Clarence James Brookes (Clarrie)

28 DECEMBER 1923 – 10 FEBRUARY 2021
By Greg Brookes and Sue Smith

Clarrie arrived in Australia from England with his parents and older sister Mary in March 1926 at two years of age. They arrived on a ship called ‘Jervis Bay’, which was later lost in the War. Clarrie’s early life was in the Granville, Rosehill, Harris Park area, where he actively participated in sport (cricket, soccer and tennis). He attended Rosehill public school then Lidcombe Commercial Secondary School, but this only lasted for two years.

Clarrie started work at age 14, where he initially worked for Australian Glass Manufacturers and then as a ‘tool-setter’ for a kitchen equipment manufacturer in Epping. He rode his bike from Granville to Epping and back every working day.

At age 18, Clarrie joined the Air-force. He did military and trades training and became an aircraft air-frame fitter.

Clarrie joined the 84th squadron at Richmond Air-Base and moved, during the War, to various locations, including Darwin, Horn Island and Townsville. He was discharged after the War ended in January 1946 aged 22.

In 1946/47, over 9 months, Clarrie did the equivalent of his school intermediate and leaving certificates part-time at TAFE. He then went on to do a 5-year course in production engineering – again, part-time. After his training, Clarrie went on to have an interesting and varied career as an engineer.

Clarrie met Nancye at ‘fellowship’ at St Paul’s Anglican Church Harris Park in about 1941/42, and they married in the Anglican church at Wisemans Ferry in 1946. Their firstborn Sue was born the following year, 1947 and later Greg in 1952. For the first ten years of their married life, they lived with Nancye’s parents in Harris Park, in their beautiful home on James Ruse Farm’s former land. They later moved to Rydalmere, West Ryde and Castle Hill where they resided for over 34 years. In 2019 they moved to Woodlands Retirement Village at Cherrybrook, and finally, last December, moved to Bupa Nursing Home in Dural.

After Clarrie’s retirement in 1987, they were both active in many ways; including Meals on Wheels, Castle Hill Probus, Parramatta RSL lawn and indoor bowls, forming and being foundation members of The Hills Shire Garden Club and lots of overseas and domestic travel (including for Dad, a return visit to Horn Island).

Clarrie was a very placid, very cautious, very meticulous, very resourceful family orientated man. He treated everyone with the utmost respect and, in turn, received it. His greatest love was Nancye and his family. In his eyes, his duty was to care for and protect his family. He encouraged his children to do well in life, and they have so many happy memories.

He is survived by Nancye, daughter Sue, son Greg, four grandchildren and six great-grandchildren. He and Nancye achieved almost 75 years of a loving marriage.

The family would like to thank all those associated with Kellyville Seventh Day Adventist church for their assistance in helping them farewell our Clarrie and celebrate his long and wonderful life.

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