Everyday Obits: Eulogy for June Georgina Blainey


Trevor Blainey (Retrotrev) has been a contributor to our website for years. His ‘Not Quite Bob’ articles have been extremely popular. He has many passions and enthusiasms but none greater than his love of family. This is the eulogy he wrote and gave for his mother June Blainey.



June Georgina Blainey


28 January 1932 – 13 December 2022




This lovely lady died on Tuesday the 13 December 2022, peacefully and quietly at the Austin in Heidelberg, tended lovingly and caringly and carefully until the end by the angels who work there.  Born in the area,  the second child to Florence and Reg Chadwick, she had an elder sister Patrice, known as Pat who is here today and younger brother Reg who sadly passed away last year. They lived in West Heidelberg now known as Heidelberg Heights for reasons real estate agents might understand but no one else does.  She attended local schools, the first being St John’s Primary School and then later across the road from St Johns at Our Lady of Mercy College.  Mum later reflected that the nuns never showed much mercy in either place.  With her sister Pat, they’d walk down the punishingly steep Burgundy Street each day to get to school but on the way back it was the bus, that mighty hill being too big a challenge even for young legs.  Her dad was a bus driver as it happens.  Mum left school at 14, not liking it much and enrolled at Northcote Business College to learn typing and shorthand.  She started work at 15 and was chuffed to be paid 15 shillings per week.


She met my father, Ron, on a mystery bus trip organised by a Church group.  They went to Canadian Bay near Mount Eliza.  Mum’s feeling was that this meeting wasn’t entirely accidental. A girlfriend of hers was going out with a lacrosse mate of dad’s.  The fix was in.  Mum was a bit taken with the skinny, shy boy who turned up on the sort of summer’s day we used to have wearing long pants because he was embarrassed about his spindly legs.  They walked on the beach and chatted and later became embedded in a group of friends who played sport, went to dances at the Heidelberg Town Hall and enjoyed one another’s company for decades afterwards.  They married at St Patrick’s on 27 February 1954 as 22 year olds.  Children followed, first me, then Gary and then Janine and they settled in Bulleen and later Anglesea.  The house in Bulleen was an adventure really.  A block of land in amongst sub-divided farm land, they built a small house  and twice extended it to become much bigger as the family grew.  The biggest events in our young lives in Bulleen?  It’s a tie.  There was the time when Kristen Hemmings’ mare foaled in the back paddock.  And, in equal first place, the advent of sewerage.  A big deal.  Again, an adventure.


Mum’s was a life of friendship and devotion to family, raising three children and being a brilliant grandmother to nine and she was soon to be a great grandmother.  My parents were both great hosts and the family homes were the hubs for many, both those invited and drop ins.  A good friend of mine from school would go to Bathurst for the bikes over Easter each year but he and his brother would roar into the driveway on the way and be welcomed with a cuppa and Hot X Buns at 7 in the morning then sent on their way.  On Friday nights it became a gathering point before our sorties into the outside world.  A friend reminded me once that a gang of us watched Armstrong step on the Moon at our place.  And I’d thought we’d watched it from the library at school.   Our house was that kind of place.  She made it that way.  An open door policy was in force.  While living down the West Coast of Victoria for 25+ years she and dad immersed themselves in the local community, found their dream home atop a hill looking over the ocean and that place became the venue for family holidays, hospitality always and many great memories for all.  When Dad passed away in early 2020, Mum’s life became inevitably sadder and early this year she came back to Melbourne to rejoin family and lived quietly in Aged Care looked after by the wonderful staff at Karana in Kew.


I’ve been struck of late by a quote I’ve read about ancestry.  It’s this.  “Be a good ancestor.  Stand for something bigger than yourself.  Add value to the Earth during your sojourn.”  That quote is from an American civil rights activist and advocate for children’s rights called Marian Wright Edelman.  My Mum set an example of instinctive love and devotion to family not matched readily.  She was a good ancestor.  Her descendants are testament to this.  You’ll hear from some of them later.  Whenever I visited, her first questions were about my children.  Then, “How’s Cassie?”  After that she listed the latest doings of the cousins.   In the last week she was visited by all close family members who were there to tell her how much they loved her.  All visitors made the same sorts of remarks about her love and care and kindness.  ‘Be a good ancestor.’  She’d have been very proud to be described that way.


She passed in a room perched on a hill that the Heidelberg School artists would have sat on to paint their iconic bush scenes back before that valley was as populated as it is now.  She and her sister walked down that big hill each day to go to school when very young.  The view from her room was stunning.  Across the valley, filled now with houses, filled then with paddocks and pasture and onto the hill in Doncaster, orchards and farmland.  It’s easy to see what so charmed June and Ron when they first thought about where they might make a home.   We brought you home Mum.  Rest in peace sweet lady.  I’ll miss you.  We’ll all miss you.



Trev’s dad Ron Blainey died in 2020. The eulogy he gave for his father was published on the Almanac site.


Read more from Trevor Blainey Here



To return to the www.footyalmanac.com.au  home page click HERE


Our writers are independent contributors. The opinions expressed in their articles are their own. They are not the views, nor do they reflect the views, of Malarkey Publications.


Do you enjoy the Almanac concept?
And want to ensure it continues in its current form, and better? To help keep things ticking over please consider making your own contribution.


Become an Almanac (annual) member – CLICK HERE






  1. beautifully written Trev. Much simpler times..

  2. Colin Ritchie says

    Lovely tribute of a son to his mum.

  3. Peter Fuller says

    Eloquent, Trev. I took up the suggestion to (re-) read the companion piece, your eulogy for your father. It seems that your parents were as lucky in their eldest child (and no doubt your siblings, as you were having “chosen your parents wisely”. Kim Beazley put it best when he said “family is everything. Of course those of us who were blessed with the priceless gifts of good parents find it difficult to imagine the alternative.

  4. Frank Taylor says

    Thanks Trev
    A truly wonderful piece that I could so relate to.
    Unlike some, we both share that gift of a mother’s unconditional love, we are so lucky.

  5. Trevor Blainey says

    Thanks for the kind remarks above. When you become a parent (not only then mind you) you get a keen insight into what that means and some appreciation for what’s needed to learn the job. No manuals, just example. Still learning.

Leave a Comment