WRIGLEY, Mr Colin Neville

1937 - 2010

Wrigley Mr Colin Neville - Creswick Historical SocietyColin Wrigley and his family moved to Creswick from Smythesdale in March 1951.  Parents Gladys and Frank had six sons of which Colin was the fourth, and in August that year the family purchased the local milk round from Mr J.A. Bethune.  Glad and Frank’s team of boys found plenty of hard, work running the farm and the dairy.

Colin, of course, took his turn and after some years it was determined that he would take on the running of the dairy business alone.  In fact, he was not alone as he had courted and married a pretty young nurse named Elaine Scott in 1962. They built and moved into their new home on the corner of Albert and Hall Street, Creswick in that year, and took over the running of the milk round business from there.

Colin was a very popular milkman, delivering his milk not only around the town but often to outlying properties.  He was known for his friendliness and willingness to deliver right to the door, or sometimes to the kitchen if the recipient was elderly or ill.  He seldom missed a day on the job and loved the work.

He had his first taste of public life in becoming a founding member of the Creswick Apex Club in 1967.  He relished the involvement in community projects and, along with fellow club members, devoted considerable energy to the organising of numerous events.  One event was Carols by Candlelight which ran for a great many years at various venues around Creswick – Park Lake, the Town Hall and the front lawns of the Creswick Forestry School, to name a few.  There was also the first opening of Anderson’s Mill to the public, many fundraising events and the Annual Easter Art Show. 

These were busy years and many strong and lasting friendships were forged.  Such was the bond that connected this group, particularly those founding members of the Apex Club, that when the compulsory age of forty for retirement from the association was reached, Colin and his fellow members went on to form the OASIS Club (Old Apexians Still Interested In Service) and that club still meets to this day.

Once community service was in his blood Colin’s involvement grew enormously.  The calendar in the family kitchen was covered with Colin’s unique, two letter abbreviations for meeting that he had to attend.  HO stood for hospital and Colin joined the Board of the Creswick Hospital, serving on that Board and its successor, Hepburn Health Service, for approximately thirty-five years.  One of the achievements that he and fellow Board members regarded as their finest was the successful struggle with Government to ensure the continuation of the Creswick facility when it was faced with closure.

Colin, along with other committed locals, was a driving force behind the establishment of the John Curtin Hostel and he also served on that Board from its inception until shortly before his death.  These were the JC abbreviations on the family calendar.

BM was the Business Men’s Association with which Colin was associated for many years.  We remember with fondness the Christmas Eve carnival, now run by the Lions Club, which was then run by the Business Men.  Each of the local shops and businesses handed out free raffle tickets to their patrons, and every Christmas Eve Colin and his family would be busy stuffing thousands of these into a big barrel, mounted on a truck, from which the prizewinners would be drawn.

SC stood for the Senior Citizens Welfare Committee of which Colin was a member also for around thirty years.  One of the lasting achievements of this period was the construction of the Senior Citizens Clubrooms, using a combination of community, local Council and Government funding.

Then, of course, there was LO – Lodge.  Colin was a very active member of the Creswick Havilah Masonic Lodge, serving as its Grand Master in 1987 and again in 1991.  He had commenced a third term in that office when he became ill before his death.

The Spring Fiesta (SF of course) was another celebration of Creswick with which Colin was involved from its inception.  He was “Eddy Everywhere” in those days, starting the day before dawn (when milkmen do their best work) setting up the running track for the Brackenbury Classic running race.  Then there was the street parade and then the community festival and entertainment at the Bandstand.  Colin would be somewhere between all of these, buzzing around with his typical enthusiasm.

Colin was honoured as Creswick’s Citizen of the Year twice, in 1983 and again in 2009.  He was a member of the FB (fire brigade of course) for forty-five years, and was also the ever reliable stand in delivery driver for MW (that would be Meals on Wheels).

Colin was most famous in Creswick for his wave – he waved to everyone.  His daughter asked him once when the family was a long way from home why he was still waving to the people he passed – surely he wouldn’t know them?  “I might if they got out of their car” was his reply.  He also waved at friends’ houses, and when queried said “You never know, they might be looking out of the window, and I don’t want to seem unfriendly.”

As a small businessman, farmer and committeeman, Colin was dedicated to the development of Creswick and the wellbeing of its residents.  He knew everyone, and everyone knew and respected him.  His contribution of time and effort to all worthy causes was unequalled in modern times. 

Colin died from a heart condition in October 2010, aged 73. His wife Elaine, his children and grandchildren lost a loving and dedicated family man, and Creswick lost one of its true friends.

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