trees with hand saws and blowing the stumps with dynamite. Tractors gradually made their way to the farm, and so began his love of tractors.
Bob knew everything you could want to know about tractors and farm equipment … models and specs, anything you wanted to know. He was known as the go-to man for machinery; if he didn’t have it – he knew someone that did.
Whenever Bob visited anyone, it was always with a bag of oranges for them to eat, whether it be a social visit or a doctor’s appointment. They were the sweetest oranges!
He was active right until the end, although life was getting tougher as ill-health took its toll.
I visited dad the afternoon before he passed. When I arrived, I found him out on the tractor in the paddock with his dogs – he was doing what he loved right up until the very end.
Another local icon has left us -we miss you, dad, and are thinking of you in your new orchard in heaven.