Sunday, 12 October 2014

Percival George Nash OAM

Percy Nash

Percival George, the eldest child of Percy and Gean Nash, was born at Linton on December 21st 1921. He was educated to the eighth grade at the Skipton State School before going to work at the local hospital. He joined the Skipton Brass Band at the age of 12 and was also in the local Scout movement.

At the age of 16 Percy went to Gippsland with a shearing contractor, and when he returned he found work at “Moorallah”, in the Carranballac area, west of Skipton. It was while he was working here that he met his future wife. Percival married Hilda Pearl Smith at Scrub Hill on September 6th 1941.
Hilda, born at Dean, Victoria on April 14th 1922, was the ninth child of thirteen of William John Smith and his wife Ada May Lawless.

Shortly after their marriage, Percy was mobilised in the Royal Australian Navy. He served for four years during world war two, mainly on HMAS Wato at Brisbane although he was based at Darwin for some time. His service also took to Milne Bay and Noumea.

Percy and Hilda had four children together: Eleanor (1942); Ian (1946); Garry (1950) and Brent (1961).

In 1954 the young family moved to an allotment of the Langi Willi Soldiers Settlement Estate.

Christmas time was always a special event in the Nash household. All of Percy and Hilda’s children would come home, bringing their famlies, and would enjoy a huge, and very filling meal. The grandchildren would play in the tree house that was built for them by their uncles. The hay shed was also a big adventure, until a spider was found and the hideout then abandoned.

Percy was involved in many aspects of the Skipton community this included the Fire Brigade, where he was Captain for 25 years. For his service he was awarded the National Service Medal with two clasps. He was very involved with the Skipton Presbyterian Church. His involvement here saw him serve as secretary for over 34 years including a stint as treasurer and session clerk. In 1970 he became a church elder, a position he was very proud of. He sat on the Shire Council, was a member of the Hospital board for 40 years and was a life member of the Skipton Football Club. These are just a few of the organisations Percy was involved in, and for his community service, he was awarded with the Order of Australia Medal in 1984.

He was not alone with his service. Hilda was involved in the Red Cross and Country Women’s Association, among others. The tradition has carried down through the generations with their children and grandchildren also being involved in their communities.

On March 27th 1982 aged just 59, Hilda died from a heart attack. Percy battled for nearly 12 years with cancer and severe back problems before his death on November 22nd 1997, aged 75. They are both buried in the Skipton Cemetery.

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