Club Legends


Many people impact on others through what they do, rather than what they say or think.  Our colleague and friend, John Smith, who passed from this life in September 2014,was a great example from this group.
John was always there, doing things that needed to be done, using his own plentiful skills and offering his help and assisting when we struggled with our tasks.  A very generous man, John repeatedly volunteered his time and his comprehensive toolbox whenever issues arose that needed resolution.
Yes, John was a practical, hands-on person but he regularly surprised his friends and colleagues with his sometimes assertive utterances, that displayed a depth of thinking and feeling not immediately obvious to everyone.  He was a keen advocate of fairness and equality in his role as a officer of the Country Fire Authority and he fulfilled the role of Training Officer, with all the skills of a professional instructor.
As a model train enthusiast, John was a guardian of our work standards and regularly chastised train club members for any signs of below "John Smith" standards.
John Smith, you will be remembered fondly by all that knew you, for your application, your efforts and the high standard to which all your efforts testify.


29th May 1957  -  19th February 2007
 Gary was a real Legend, he was an early member of this Club and he brought a lot of energy with him.  He was a go getter, a bit of an entrepreneur. For each Train Show he was involved with, in the Club, he would go to all the businesses on the Island & ask for donations or sponsorship for our Train Show.  He was a good fund raiser and a great bloke to know.

He needed some help to start his HO layout in his garage, so we arranged a working bee at his place to help him get started. We all did a good day's work getting the frame work up, but unfortunately this was short lived, as the space was needed for other Family activities and Gary never got to build his Layout.

 Gary's death was rather sudden and we were all shocked to learn that he had a heart attack, while driving his work vehicle. We all went to Gary's Funeral and gave him a good send off and ended up back at the Phillip Island Footy Club, where Gary had been a Member, for drinks and nibbles.

R.I P. Gary Livesley

 A recent visit to the Phillip Island Cemetery to check Gary's information, left me a little worried.  I thought his grave had been vandalized,  so I rang the Cemetery Trust and they informed me, that the mower had damaged the plaque and that it was away getting repaired, to my relief. The plaque will be back in place, in about two months time.  The Trust took the above picture before it was sent away for repair.



Stan & Judy operating Bald Mountain.

Early Club Members admiring "Inca".
Stan showing us the wiring of his master piece.
Here he is displaying his N gauge trains for us.
This was the Meeting at Stan & Judy's, which opened our eyes to what Stan could do!

Peter & Members admiring Stan's N gauge Trains

The detail is amazing. People playing tennis in N Gauge

Here comes the Train !

 Gary & Stanley enjoying the day.

Inca all folded away, as a nice piece of furniture !

That is how it unfolds.

Just another view of the Master Piece.

Stanley Gittus affectionately known as "Stan"

Stan was an inaugural member of PI&DMRC. He will always be remembered for his sense of humour, his common sense approach to Club matters and his precision with which he tackled just about everything.

When  the Club visited Chicory Dock for the first time, Stan and Judy’s hospitality was second to none, a fore-runner of relationships to come. The star of that first visit  without doubt in anyone’s mind was “Inca”.  Who expected the piece of furniture called Inca to be a fold-up fully sceniced and operating N-scale model railway? The workmanship amazed everyone, the craftsmanship was exquisite and the innovations were totally surprising. We immediately had great respect for Stan and his abilities. Who expected all the buildings to be made in Microsoft Publisher? Who expected operating boom gates? 

The Club members immediately saw Stan as a can-do person. The respect he was given grew very quickly. Most of the members at the time were discussing what we as a Club were going to do, get club-rooms to make a club layout, make a layout and get club rooms, hold an exhibition. There was a lot of gunna, not much do. Stan’s job for our first exhibition was to plan the layout of the exhibition, it was done to perfection. His and Judy’s other job was the program, also done perfectly. If Inca wasn’t an example of the perfectionist Stan was, these certainly were.

The next example of Stan’s technical perfection was the San Remo car park and station on the club’s U-Drive.

In the years following we saw on-going examples of Stan’s technical brilliance. He constructed the greater proportion of Bald Mountain, the club’s unique exhibition layout. The precision involved in all aspects of this layout is truly amazing, from the hardware involved in joining the baseboards, the electronics of the reversing tram and another set of boom gates, to the working waterfall and the simplicity of the carrying boxes. All details are testament Stan’s technical skill and depth of planning.

Stan hasn’t just been a technician he has also been a mentor to our younger members. “Inca” has been passed on to a young fellow whom Stan helped out for a long time. The ability of this Club to be able to get things done after those first few months are due in no small way to the part Stan has played in this Club.  R. I. P.  Stan, a true Legend of Our Club.



Ian & Geoff checking out the DCC System installed on the Club Layout. Ian loved his electronics.

Ian going through it with Grant, he was always giving a helping hand.

Here he is checking that everything is working, John, Peter & Dale in the background.

A serious look at the camera, does he approve?
Ian at Jack's 70th. Birthday, enjoying the food.

Before Ian retired to San Remo, He was a Taxi Driver in Melbourne, owning his own cab.

Ian was a Foundation Member of our Club and was Treasurer for many years. He became our electronics expert after the loss of Stan. I think Stanley taught him a lot. If you had an electrical problem, or wanted a sound card fitted to your DCC Loco, Ian was only too pleased to help you out, he was a true Mate.

He was a Life Member of the Mount Martha Club and enjoyed going down there for a monthly visit to run his long trains.

Ian loved diesels and very long trains. He used to run them all around his double garage at San Remo. He will be missed greatly by all the Members, we just hope somebody will be able to carry on his good work for the Club.  R. I. P.  Ian.




Martin lost his battle with the big "C" on the 23rd. of January at the age of 67.

He leaves behind his father Oliver, wife Christine and daughters Emma, Kimberley and Kate and their respective partners.  He was very much a family man and a wonderful husband to Christine, whom he knew for 50 years and was married to for 45.  He was very proud and fiercely protective of "his girls".

As an avid collector of anything trains and toys, he had a vast knowledge of the products of Hornby, Trix and many other manufacturers of yesteryear and today.  He was an active member of the Hornby Collectors Association and many other model railway clubs in Victoria, including the Phillip Island & District Railway Modellers Inc.

Another passion in his life was as a member of the Collingwood Football Club, as proclaimed by the number plate on his car.  When his first grandchild was born, he gave her a Life Membership of the Collingwood Football Club.

His knowledge of model trains and his happy disposition will be very much missed.

Vale - Bob Steward

Dear Colette,

We were all saddened on hearing the news of Bob's passing.

He has always been a valued member of our club.  His knowledge and experience of modelling both railway and scenics has helped us in building our current Club layout.  Bob kindly donated a "station building" with platform and lighting which has taken pride of place in a particular location on our new layout.  It is disappointing that he will not be able to see it.

As has become traditional in our club, Bob will be remembered by having a location on our layout named in his honour.

On behalf of myself and all Club members please accept our sincere condolences.

Yours sincerely,

Geoff Newman,

President, Phillip Island and District Railway Modellers, Inc

1 comment: