Jack was born at home in Gladstone Street South Melbourne next to his Grandmother’s dairy on Tuesday the 4thof April 1922. He was named John Thomas Timmons and was called Jack. His parents were Charles and Nell Timmons and he had an older brother Charles junior. Six months after their sister Maureen was born in 1924, their family moved to 20 Adeline Street Preston where another sister Kathleen was born.
From there Jack then attended Sacred Heart Primary School in Bell St Preston and then went to St Joseph’s Technical school in Abbotsford as a typewriter mechanic apprentice. In later years Jack, his siblings and their group of friends would often gather at Adeline Street on a Saturday night then catch taxis to the dances at the Heidelberg Town Hall or St Mary’s in Thornbury. Jack then went on to spend time working in his brother Charl’s chicken farm called Merrilands Chicken in Reservoir.
Jack met Sheila Williams (our mum) through his sister Kath. Kath and Sheila were working together at the Advocate Press in A’Becketts in the city. Jack and Sheila married in 1951 at the same Sacred Heart Church they had both attended when at Primary school. They produced 4 children in quick succession: Josephine, John, and Genevieve. Jack became a builder and with his brother Charl and Sheila’s cousin Len McNally they built a dozen or so houses for the War Service Homes Scheme and in keeping with the family as a priority, he teamed up with his brother Charl and brothers-in-law Bryan Bentley, Kevin Murphy and Bill Prince to ensure each family had a house.
Jack spent time in Preston helping out his mother in law, Elsie Williams, with whom he had a special bond, when her husband Sam was terminally ill. The whole family was living at Elsie’s house. Jack was the only one who could handle Sam at that point. After Sam died, Jack and family moved to Terang in the Western District where their fourth child, Patrick, was born. Jack then returned to the office equipment industry working for Remington Rand in Melbourne and then in 1959 with 4 children under 7, the family moved to Horsham in the Wimmera, working for the same company. Soon after their arrival, their fifth child, Daniel, was born. Jack partnered with Horsham’s town mayor and started Wimmera Office Equipment in Horsham, travelling and servicing office equipment in the Wimmera and Mallee regions for many years. He was known for honest and reliable service and upon that reputation he created his own business – Jack Timmons Office Equipment.
One night in the 1960s in the early hours of the morning Jack and Sheila woke to calls of Help! Help! Jack ran down to the end of our street to a burning house and rescued the man who had been calling. The man had two prosthetic legs and was unable to attach them in order to escape the fire. As soon as he had dragged him to safety, Jack left the scene. Afterwards some thought he was a reluctant hero not wanting praise but we thought he was feeling self-conscious about having accidentally donned mums fluffy pink dressing gown and fled the scene before the local Mail Times photographer turned up…
Interesting that Jack didn’t like aeroplanes and the idea of flying. He often said “There’s no point hoping your parachute will open…” but he did survive a plane crash in 1965.
Jack spent many years as goal umpire for St Michaels Football Club in Horsham. He was greatly respected and honoured with a life membership of the club. As a sign of respect for Jack, The football team, now called the Horsham Saints, were wearing black armbands when they played the Dimboola Roosat Coughlin Park shortly after his death.
Jack and Sheila spent 24 years in the Wimmera enjoying a rich and meaningful network of friends through tennis, football and Jack with St Vincent de Paul activities. In 1983 Jack and Sheil (whom he often referred to as his “first wife”) moved back to Melbourne, firstly to Coburg and then to Alphington where they were able to spend quality years being actively involved in bringing up many of their grandchildren.
Mum says throughout their 64 years of marriage she had been kept entertained by Jack’s quirky sense of humour –always with new material… Many of us here today have funny stories involving him and remember sayings of his. We hope you will all join us later to reflect on these and perhaps hear some new ones.
Thank you for Loving us, caring for us and for sharing with us Your Truly Great Way Of Life!
We remember Jack Timmons –technician, builder, cook, carer, comedian. Jack had a lasting impact on us all, but especially his sons, John, Pat and Dan. We treasure his wonderful fathering style –nurturing, giving of time to us. We are proud of who his sons and daughters have become.
Contributed by Genevieve Timmons, daughter.