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In Memory of Jim Guinane

Many friends and relatives travelled from far and wide to say goodbye to Jim at St Joseph's Catholic Church in Meredith.

In the lead up to Jim’s passing some weeks ago he said, “I don’t need a Eulogy … I’m just an ordinary bloke”. But he was more than an ordinary bloke. He was a terrific bloke!

Born back in 1934 he lived all his life in Bannockburn. He grew up with his Mum, two brothers and a sister. Sadly he lost his own father at the age of six in a work accident.

Over the years he took his family camping, fishing and on beach holidays leaving memories that will last a lifetime.

He was a genuine loving, hardworking man who loved his family dearly.  Quiet in nature with few words to say is often how he has been described but if you sat down for a Barbie and a beer he always had plenty of stories to tell and he could talk for hours.

He would tell stories of when he was a kid and how all they ever had for lunch was bread, dripping and vegemite, how he used to ride his bike to Geelong for work when he first started his apprenticeship or ride his bike up and down to Gheringhap to catch up with a mate, or some days they would jump on their bikes and ride out to Teesdale to get an ice-cream.

Later on he would tell stories of the many caravan, camping and fishing trips he did once retired, the people they met and the friends they made along the way.

Throughout his 82 years he was involved in a number of community organisations. He was a member of the Bannockburn Fire Brigade (CFA) for over 30 years, volunteering and heading out to help save communities and properties from bushfires on numerous occasions. He was often the driver of the old fire truck which was a very basic water tanker compared to todays complex fire engines.

One of his daughters most early memories was back in 1969 – Jim had been out for a couple of days and nights fighting the fire that ravaged the Bannockburn district and came home exhausted. As he was black from head to toe with dust and ash, his wife Pat banned him from the bedroom so he lay down on the lounge room floor (no carpets those days). Suzanne his 6 year old daughter took one look and asked her mum who the strange man in the lounge was! Jim was also involved in another large fire that swept through from Anakie to the coast in 1983.

Jim was involved with the Bannockburn Football Club for many years both as a player in his younger years and later as a manager of the junior teams. He was awarded a life membership and was also a founding member of the past players and officials association.

Other positions he held in the community include Secretary and treasurer of the Bannockburn Angling Club, Bannockburn School Council President and member for a number of years and member of the Victorian speed car drivers association.

Motor mechanic was his chosen trade, running the Bannockburn Garage for many years (where the Service Station is now opposite the hotel). He then moved on to the Ford Proving Ground for a six week stint where he ended up staying for 20 years. Following his time at Ford he spent four years with the Bannockburn Shire before amalgamation.

Retiring in 1995 the caravan trips began as he and Pat explored Australia. He said these were the best years of his life. His favourite destination was in the outback, in particular the Kimberley region. Jim’s meticulous attention to detail, planning and preparation may have been seen by some as excessive but he was always prepared for anything that would crop up. He was never found broken down on the side of the road!

He had a passion for music, in particular country music, his favourite being Slim Dusty and of course Don Williams. The music would play continuously on the many road trips they did. 

Sadly Jim lost his battle with cancer at home at the end of January. His wish was to be at home to the end and his two daughters Suzanne and Pam, both nurses, ensured that he received the best care possible so that he could remain surrounded by family and loved ones until his last breath.

Even though Jim is no longer here with us he will never be forgotten and will live on in the hearts of those he leaves behind. The memories of many a conversation, much laughter and some tears will live on – they are more precious than anything in this world.

Taken from the Eulogy delivered by Jim's daughter Suzanne on behalf of Bill, Norman, Pam and his wife and soul mate of 56 wonderful years, Pat.