This eulogy for Bob Henry was delivered at today’s memorial service for our greatest clubman.
The Boronia Hawks Football Netball Club is mourning the passing of its greatest ever contributor. In Bob’s early years he had stints playing football at the Yarraville Social Club and then Camberwell in the 1940’s but when he moved to Boronia in 1950, the Boronia Mayblooms soon became his home away from home. Bob played on a wing and half forward until 1958 and then moved on to the committee in 1959. He quickly became President in 1960 and then for decades served as the Club’s Vice President. Bob has been honoured for 50 years dedicated service in 2000 and was recognised for 70 years service last season. Even in his 70th season he was still chopping up onions as we prepared for the hosting of First Division Finals.
Bobby was much loved by generations of players. From the Murra’s, Lace and Tunna’s in the 70’s to the Panda’s and Bomma’s in the 90’s he was adored by so many as he had an incredible capacity to make connections with the youth of the Boronia area. Bob wouldn’t care if you were the local doctor, local copper or local brickie, if you played for ‘The Hawka’, you were one of us and you were all going to be treated with respect and dignity. As Vice President, Bobby would be seen sweeping out the rooms after the games, pouring beers behind the bar or handing out apparel as the clubs property steward. He did it all! He also gave ‘free’ advice to all Club presidents, always offering support and encouragement as he had a great appreciation of their efforts at running the Club as he had once been in that role.
Bob spent hours in the company of friends like Mick and Kay Kimmitt, Nigel Spokes and later in his life, Ellen Johnson was there to always make sure he didn’t go thirsty or hungry. They would all be so disappointed they couldn’t be here today to see off their lifelong friend.
Our club, Bob’s club, will hold our own memorial service when all the restrictions are lifted and no doubt many a story about Bobby will be told over a beer or three. His list of achievements are too long to mention but I know for a fact our triple premiership win in 2018 made Bob beam with pride for weeks as the legacy of his decades of toil was on display for all to enjoy!
Bobby will be sadly missed on a Thursday night at the club and on game day with his binoculars following every tackle and contest. His name will live on as our senior best and fairest award is named in his honour. We thank Bob and his family for allowing him to create the backbone of a club that is currently striving to match the values he has instilled on us over the last 70 years. He will be missed but never forgotten!
Greg “Flash” Hannon
Senior President, Boronia Hawks Football Netball Club