One of the first AMHF Fellows and a valued enthusiast
Reg Randall passed away in private care on Monday, 10th April. A lovely person with a big generous heart. He had lived a full and varied life with great enthusiasm and ‘noise’ which his many friends have missed greatly since he and Merilyn recently moved to the Newcastle region. We knew he was not well.
Reg was one of those very first supporters whose interest was kindled by the stories told and obsessions on display at the legendary ‘men’s shed’ at Kardinia Road, Mosman in the twenty-tens.
Garry Pritchard introduced Reg and several others including Kevin Snowball, Ian Debenham and John Murn to that happy little monthly conversation group. They were joined on odd Sunday afternoons by others such as Andrew Moore, Fred Vogel, Dick Fabrication and Phil Whitton as we discussed the wine and cake and cheese nibbles. Then we moved on always to discuss the good cars and the bad, the fine road trips, living the dream and the cost of it all. Often the question of disappearing heritage was brought up. As a matter of course we dealt with the politics of the day and in that arena Reg Randall had an enviable depth of knowledge and a network of great contacts.
Come Christmas time, or birthdays, there were manly celebrations in the garden. Reg was always happy to provide something ridiculous which we could all enjoy. And when he acquired his very large Mercedes-Benz wagon he provided us with a memorable photo of the dealer’s joyful ceremony.
When our core of ‘shed mates’ heard from the source that there was an effort afoot to establish the AMHF several of them – Reg included – volunteered to work with that. He helped the founders immensely from the outset in 2016 by connecting us politically at top levels, working on both strategy and tactics. He drove a hired van to collect two tonnes of magazines and records from the collection of the late Ian Pope in North Turramurra, taking it to temporary storage at Taralga near Goulburn and then returning through rain, a busy 15 hour day. In so many ways, Reg always was there to help. Part of a team that kept the vision alive.
Reg was a proud Pommie and as a young ‘squirt’ lived through the worst of the UK’s wartime privations, but excited to watch the war in the skies over England. He kept the accent and a certain bulldog attitude to adversity. He trained as a printer and got a job in the trade when he moved to South Africa with his family. He migrated to Australia at least once, built up a real estate business in Wollongong and learned to fly at Albion Park. He had an interest in a coffee plantation business in PNG.
Reg grew in the property business as a director of a large real estate company with offices in Australia and elsewhere. On retirement he took up the management of the Gladesville Shopping Village and did some external realty work on commission. He used special online search engines and delighted in volunteering to anyone who asked, just what the value of the inquirer’s home might be ….- “a doddle for any trainee”. By the time I met Reg he had a collection of Land Rovers and a passion for motoring books, and his son Phil was an enthusiast also.
Reg and Garry had become client and legal adviser, and then close friends through the Gladesville Chamber of Commerce and a Bible study group. I am indebted to Garry not only for introducing Reg to me many years ago, but also for fact-checking this little tribute to Reg now.
Our condolences go to Merilyn and to Phil, as we all are saddened by the passing of a good and generous man. We enjoyed his company very much indeed.
14 April 2023