Category Archives: Australia

Thank you, Gordon Keatch

The following words were shared on behalf of all the members of the DUCW at the memorial reception for Gord on Thursday August 8. Twenty four Club members attended the service to say farewell and thank you to our dear friend.

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Ah Gordon, you were the best mate any of us could ever hope for, especially those of us in the Down Under Club of Winnipeg.

We loved your kind and generous heart, your wit and wisdom, and your willingness to step up whenever anything needed to be done. You were our friend, mentor and sage, and despite umpteen years as a Canadian citizen, you were still a fair dinkum Aussie through and through. You loved the AFL, cricket, lamingtons, pavlova, the Australian anthem, and wearing a kangaroo embroidered baseball cap. You still even had your accent, and you loved the Down Under Club.

As co-founder of the Club and president for 49 years, you guided us from humble beginnings getting together in people’s basements over beer, wine and chips, to an active group of Aussies, Kiwis and Canucks meeting regularly at the Scandinavian Cultural Centre over beer, wine and chips. Continue reading

Farewell to our best mate, Gordon Keatch

It is with a heavy heart that we say farewell to our dear friend and best mate Gordon Keatch who, at age 95, passed away on June 25, 2019, after a fall at home. Gord was recovering in emergency for a few days and settling into an assisted living facility before he died.

Gord is survived by his sons, Ron (Janice) and Don (Sheila), grandchildren, Allison (Klaas), Erin (Patrick) and Michael (Gemma), and great-grandchildren, Ethan, Liam, Iris, Olivia and Mia. He was predeceased by his infant grandson Graham in 1977 and his wife Anne in 2007.

Born in Melbourne, Australia, Gord joined the Australian Air Force at age 18 and came to Winnipeg to train as a wireless operator. He met Anne during that time and they were married in Australia after the war ended. In 1949 they returned to Winnipeg where Gord started his business career.

He became Secretary Treasurer of Kipp Kelly Limited and enjoyed many years with this successful Winnipeg-based manufacturer and distributor, retiring in 1983. During that time, he served two terms as Trustee of the St. James School Division, followed by a term as Councillor for the City of St. James. He was a founder of the Down Under Club in 1950, greatly enjoyed his association, and was the last of the original members.

Gord was an avid golfer and had a long association with Niakwa Country Club, including serving as President. He and Anne enjoyed many winters travelling, particularly to Hawaii. Gordon had a special affinity for the theatre. He was President of MTC and a long-time supporter right up to the time of his passing.

Gordie was a Sinatra fan. As Ol’ Blues Eyes said, “I did it my way.”

In lieu of a funeral service, there will be a memorial reception for Gord on Thursday, August 8, 2019, from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon at the Winnipeg Squash Racquet Club, 275 Stradbrook Ave.
Flowers are gratefully declined, but if you would like, a donation to the Manitoba Theatre Centre, 174 Market Ave., Winnipeg, MB R3B 0P8, would be very much appreciated.

Thank you, Gord, for your friendship, your unique sense of humour and wit, your kind and welcoming nature, your commitment to the DUCW, and your generous spirit that bound us all together. We love you and we miss you. Rest easy, mate.

 

Yarn February – March 2019

The Southern Yarn’s February – March 2019 issue is ready for your reading enjoyment again. Here’s the editorial to get you started:

Thanks to Jenny Gates for typing up the Getting to Know feature for this issue – about “Two-Up” (p.6). Now, I think there needs to be some explanation for readers who have never attended one of our events here in Winnipeg.

We play Two-Up at many of our gatherings – it is easy and fun for all ages, and results in a winner in just a few tosses. So, here’s the explanation: the way we “place our bets” is to stand up and place both hands on your head, or both hands on your butt, or one hand on your head and the other on your tail. Everyone who doesn’t match the result of the toss of the two pennies (yes, we use genuine pre-decimal Australian pennies) is out and they sit down. Those left standing place their bet again and there is another toss. It usually only takes three or four tosses to get a winner. So, we’re not really breaking any laws; and, in fact, we’re upholding a long-observed ANZAC Day tradition.

There is a charming 1937 book titled The Lore of the Lyrebird by Ambrose Pratt in which much of the credit for advancing the knowledge of lyrebirds is said to be due to an amazing friendship between a male lyrebird and a widowed lady named Mrs Edith Wilkinson, who, at that time, lived hermit fashion on one of the higher slopes of Mt Dandenong, Victoria, Australia. Since then these birds continue to fascinate and impress and have become superstars through YouTube and David Attenborough documentaries. They are also the subject in this issue’s Birds I view (P.8).

Thank you this month to Jude McCudden, Jenny Gates, Chris Brasher, Malcolm Whyte, Judy Powell, Peter Munn, Terry Delong, Murray Burt, our advertisers and you, our readers!