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Alfred John HASKINS

Male 1924 - 2010  (85 years)

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  • Name Alfred John HASKINS 
    Born 10 Aug 1924  Tamworth Base Hospital, Tamworth, NSW, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Gender Male 
    _UID F3DA4DA8C5344B3EA5BBEBE526EF55A98740 
    Died 2010  Australia Find all individuals with events at this location 
    • The following is reproduced with permission of Fred Haskins:
      «/u»«/i»Alfred John Haskins was born at Tamworth Base Hospital on 10«sup»th«/sup» August, 1924 to Albert and Ella Haskins. He had one brother Herbert and two sisters Mary and Joyce. Mary is the only surviving member of the family today.
      Alf grew up on "Green Hill" farm and attended Duri Primary School. He went to boarding school at Hurlstone Ag College in Sydney which he often said that this was one of the best times of his life. On completion of his studies there he did some work at the Glen Innes Ag Research Station and returned home to Duri to work on the farm with his father and brother. It was real work and the days were long and hard. Twelve hour shifts on the open tractor were normal.
      Having a brother like Herb as you could imagine there was always a competition or a joke being played on someone. Alf used to tell the story of the bicycle race he had with Herb. When they were young men they would ride their bicycles across to Nemingha or Dungowan to play tennis. One day on their return trip from Dungowan, apparently the challenge was on as they reached the summit of Moffat's hill to see who could get home first. The only obstacle in the way was travelling through the Duck-under. In those days you could not drive a car through, but you could ride a bike or walk through if you ducked your head, hence the name "The Duck-under". So the race started and down the hill past Kay's they raced, neck and neck, neither was backing off and both as determined as each other. Herb pulled slightly in front as they reached the entrance to the Duck-under, he remembered to duck alright but he forgot that he had his tennis racquet stuck down the back of his shorts. The racquet caught the top of the Duck-under and threw him to the ground along with his bike. Making the most of the opportunity Alf rode straight past without stopping, continuing up to the house. Fifteen or so minutes later Herb arrived home battered and bruised to be greeted by his joyful brother who with a smile from ear to ear asked "What kept you?" Alf relived that race many times.
      They worked together for 12 years and then Alf bought "Hemingstone" farm from his mother in the late 1940's and went out on his own. Alf purchased his first mob of sheep from Keith Rixon who lived on the farm next door and his interest in sheep and fat lambs continued on throughout his farming career.
      He worked long and hard, never wasted anything got his farming plant together and the next step was to get married. He met Colleen Larkins who used to work at Thibaults which in those days you could buy groceries, farm equipment etc. They married in 1952 and he brought her home to "Hemingstone" to start their new life together.
      They were having a lot of snake trouble at the time. Colleen being from town was fairly scared so Alf reassured her that everything would be OK as long as she could use a shotgun. He introduced her to the double barrel, gave her a lesson how to load it, how to aim and thought he had explained it all pretty well. The only thing he didn't tell her was that when she pulled the trigger the blast would send her backwards 10 or 12 feet throwing her to the ground with an instant bruise on her shoulder and arm the size of a large rockmelon. Colleen survived to laugh about it and they both participated in many practical jokes throughout their years. After Colleen passed away in 1987 Alf carried on making jams and providing produce for all the community stalls that Colleen had been involved with. He continued his friendship with Colleen's father Teddy Larkins calling on him weekly for many years supplying him with veggies, wood for his fire, meat and most of all company. Teddy who had daughters, often said that Alf was the son he never had.
      Alf and Colleen had two sons, John and Kevin. Both John and Kevin use to call him the detective, for no matter what they did or what they tried to hide, somehow Alf would find out. Although most of the time they both were fairly well behaved, on occasions they did cause Alf some grief but we will keep those stories for another time.
      Alf's two grandchildren, Lauchlan and Louise reckon that Alf was the best babysitter that they ever had. Kevin and Ruth went out one evening and left Alf in charge. He promptly went to sleep on the lounge giving Lauchie and Louise ample time to run amuck , they pulled everything out of every cupboard in the house and scattered everything from one end of the place to the other. When Kevin and Ruth arrived home they thought the place had been ransacked. They woke Alf and thanked him for his time. Alf said 'No worries they were no problem"
      Alf was tall and strong, extremely fit and John remembers in first year at high school there was a knock on the door one day and when the teacher opened the door there stood Alf in a full length oilskin coat, a foam pith helmet, dripping wet and a super bag full of oranges slung over his shoulder. As the school teacher approached him Alf said "I hear you're having a sports carnival this week". "That's right", the teacher said. Alf said, "I thought you might be able to use some oranges" as he swung the bag of oranges onto the teachers shoulder and disappeared. The whole class erupted as the teacher bowed at the knees, struggled back into the classroom with the oranges on his back and flung them down on the floor at the front of the room. "Whose father was that?" the teacher said. John, slightly embarrassed, raised his hand and quietly said "Mine".
      Kevin's fondest memories of his father are when they travelled around the bush together shifting bees. Alf's knowledge of the bush, trees and birdlife, what trees were flowering and when was a wealth of knowledge which he handed down to Kevin, knowledge that money can't buy.
      Alf became more and more interested in collecting seed to grow his own trees, he put a lot of time into sourcing the right tree for the right area. Along with his love of trees was the love of bird life and he spent many hours installing hollows into trees for birds to nest in. The story goes that one day at a working bee before a Duri Gymkhana, Alf discovered a plovers nest where the horse sports were to be held. He gathered up the eggs, took them home, kept them at the right temperature until the gymkhana was over, replaced them on the oval and the plovers came back to continue incubating the eggs.
      Throughout the years Alf has been involved in all things community. He was made life member of the Duri P & C, Captain of the Duri Fire Brigade, member of the Progress Association, looked after the Duri Hall for many many years, he was involved in Landcare, a member of the Birdwatchers Society and active member of the Construction of Arboretum at Chaffey Dam. Alf often ran in the Tamworth Ten even into his sixties. Alf certainly set an example of how people should contribute to the community. He was a quiet achiever, he did it without fuss and did everything to the best of his ability.
      The last three months has been hard for the family, John, Kevin and Ruth stuck by Alf right to the very end and for this we commend them. Today as we say our goodbyes, remember Alf as he was, he loved a joke, he loved hard work and he loved nature. If you ever are out around Duri, no matter what part of the village you go through, whether it be up near the school, around the sports ground, along the highway, in the streets of the village there is tree after tree that Alf has planted. He planted these trees for the community knowing they would attract bird life, provide shade and help to beautify the area.
      These trees have become his legacy may he rest in peace.
    Person ID I317  Boyton, Suffolk
    Last Modified 8 Jul 2010 

    Father Albert HASKINS,   b. Abt 1874,   d. Yes, date unknown 
    Mother Ella Ruth DURRANT,   b. 30 Sep 1880, Swilland, Suffolk Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Yes, date unknown 
    Married 21 Sep 1914  Parish Church, Boyton, Suffolk Find all individuals with events at this location  [1
    Family ID F103  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Event Map
    Link to Google MapsBorn - 10 Aug 1924 - Tamworth Base Hospital, Tamworth, NSW, Australia Link to Google Earth
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  • Sources 
    1. [S3] BMD index (Reliability: 3).
      Q3 1914 Woodbridge 4a/2323. Date from Fred Stentiford's Boyton website. Place from Gary Heatcote, July 2010.