Peter's Blog

Vale Jeff Hall

Mr TRELOAR (Flinders) (15:30): I rise today to speak on a sad yet significant day in Edillilie. I took leave from the parliament yesterday to attend the funeral of Jeffrey Clarence Hall, who for over 50 years ran Edillilie Motors and provided mechanical services to the township and surrounding farmers at Edillilie. Over those 50 years, Hally’s garage had become an institution, as had Hall himself.

Jeff did his apprenticeship with Caterpillar and was a qualified and capable mechanic, but his real skill was keeping the wheels turning at Edillilie—a task not without its challenges. Countless times over a period of 50 years, farmers arrived at the garage often on the edge of despair with a broken exhaust, a cooked engine or anything in between, and Jeff would get them going. He was patient and had the knack of being able to chat to the customer and work at the same time, keeping the customer happy on all counts.

Jeff kept a wonderfully well-stocked range of new and spare parts. He had sold and serviced Nissan cars, Datsuns, SAME tractors and a range of other products over the years, but there was actually nothing he could not work on. If he did not have a new part, he would find a second-hand one to suit, or fix the bit you came in with, and it was usually in time to get you back in the paddock before dark. Everyone was in awe of Hally’s ability and I recall one local describing Jeff as ‘brilliant’.

Although Hally was famous across the coast as a mechanic, he, along with his wife Doreen, did much more. They took part in every aspect of life in Edillilie. Jeff had been involved with the Edillilie CFS since its inception in 1961, taking responsibility for the mechanical maintenance of whatever truck we had at the time. He often also drove the truck when the brigade was called out. Jeff was awarded life membership of the CFS (or EFS, as it was then) in recognition of his contribution.

Jeff was involved in the town’s community club, which eventually morphed into the Edillilie Memorial Progress Association. In fact, earlier this year, he, along with me and a few others, attended the most recent Edillilie Memorial Progress Association AGM. Jeff had been on the hall committee for many years, having been part of the new hall project in 1958. Jeff took his talents further afield, spending time with the Cummins Scouts and Guides, which included a huge contribution to the development of the Nyroca campsite near Wangary. He had also been Chair of Cummins Homes Incorporated.

Of late, Jeff would spend time tinkering in his workshop, fiddling with and repairing old pieces of equipment, which was something he loved doing. He was also often spotted tearing around town on his four-wheeler keeping an eye on things. You could not miss him really because the flag was always up high on the back of the bike, and no matter what the weather he would be wearing shorts.

As we heard from his grandchildren yesterday, Jeff was a loving and much-loved family man. His family will miss him and Edillilie will miss him, too. He was a warm, caring and capable man who made time for everyone. I had the pleasure of speaking at the funeral yesterday. I spoke many of the words that I have spoken here today, but I closed with an extract from a piece written for the Edillilie history book by Kitty Domagalski, who lived next door to Jeff and Doreen for many years. Kitty wrote:

The changing colours of the seasons; fallowed paddocks like distant brown velvet, the green hills of the growing season, the gold and silver of early summer mornings and of nearby ripening crops. The blue of the Marble Range and the haze of the summer heat. Edillilie is our home.

Vale, Jeff Hall—a life well lived.



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