John Ernest Wilson ( 4 January 1939 – 5 March 2017 )
John grew up in Sydney and we met as teenagers through a church youth group. We married in London in 1967 – a life together for almost 50 years during which time we shared so many wonderful experiences. He was not only my husband but my best friend. We came back to Sydney from the UK in 1968 by bus – not something one could do today! We had the wanderlust seed sown in our system and we travelled the world for work and pleasure extensively in future years.
We were a family living in Gordon with our two lovely young daughters (Sarah and Kayte) and John was teaching at Shore when he saw the film “Goodbye, Mr Chips” – this set him thinking of other occupations, resulting in his working for AusAID in Sydney. From there the opportunity arose for postings with DFAT overseas and subsequently we lived in New Delhi, Beijing and Phnom Penh – Canberra in between.
On retirement, John and I returned in 2003 to live in our house in Gordon after an absence of 22 years. During our second week back we bumped into very old friends at Gordon Railway Station. Penny and Graham Lewarne. They were returning from a Bush Club walk and suggested we join the Bush Club. Which we did – and what a great decision!
Bush walking has always been a shared family interest and this continues today with our daughters and grandchildren. Our first week long trek was with our girls in Kashmir when we were living in India in 1982.
The Bush Club became an integral part of both of our lives and the friendships formed have been very special. John was a very active member of the Bush Club – a walker and talker, a leader and a committee member. We both enjoyed the in depth conversations which occur during a walk …..
The Bush Club offered so much to both of us – day walks, multi day walks, treks in Australia and overseas and overseas walking holidays.
Through Jan’s Book Club, John met another group of walkers and in 2005 walked the Kokoda Trail with them, and many day and multi day walks and monthly dinners in the following years. The wives were included for the Christmas dinner!
Our other shared interests were music and drama – Brandenburg Orchestra and Sydney Symphony; Belvoir, Ensemble, Sydney Theatre Co Attending many performances with Graham Lewarne.
John had a lifelong interest in photography – and won prizes in Canberra and Sydney. He was an avid photographer as the stored quantity of slides/photos/computer photos confirms.
He was a member of the Ku ring gai Historical Society and in 2016 John was awarded the “Family Historian of the Year” for the biography he had meticulously researched and written about his great-great- grandfather George Wilson.
A friend described John as a true gentleman. “A gentleman is known for his integrity. He is a man of his word and follows through with his commitments, whatever the cost. His actions reflect who he has chosen to be.” This was John.
Comment by Julia Stevenson 14 September 2022
What an interesting obituary! It is lovely to catch up with Jan on walks, but we do miss you John.
Comment by Robert Wood 14 September 2022
How we still miss his genial companionship. John was a wonderful companion and friend. He loved to walk and he loved to talk, and combined both with determined purpose, intelligence and vigour. Perhaps because our friendship developed in our more mature years his conversation never seemed trivial. He was reserved but with amiable good humour, his conversation and his jokes were always thoughtful intelligent and insightful.
We talked and joked often in the moment on various day walks; shared a tent on a Himalayan trek, and many memorable experiences on the track and round a table in Italy. He was a treasured friend – a blessing, and I knew him well, but particularly since he’s gone ahead, I often wish I’d known him better. One of a kind – We miss him.
Comment by Helen Kershaw 18 September 2022
Bush Club Leaders Party 2016
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