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Obituary: Robyn Lewis — Goodbye to a wonderful lady

Robyn Mavis Lewis (nee Macleod) passed away in Narromine on 27th December 2020. A funeral service was held for Robyn at St Andrews Chapel, Dubbo on Monday 4th January. At the service, a eulogy was presented by Robyn’s cousin Garry Mooring of Louth.

Following is an abridged version of that eulogy:

It is with sadness, but also much pleasure that I present this story of the life of Robyn Mavis Lewis (nee Macleod).

My mother Alwyn and Robyn’s mother Lyla were sisters and were members of the Walter Brown family which moved from Merbein on the Murray River to “Nardoo” Station, Wanaaring in September 1925.

Robyn was the second of six children born to Lyla and Neil Macleod – Jean (dec), Robyn, Lance (dec), Shirley (dec), Rex and Gai.

Robyn was born at Bourke on 8th December 1938, and often said that she was the first female born at Matron Polson’s “Durham” hospital. The family was living at Nardoo, so it was a long and difficult drive to Bourke for the birth during a heat wave.

The family moved to Bourke in the late 1940’s and purchased Braeburn orchard in the early 1950’s. Robyn grew up at Braeburn and was educated at the local Bourke schools.

Her first job was as a governess for Una and Fred Johnson at Prairie Station, where she supervised Ken and Tricia.

While at Prairie, Robyn went shooting with Ken to get ‘roo skins for sale, as Robyn wanted new shoes and Ken wanted a new saddle. From memory, Robyn got her new shoes, but Ken only got a surcingle – a debt that was never settled. Throughout life,

Robyn loved her shoes, and she made sure that all family members were immaculately dressed when going out.

After Prairie, Robyn joined the staff of the Bank of NSW in Bourke as a ledger machine operator. In 1957 a young bloke called Norm Lewis from Parramatta joined the staff as her boss, which did not go down so well. Robyn eventually received a transfer to head office in Sydney, and then to Casino.

At Casino, Robyn became ill and resigned from the bank. After surgery she returned to Bourke and worked at Permewan Wright and at Maroulis’s Pharmacy. That was until that pesky bloke from Parramatta caught up with her, and after a short courtship, they were married on 11th February 1961, at St Andrew’s Presbyterian Church in Richard Street, Bourke.

After a honeymoon at the El Dorado motel on the Gold Coast, the happy couple returned to Bourke to occupy a new home at 8 Mooculta Street which was built for them by Norm’s father. Robyn and Norm lived a lovely life in Bourke where they raised two children – Tony, born 7th March 1963, and Liz, born on 1st November 1966. Liz was born on the day that Galilee won the Melbourne Cup and her grandfather called her after the cup winner.

This was a wonderful part of their lives, with Robyn kept busy attending to the needs of her children (and Norm!), who were all interested in sport. Robyn was especially interested in horses, playing polocrosse and attending pony club with the children where she became an instructor - a job she loved.

She attended Tony’s football matches and motor sports, plus Liz’s equestrian events and Norm’s cricket matches, and she became a scorer for the famous Snake Gully Cricket Club.

Robyn was a tower of strength to her husband Norm in his many after hours activities, which included jobs with various race clubs and show committees. She was a popular assistant at Narromine Turf Club, and made many owners and trainers feel most welcome.

Norm became a club manager, at the Bourke Golf Club in the early 1970’s, and eventually this meant leaving Bourke. After this they lived at Nyngan, Tenterfield and Forster, before settling in Narromine in 2002.

Wherever Robyn lived, she made lifelong friends who continued contact via telephone or letters, right up until the end. This gave Robyn much joy, catching up on the latest news.

Robyn was a dedicated wife and mother. She was very proud of her children and followed Tony when he played junior league at the Junee carnival, or when his team won a Group 14 premiership. Liz also had success in the equestrian events. One of Robyn’s proudest moments was when Liz represented Tenterfield Pony Club at in a team event at the Brisbane Ecca.

Robyn had a difficult time after being diagnosed with the dreaded disease in August 2018. However, she was a fighter, she tried to live a normal life, and she never complained.

Robyn and Norm were looking forward to celebrating 60 years of marriage in February 2021. This was not to be, but they had a wonderful life together for almost 60 years.

We say goodbye to a wonderful lady; a very popular, kind, and thoughtful lady. Thanks to Robyn for enriching the lives of many.

Robyn is survived by her husband Norm, her son Tony and daughter-in-law Cathy, her daughter Liz and son-in-law Graham, her grandchildren – Brendan, Damian, and Tim, her brother Rex, and her sister Gai.

Vale Robyn Lewis


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