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Francis, Bernard Albert (Bert) (1914–1981)

Many people of the district were saddened to learn of the death of Mr. Bert Francis last Tuesday, September 29.

Bernard Albert (Bert) Francis died at the Waikerie Hospital, following a short illness. He was aged 67.

Bert was the eldest son of Waikerie pioneers, Edgar (Ted) and Maude Victoria Francis. (Maude was reported to be the first white female to set foot on Waikerie soil).

One of four children, Bert lived all his life in Waikerie, where like his father and younger brother, Mervyn (Ike), ran a fruit orchard.

Over the years, Bert took a keen interest in sport and in his younger days was a champion tennis player, teaming with Kath Taylor to win many mixed events.

Among his other interests were football, as a player, a delegate for 15 years and a Riverland football commissioner for the last 10 years.

He also played cricket before the war and later in life took a keen interest in golf and bowls, serving whenever he could to assist.

Bert married a Barmera girl, and he and Melba took an active interest in community and sporting activities.

During the war, he served with the 2nd 43rd Battalion, in the Middle East, and later in the islands. He was one of the "Rats of Tobruk".

After his sojourn overseas, Bert took an active interest in the RSL.

For more than 10 years Bert Francis served the golf and bowling clubs as their public relations man - and his efforts were greatly appreciated by all.

Bert is survived by his wife, Melba, and three sons, Robert, Jim and Stephen.

A funeral service was conducted last Friday.

Original publication

  • River News (Waikerie, SA), 8 October 1981, p 4

Citation details

'Francis, Bernard Albert (Bert) (1914–1981)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, http://oa.anu.edu.au/obituary/francis-bernard-albert-bert-13402/text24050, accessed 16 November 2019.

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