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John Reginald (Reg) Francis (1906–1982)

Reg Francis was born at Mannum on September 22, 1906, and was the son of Joseph and Enid, and brother of Lewis.

The family first moved to New Well in 1909, when Reg's grandfather purchased a farm. They later returned to Mannum where Reg obtained most of his education.

In 1919 the family moved to Kanni where Joseph had taken up scrub land which they cleared for farming. Reg completed his final year of schooling at New Well, travelling there each day on horseback.

He learned of passing his QC examination after riding to the Waikerie Post Office to collect his results.

In 1924, the family moved into Waikerie and took over the shop now operating as a Mini Market. At the age of 15, Reg joined A. H. Landseer and son as a shop assistant.

Five years later, in 1926, he joined the Waikerie Packing Shed when the company assets were $17,920, and, apart from four years in the RAAF (28-4-42 to 26-4-46) he remained with "the shed" as secretary until his retirement in 1972, when the company assets then totalled $1,806,844.

During those years he acted as Honorary auditor for various local sporting bodies and clubs.

After a short retirement, he took a part-time position as secretary of the Waikerie Hotel-Motel, until failing health forced his retirement after six years.

In 1931 he married Eva Riddle. The river was in flood that year, and the bridal party had to row across the river from Jaeschke's Lagoon because the punt was unable to operate.

Many years later he joined the Waikerie Gliding club and learned to fly on the site of the old racecourse.

In December, 1980, Reg and Eva moved to the Masonic Village at Somerton Park, living there until his death at Queen Elizabeth Hospital on January 29, 1982, after a short illness.

Original publication

Citation details

'Francis, John Reginald (Reg) (1906–1982)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 20 May 2024.

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