Vale George Shepherd Williamson
It’s eerie how often JVG’s weekly theme reflects events other than those intended.
When I was on the west coast of Ireland last year the only room left at the guest house was one they referred to as the “Pink Room” — everything from the toilet to the television!
I tracked down an internet caf‚ and opened JVG’s email to discover the week’s theme was of course — pink!

This week the theme was “Passing Of Time”.
Unfortunately it coincides with the death of George Williamson who was part of the furniture at The Lomond Hotel here in Melbourne. I was honoured to be asked to write a piece about him.

Click to hear the poem… [audio:JVG_Poem20080608.mp3]

George’s life was not extraordinary but his humour and happy nature were.

Ed Bates supplied the backing guitar.


George Shepherd Williamson 17/11/1942 – 30/5/2008

George Shepherd Williamson was born in Clackmae, a lowlander by birth
At age 24 he sort to try his luck on the opposite side of the earth

In his youth he could kick a football, good enough to play for Aberdeen
Joined the Gordon Highlanders and paraded before the Queen

The “Gay Gordons” the newspaper called them, not that George wasn’t liberated
But no-one dare say that George was gay and next thing he’d emigrated

He brought to this country his thick Scottish brogue, an accent that was never to wilt
And he brought his smile and a good sense of humour, but thank God he didn’t pack his kilt

He liked the weather and he liked the bay but was better at dancing than swimming
He took to our beer and he took to our horses but especially took to our women

He loved to punt and in 73 he scored his biggest winner ever
That was the day he met Katie and they had 24 good years together

A plumber, a sparkie, a jack of all trades, there wasn’t much George couldn’t fix
His methods weren’t always conventional, but he had his fair share of tricks

He tried his hand driving buses, but that job didn’t lead anywhere
It wasn’t his driving that got him the sack — he refused to let nuns pay the fare

Nine years he worked at the Bowling Alley, The State Library for seventeen as well
George finally found his true vocation, CEO of The Lomond Hotel

He’d come in early to clean out the toilets so he wouldn’t disturb a soul
Being conscientious found time for a little quality control

I first met George when he cleaned our table, this actually happened — no bull
He did a beautiful job of clearing our glasses, unfortunately mine was still full

He was always ready with a joke or a gag and some where quite funny I’ve heard
I always laughed, but I’m not sure at what — because I never understood a word

Trackside he always bet no 12, the number would never vary
It won him a car, but with the money outlaid he could have bought the Queen Mary

There’s a secret George carried for years, the secret was his alone
The mystery of his “bottomless bag” the answer, will never be known

Outside it looked like your average bag, but when opened it held a surprise
Just like the Tardus in Doctor Who, inside it was ten times the size

What ever you needed, George would reply “I’ve got one of those in here I think”
“Ai laddie” he’d say “Here’s a 12 ml washer” — still attached to the kitchen sink

A piece of string, electrical tape, a nail or elastic band
If you jokingly asked if he had a piano, he’d reply “Upright or Grand”?

A few days ago I called by to see him and I’d barely taken two paces
He whipped the newspaper out of my hands to check the results of the races

He seemed quite chirpy, given all he’d been through, even managed to silently laugh
He wrote on his pad, “I’ve just had good news — they’re coming to give me a bath”

Frankly the idea of getting washed down in bed, I can’t think of anything worse
George winked and scribbled “It’s not the bath but getting sponged by a twenty year old nurse”

No doubt he would have loved it today, among friends having one or two splashes
Clearing the tables, straightening the chairs by now he’d have cleaned up his own ashes

Several women dropped by to pay their respects and I’m not going to name any names
They asked if The Lomond would have to be sold and how long had George employed James?

George enjoyed his cigarettes, he knew the risks and that was his choice
They couldn’t deny him his sense of humour, though they cost him his health and his voice

You won’t find his name in the history books, no statue, portrait or plaque
He didn’t rate a mention in the papers or TV, regardless he still left his mark

He lived his life as he found it and he did it with humour and cheer
You won’t find his name in the history books — but his name meant something round here

© Copyright 2008 Ian Bland

One comment on “Bland On Bland – George Shepherd Williamson

  • Ian,
    Our Kindest thanks for your reflection of Gerges life. A gentle and kind Man of many good offerings he was a stable point in many lives and took very little in return, as it has been said before, Our Live presence & Life come to commpletion but the love we left will stay forever.

    A greatful participant in Georges Life.

    Phil WAtkins

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