By Michael Lonergan
I’m flattered and stoked at the invitation to talk (for only a few minutes) about a mate I have known for nearly 50 years. I knew him well and he taught me heaps.
Tharwa – a district with a complete range of skills – centre of the intellectual universe – especially Friday nights!
And in that steaming pile of…..intellect ..Tharwa’s mayor – always there.
Except when a fire…..Dorothy was there…a mine of information (medals).
Needed to know something? Ask Val or Dorothy….they’ll know.
Smartest thing Val ever did….married Dorothy of the great McCormack clan.
Worked hard all his active years – e.g. shovelling blue metal at Tugg railway siding with brother Ron and others. Owned farms and improved them.
Surprising thing, with all the work, was how good the planning always was.
Looked forward – adopted change easily and early (eg computers, the farms at Boomi).
But possibly inconsistent when it came to change Tharwa village – kerb/gutter.
Man who could keep his trap shut to respect the confidence of people – that meant he was often approached by people for confidential advice, and he gave it.
Superb business brain and breadth of vision enabled midlife ambition – until financial problem. He was down, but recovered because of his pride in Madelaine and Charlotte.
Always assessed ideas against the rule of “common sense”.
Hated bureaucracy – but understood separately that most bureaucrats are good persons. Peter Dunn was an outstanding example.
Older they get the grumpier they get – not so much this bloke – he was only grumpy at bureaucracy.
Didn’t believe in an afterlife – when Kerry Packer came back and said “there’s nothing there” he said to me “told ya so”.
Valentine Max Jeffery, order around whoever you like up there, but send rain like Mick Fisher did!