By Russell Bennett
Both the Pakenham Upper/Toomuc Cricket Club and the local community are remembering Paul Garvey as a loving and devoted family man who poured countless hours of hard work into his beloved Yabbies.
Paul passed away recently from heart complications aged just 67, but although his was a life cut far too short, his was a life incredibly well lived.
The dearly beloved husband of Elizabeth, Paul was a loving father to Andrea, Patrick, Adrian and Gillian, as well as a loved father-in-law, grandfather, and brother and was the brother-in-law of Kooweerup legend John Glasscock.
A statement on the Yabbies’ Facebook page shortly after his passing helped to outline just what he meant to the club.
“A life member of our cricket club, Paul could be seen up at his beloved ground on many Saturday evenings after a home game,” the post read.
“He was always eager to find out how you went during the day, and always offered advice. Whether the advice was about digging in at the crease, or how to save a dollar it was always welcome.”
Paul’s great mate Clive Fielder paid special tribute to him, saying: “He was a great bloke. I only met him when he moved to Upper Pakenham in the mid-1990s and his boys were playing junior cricket.
“He took over the scoring for his boys at their cricket during the morning for the juniors and the seniors in the afternoon, and then he really started getting involved.
“He even used to have the caravan park here in Pakenham up until recently.”
Clive explained that Paul was always doing something to help his club.
“He was doing the bar roster and then he took on all these different roles,” he said. “He was secretary for three years, he was treasurer in two stints for 11 years, and then he was on the rec reserve committee for 21 years. This was his 21st.
“We were very good friends – he was a social sort of guy and loved a glass of red wine or two.”
Another of Paul’s great mates, Chris Gunton, explained that he’d even received a certificate of appreciation from the Victorian Government (the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning) in recognition of his outstanding contribution to the community.
“Paul worked tirelessly at the reserve, not only managing the books to perfection, but he also managed the reserve and surrounds – cutting the grass, trimming trees, planting gardens, doing regular maintenance to the grounds and facilities to ensure all users of this facility had a wonderful experience every time they visited Pakenham Upper,” he said.
Paul and his wife Liz met at a local dance and were married at St John’s in Kooweerup. They owned and ran the Pakenham caravan park for 31 years and during this time Paul also worked full-time as plant manager at Pakenham Blue Metal (now Holcim).
In 2004, Paul was recognised for his service to the Yabbies – awarded with life membership.
The following year he was named Best Clubperson.
Though, as Paul’s eulogy read, he had a large physical presence, he was the gentlest of giants, a true gentleman and his memory will never be forgotten.