The Dural community will farewell long standing resident John (Jack) Cecil Coles who passed away at the age of 96 last week.
He will be farewelled at Northern Suburbs Memorial Gardens and Crematorium on Thursday (March 27) at noon.
According to his son Charlie: ‘‘His passing has left a hole in our lives, though it was life well lived’’.
Jack was born in 1917.
He and his wife Asta bought a ﬁve acre nursery in Taylors Road, Dural in 1968.
Here they grew roses and citrus fruits and sold root stock while Jack and Charlie worked on the land during the weekends.
During the week Jack was an engineer with the CSIRO rising to the position of director of the National Measurement Laboratory.
He worked for the CSIRO for 40 years before retiring at 65 in 1982.
Charlie tells of his father and he driving to Dural from Arncliffe, every Saturday and Sunday.
They would work a full day on the land returning to Arncliffe in the evenings.
After the weekend of hard yakka Charlie would get up on Monday morning to go to school and Jack would go to work.
Meanwhile Asta would work as a nurse and making sure there was home made treats to keep her son and husband going.
Gradually the roses and citrus were replaced by beef cattle.
Pol Hereford poddy calves were bought and fattened and sent to market.
Jack suffered two heart attacks in 1980 and it was to take the expertise of Dr Victor Chang and a year in hospital to recover.
Ten years later, Jack began to build a new home for himself and Asta, hoping Charles would also settle there. Jack and Charlie built the house with the assistance of local tradesmen.
In 1997, Charlie came back to Sydney to be with his parents.
By this time Asta’s health was deteriorating and Jack wanted to get the house ready for moving in.
Jack moved into the new home in 1998 and was later joined by Charlie. But Asta was too ill to join them.
By 1999 the price of cattle had dropped and no more calves were purchased.
The only cow left now is Harriet, an Angus who walked in off the street and has been there ever since making fertiliser for Jack’s fruit trees. Asta passed away in 2000.
Jack loved the property at Taylors Road. He could be seen working around the property or snoozing in the sun on his banana chair.
At 96, Jack was gardening and driving and eveyrone thought he would go on forever.
Sadly, he suffered another heart attack and though many hoped he would recover, he slipped away peacefully four days later on March 16.
Jack and Charlie were almost joined at the hip and the gentleness of Jack reached out to many others.
Funeral details: Northern Suburbs Memorial Gardens and Crematorium at noon on Thursday, noon in the Southern chapel.
Contact: Charlie, 9651 1700.