Remembering Robert Moore | Eulogy

Robert Adrian (Bobby) Moore was born in Yass at Devonia Maternity Hospital, commonly known as Stadmiller’s, on June 7, 1931.

In the heart of the Great Depression that gripped the world at the time, Bob is survived by his beloved wife, Fay, three daughters – Sheralee, Ralene and Fiona – seven grandchildren, 10 great grandchildren and his sister, Janette Waters

Bobby’s parents Claude and Nellie Moore were long-time Yass residents.

Claude ran the large EO Moore and Company Garage at the corner of Lead and Comur streets for many years, where Kaffine Café now is conducted by one of Bobby’s grandchildren.

The garage was a cavernous establishment with a huge workshop.

Claude was the captain of the Yass Fire Brigade for many decades and Bobby joined the Fire Brigade at the age of 18, continuing the family tradition.

He served for many decades and was very proud of his Fire Brigade Service medals In the era that Bobby served in the Fire Brigade the Yass Brigade entered and won several NSW State Fire Brigade Championships under the captaincy of his fellow footballing friend Neil Brooker.

They practiced like demons climbing up and down the steel training tower that they built over at O’Connor Park.

They were very successful. Bobby’s mother Nellie was tragically killed when struck by a car when crossing from the Soldiers Club to the Apex Units on the ninth of July 1998.

There is a commemorative plaque at the crossing gardens in memory of Nellie Bobby and Fay (nee Judd) married on Wednesday, June 9, 1954.

Fay told me it had to be on the Wednesday because Bobby wanted to be at the football test match in Sydney on the Saturday.

Rugby League was to feature prominently in their lives.

Three daughters came along in due course to complete the Moore family: Sheralee was born in 1956, Ralene in 1960 and Fiona in 1963.

The family numbers have now multiplied out with the addition of the seven grandchildren and 10 great grandchildren.

His admiration of Fay knew no bounds. She was his rock. He silently admired the tremendous efforts she put into organisational and charitable works in Yass.

Girl Guides, Meals on Wheels and many other groups flourished through her staunch efforts with Bobby in full support.

His family was number one and centre in his life and how they overcame various adversities was proof positive of this family strength.

Bobby was educated at Yass Public School (I can remember being in fifth class with him) and completed his Intermediate Certificate before joining the family garage business.

He used to delight in driving an old big Buick convertible down the main street.

A huge bit of gear! He joined the Postmaster General’s Department (PMG) in 1953 and after 43 years’ service to the poles and wires that the PMG looked after retired in 1996.

Bobby was always a willing hard worker and no task was too hard for him to tackle.

Rugby league

Bobby Moore was an outstanding rugby league player.

The best that Yass had produced without a doubt.

Says who? Says me proudly.

Unbelievably Bobby played first-grade football for Yass at the tender age of 14 years and nine months in 1946.

He had a long and distinguished career extending to 1960 and playing more than 200 games.

His speed off the mark was something to behold. Zero to flat out in a few steps. A delight to watch, unless you were the opposition of course who were grasping at thin air.

I have been requested by the family not to rave on about football too much. However, Bobby was a proud member of three Yass Premiership winning teams: 1954, 1956 and 1959.

He also won a premiership playing for Jugiong in 1952 when Group 8 was in administrative turmoil.

Another tale for another day.

The Group 8 saga continued and the Yass players themselves formed Under 18 and Under 21 teams and handled the administration side.

They met the challenge Bobby was 10 levels above the Under 18 standard but was an important component of the successful Under 21s.

The team travelled to Sydney, played and won and invited various teams to Yass.

In 1956, first grade teams from Canterbury Bankstown and Balmain, with internationals in the mix, played trial matches against Yass in Yass.

Again organised by the Yass Players. Were the city clubs impressed with Bobby’s footie skills? They certainly were but he decided to stay put in Yass

The tradition continued with his grandchildren and great grandchildren playing rugby league and Bobby took great delight in watching them play and especially in giving them after-match advice and a wee bit of critique when required.

The football community of that era formed lasting friendships that continue to this very day.

It wasn’t only rugby league that was in the mix.

The Royal Hotel under the remarkable publican Reub Howes (and weight lifting champion) was the centre of the action.

There was intense competition between Clare Hooper at The Aussie and Reub for the footie player’s custom.

But The Royal won! There were Royal Hotel tennis team, a cricket team, snooker teams, a swimming and water polo team (you heard me right) and an ice skating team (you heard me right again).

Sportsman of the Year competitions (Running, Swimming, Weight Lifting) were held and fiercely contested.

And Robert Adrian Moore was right in the middle of the action, with his natural sporting ability.

A long distance bike race to Berrima (100 miles) saw Reub Howes nearly pass away from utter exhaustion (another ask me later one).

The footballers had their first (and probably only) taste of sports psychology from Reub.

Reub had built a special weights room and footballers shower block at The Royal and he would line up to lift these great weights.

Put himself into a half trance. Stare straight ahead and say: “I can, I will, I must, I shall, lift”.

When he missed they would say in unison “you can’t” and take off...to the bar of course.

In spite of all this cosmic activity, there was still time found for a few drinks and lots of stories and romances of course.

His girls remember (thoughts from his daughters)

He was a quick-witted cheeky bugger and sentimental softie, they remember when they were small asking the questions that young children do, (his answers were a little different).

  • Dad what religion are you? Answer: “I’m a callathumpian” (sounded reasonable at the time)
  • How old are you dad? He always answered every time – I’m forty eleven. By the time the girls worked out how old that was he was well past that age.
  • What’s that thing dad? It’s a whoozyjinker.
  • So much more fun that saying “Haven’t got a clue” which did come later.

He was a gentle man, who rarely raised his voice. The times the girls can remember getting into trouble are vividly remembered.

  • Whacking all the tomatoes off the vines with a stick.
  • Throwing peas under the table instead of eating them.
  • Setting toilet paper alight in the bathroom sink and not flushing the evidence.
  • Lighting matches – he was a volunteer firefighter. What were they thinking?

He always asked after his girls, way, way before the RU OK Catchphrase now in use... He would say “are you doing okay?”.

The girls had various names for him: Daddy Dear, Daddy Darling, Old Boy, Pa Poppy Bob.

Bobby had a face and personality that will never be forgotten.

A little tale to finish

A large scale athletics carnival was held at Victoria Park. A newcomer to Yass was reported to be a “flying machine” over 100 yards.

On carnival day this bloke appeared with silk running shorts, a silk running top, and spiked running shoes and spent at least half an hour limbering up, stretching, etc.

The runners were called to the starting line and up ambles Bobby, smoking and in bare feet.

Put out his smoke and went to the starting line.

Stood up straight while the other went into the sprint start crouch. Get ready, set, go was the call.

Our newcomer took off in a burst of silk, head back and looking for victory.

All he saw was the rear of Robert Adrian Moore. True story.

Bobby Moore was a hardworking, family-loving proud Australian, with a soft heart.

He was easy going, always met people with a smile and a warm heartfelt welcome.

He enjoyed meeting people. He really did!

On trips to Sydney with his mates, they would always lose him. Always. But they had the solution.

Go back to his last reported location, go to the closest pub and there he would be, sitting up at the bar, beer in hand, yacking away to complete strangers.

He would turn around a say “where have you blokes been?”

A true true Aussie with stacks and stacks of talent. Proudly married to Fay for 63 long years and an ever loving father to his three daughters and their children.

  • A first-class family man.
  • He will be very much missed.
  • They didn’t make them any better that Robert Adrian Moore.