VALE LAURIE HOLSTOCK
Vale Laurie Holstock 7-12-1928…19-8-2020.
Sadly another of Doncaster’s long serving members has passed away. Laurie was 91 and had been a member since 1977. He was quiet, unassuming and a gentleman, he also played in those Division 1 teams in the 1980’s.
Laurie wrote a section of his life story to tell at a Probus meeting of which he was a member for 20 years, so here is some of it.
“I attended Auburn Central School and towards the end of my Grade 6 year I sat for an entry which was successful into Swinburne Technical Collage. I completed the Intermediate Technical Certificate and then decided to leave and seek employment. I was influenced by a family friend and found an apprenticeship into a trade specialising hot water, heating and ventilation. This was at the end of 1943 and with so many of the tradesmen either in the armed forces or employed on Commonwealth defence projects, apprenticeships were very much at a premium. Apprenticeships could only be approved with a ratio of 1 apprentice to 2 qualified tradesmen. Eventually I secured a position with a firm that later became Tom Piper. At this time it was prosessing food for the troops. My salary was 19/6d for a 44 hour week. Because of the ratio numbers this job did not last , but after a 10 month lay off I found employment with a plumbing and gas fitting firm. A 5 year apprenticeship ensured, which I completed in 1950. I now had a registration with the MMBW Plumber Class 1.
My boss suggested that I become a Trade Instructor. I did this at Richmond Tech getting the practical and theoretical teaching experience whilst playing football and cricket and courting Lorraine. Here I coached the football team, 2 of the lads were Ron Reeves and Bill Thrip who went on to play senior football for Collingwood.
I graduated and was off to Horsham High School with my new wife. I was a one man band in the Technical wing, teaching school students in the day, and at night, classes for apprentices. I played cricket in the local competition where Doug Wade was a teammate. I spent 3 years in Horsham, then was promoted to Syndal Technical School as Head of Department. I wonder if this is a highlight? ….John Blackman ” Dicky Knee” was a student.
After 7 years at Syndal it was back to Horsham for another 6 years, again Head of Department, and teacher in charge of the growing number of apprentices from as far away as Kaniva, Dimboola and Warracknabeal.( This time Laurie played table tennis, was on the Horsham district cricket committee and joined the Horsham Golf Club)
I was transferred to the city again in 1973, to a new Diamond Creek Tech. I was a Deputy Principal and stayed till 1981 until I was seconded to the Technical Schools Directorate in Nauru House.
Now this was the period when the Education Department was restructuring High and Technical schools under a single banner. I did not realise that at this time in January 1982 that my career in the Education Department was about to falter. I had had back surgery for a melanoma which unfortunately had caused nerve damage and numbness to my right hand. Consecutively the Education Department had introduced an optional retirement age of 55, so after consideration I eventually retired in March 1986.”
Laurie’s Time at the Club.
Laurie joined in 1977 whilst he was still working. He would sometimes walk from his home down J.J.Tully drive to watch the cricket that was being played next to the bowls club. He also discovered that Arthur Ram was a member, (they were both teachers) Arthur Ram brought his application form to him within hours.
For his first Pennant game he was telephoned by the Chairman of Selectors on the Friday night and told that he was in the team for tomorrow. Off he went that evening to buy his whites. He turned up the next morning to be told that he had an important job as well as playing. He was the Side Manager of the bottom 10th side!!
He quickly improved and by his second year he won the B Grade Group singles. This was a highlight of his bowling days. In the same year he was a member of the winning Moomba Centenary Fours. Later he won the Group 12 Mixed Pairs with his wife and was also in the team as Runners- up in the Group 12 Fours.
He travelled to metropolitan, county and interstate venues to play successfully in competitions.
His one disappointment was playing in the firsts all season under Bob Cole, only to be out for the finals with an injured leg. He watched on crutches as his mates won the prestigious white flag.
He was very active in starting up the Thursday night meals. He helped run these meals buying supplies and only missed one night in five years.
In 1998-99 both he and his wife Lorraine were each President of the Mens and Ladies Executive.
He served for many years on the Past President’s Committee.
He was on the Tournament Committee.
He was Chairman of the House Committee, so being a plumber he was involved in the kitchen extension and the improvements to the external toilets, plus he helped build the front fence.
Laurie has also received a DBC Certificate of Appreciation.
Here is a little known fact, he played the violin as a child.
He was a very good cricketer. He played in the East Suburban Churches’ Cricket Association for Rathmines Road Methodist. On 27th January 1948 ( age 19) playing in the 2nd XI he took six wickets in six successive balls without assistance from the field. Lorraine says that he would have got the seventh except it was dropped.
I remember him in the last few years watching his wife Lorraine play social indoor bowls on a Saturday but he always had his ear fixed to the transistor radio listening to how the Hawthorn footy team was going.
There has been no funeral for Laurie, instead, when allowed, his close family will meet around a table and each will reminisce about what was dear and special to them……Lyn Goodman.