Familiar face waving from a different home

Sharon Kemp | Bendigo Weekly | 07-Dec-2017

Jack Fitzpatrick has moved from Creeth Street. Photo: ANDREW PERRYMAN

Jack Fitzpatrick is recognisable as the friendly face who waved to passing drivers for 25 years from the front window of his Creeth Street home.

So well known is Mr Fitzpatrick, after he disappeared from the window, drivers stopped at his house and asked family members if the man in the window was okay.

Many of them didn’t know him, according to sister-in-law Carolyn Fitzpatrick, but they were concerned all the same.

Mr Fitzpatrick, who now lives in good health at the BUPA aged care facility on Holdsworth Road and is open to visits, said he was in the habit of waving to truckies he knew who drove by.

He was born in St Arnaud but grew up in Boort and still counts many locals of town north of Bendigo as friends, as well as the many people who he worked with during his long tenure with Victoria’s railways.

Mr Fitzpatrick is also well known in the neighbourhood surrounding his Long Gully house.

Ms Fitzpatrick said her brother-in-law was “an enthusiastic patron of several local hotels over the years where he has been a champion’s trophy-winning darts player”.

He frequented the Borough Club and the Manchester Arms, where an oil-painted portrait of him – the work of the hotel chef’s mother – sits on a shelf behind the bar.

Mr Fitzpatrick said he played darts for many more hotels in his time, including the Rose of Australia and the Golden Square Hotel.

His friendliness is fast winning him friends at the BUPA home.

“One can imagine how easily it became a habit to watch for Jack at the window and to give him a wave,” Ms Fitzpatrick said about his Long Gully routine.

“Perhaps it is also an indication that many kindly and caring people of Bendigo still make time in their lives to perform simple friendly acts like that.”


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