Joanne Kershaw, second row from top, third from right
Mark Thomas same row far right
Those of us who grew up in the mid-1970's and 80's, who attended Bacchus Marsh High School, will always remember those we shared time with at school, and those who died tragically and so very young.
Unfortunately, there is no mention on the internet of these people whatsoever and this article was written by me to help us remember these very important people that are no longer with us but played such an important role in our lives.
All times are approximate from my memory so please feel free to post and correct me. Facebook has now made the memories of these people live again. So read on and feel the melancholy.
The Author, Trevor Dunen, aged three, with Laurie Dunen,
his father, and Ashley Dunen, his brother in pram.
his father, and Ashley Dunen, his brother in pram.
My late father inspired this page.
In the late 1960's Billy Hehir crashed his red EJ Holden Sedan on the Pentland hills road near Bacchus Marsh, his neck hit the steering wheel and he was cut badly and lost his life. He was with three mates. He was in his early twenties and was a good friend of Tommy McCormack who lived with Mark Lester in Dundas Street Darley. (Now Dec. see story below). Billy Hehir was the brother of Kathy Tacker (nee Hehir) listed below. Also in the late 1960's Howard Todd and Colin Campbell from Bacchus Marsh were killed in an accident on the Dayelsford Road. Bill Pickering was the lone survivor.
Len Riley riding his motorbike, picture from Debbie Anne Riley-Dole
Len Riley brother was the son of Jack and Claire Riley of Melton and his younger brothers and sisters were Deborah, Wendy, Peter, Anthony, Joanne, Belinda, Chris and Melanie. Len was tragically killed in 1971 in a car accident in Culcairn N.S.W. He was traveling home from NSW with Gordon McKechnie (dec.) after visiting Gordon's sister Sheree in Orange when the car they were traveling in crashed in Culcairn N.S.W. and Len died from a broken neck. Gordon was injured and spent time in the hospital. The McKechnies and Riley's are well known and well-liked families in both Bacchus Marsh and Melton. Sadly Len left 8 siblings who still miss him to this day. (See letters from Debbie Riley in comments below)
"Len had just left school had started his first job a week prior to his death with Mel Ainsley of Bacchus Marsh carting and stooking hay, a job he was very proud of .
Ray Longstaff above and at state school
Ray Longstaff was only in his early teens around 1975 when he was killed tragically at his home in a shooting accident in Maddingley. Ray was a promising young footballer for Maddingley and quite popular at the school and in the town, he has a brother Rodney who is now a successfull businessman and a sister, Sheryl, well known and popular in the Marsh.
Nick Antanasoff had it all, a wealthy orchard growing family who had a property in the avenue of honour. Nick was found hanging naked in an apple shed with his clothes folded neatly below him on the floor in the early 1970's I believe, ironically he is buried right next to my father, Laurence Stanley Dunen in the Bacchus Marsh cemetery.
Vanda Kominski, a well liked and pretty girl from Comaida died of a drug overdose in the late 1970's, she was famous for having gone back to the hotel with the band AC/DC when they played in Bacchus Marsh in the mid-seventies
Junak Pilat of Bacchus Marsh committed suicide in the mid-1970's by shooting himself with a shotgun.
Mick Cahill, the boyfriend of Enid Dickson (Dale) died in the early seventies in a car accident in the avenue of honour
In the early hours of the morning, in the summer of 1979, Peter "Jake" Jacobsen, aged around 20 was in a car driven by Irwin Gillespie heading west along the Lerderderg Gorge Road when their car failed to take a bend and took out a power pole. Jake was killed and Irwin Gillespie survived. They had all been Partying at the Gorge with Ian Lilburne, Malcolm Trask and Boze Goodrem. Irwin was drunk and speeding. Irwin was charged with manslaughter but was acquitted. His lawyer was Frank Galbally.
Allan Noye was killed out on the road near Timbrock after being hit head on by a kid driving a stolen car in the 1970's sometime. Alan was a popular Maddingley Footballer and owned a milk run in Bacchus Marsh. He was around 25 when killed and has a brother, Ken.
Debbie Johns grew up at Lady Northcote Children's Farm. She had a mother, Bernice Davies and it is not known why she was in a home. She attended Bacchus Marsh High School and was a popular student. (this information comes from Kim Sumner sister of Nigel Sumner, both inmates of Northcote Children's home), it was standard practice to kick kids out of the farm once they turned 15 and this happened to Debbie Johns in 1979. Debbie Johns met six men in St. Kilda and was later was found raped and allegedly murdered (drowned) on Sandringham beach soon after leaving school on 13th February 1979. The six men were charged with her rape and murder. They were acquitted of murder but went down on the rape.
Mark Thomas Carni, one of the rapists responsible for the murder of Debbie Johns
They were Barry James Reardon of Hunter Street, Richmond, Bulent “Bill” Missoka of Lygon Street, East Brunswick, Glenn Geoffrey Dillon of Steele Street, Moonee Ponds, Harry John Efthimiadis of Burlington Street, Oakleigh, Mark Thomas Carni of Lygon Street, East Brunswick, now in Carlton, Zdrave “Steve" Misevski of Gerald Street, North Sunshine.
*Note: Mark Carni died suddenly of a heart attack on 16th March, 2013 and will not be missed by anyone I know. He threatened my life when I posted this article and I told him I might find him first and I didn't even have to hunt him down, he just died right on cue like the dog he was.
Kim Chivers, a tall, slim, attractive girl with long straight hair (this writer had a crush on her, she was in my class) was also an inmate of Northcote Children's Home. She left Northcote and Bacchus Marsh High School around 1978 aged around 15 to live with her Mum in Mildura. I have only recently learned that she died a short time after of a blood disease similar to Leukemia, she left her Mum and young sister. Kim had many friends at Bacchus Marsh High and many will be saddened to learn of her early passing. Friends of Kim Chivers were Julie Cock, Lyn Hitchener, Debbie Johns, Kim and Nigel Sumner, Robyn Barry and Steven (Daff) Davies.
A LETTER FROM A FRIEND OF KIM CHIVERS RECEIVED ON 7TH FEBRUARY 2011-
"Hi read with interest your story on Kim Chivers. I knew she'd died but never knew how. I flatted with her for a short time in Melbourne. She got quite sick with something then and was hospitalised, they thought it might have been meningitis but I don't think they found out. She was living with her boyfriend Greg and her brother Kerry, as well as myself. She was also friends with Sharyn Hadler whose dad lived at Pykes Creek I think (which is how I met Kim) and when they left school and moved to Melbourne they attended a hairdressing academy and became hairdressers. Sharyn was living with Lee Chivers at the time and my boyfriend, that's how I met Sharyn. The Chivers must have also spent a lot of time in Echuca which is where my boyfriend at the time was from. Sharyn owns Pure Sensations on Toorak Rd but I haven't seen her for many, many years. Kim then traveled around Australia around 1981 approx and lived in Darwin, Perth, Sydney. I caught up with her in Perth around 82 and in Sydney in December 83 perhaps. I learned of her death from someone that happened to know her that I met whilst living in London in 1989. She must have been around 26 or 28 when she died. I thought she'd had a baby and left a young child behind but I may be wrong.
An interesting read. Many thanks. SuzanneTucker"
My mate and next door neighbour, Mark Lester, aged around 16
(Photo supplied by Mark's younger brother, Matthew Lester)
(Photo supplied by Mark's younger brother, Matthew Lester)
Mark Lester, Mandy Mullins and Nodge (John) Trask, all aged around 19, were killed tragically in a car accident on the Pentland Hills Road about 5 kilometres east of Myrniong on February 10th 1980. A group were in a copper colored XY Falcon sedan driven by Mark Lester. Barry Watson survived with broken legs along with Brian (Bronc) Sullivan who had severe head injuries. Bronc has since had problems with a brain tumour although I believe he has recovered now. The car failed to take a bend, hit an earth embankment and then rolled several times down an embankment. Brian Sullivan was the boyfriend of Mandy Mullins. Mandy Mullins was from Geelong. Mark Lester lived in Dundas Street Darley and lived next door to Laurie Dunen, the father of Trevor (the author), Ashley and Martin Dunen who was killed in the exact same spot the same way, on June 14, 1968 along with Doug Bailey while driving a 1968 Toyota Corolla, my father was then run over by a group of nurses travelling in a Studebaker, they too were returning from the Myrniong Hotel, they were both aged 28.
Mark Lester was a promising footballer with the Darley football Club and was extremely popular in the town. John Trask was also an extremely colorful and popular character in the town as he loved a drink and had frizzy red hair, he had a wicked sense of humor.
See separate story for Mark Lester at-
Katie Becker informs me that she had a friend named Christine Spicer at BMHS, that passed away many years ago from cancer, she was also friends with Dianne Matthews and Debbie Dickson, more details as they come to hand.
Phillip (Flip) Bourke was killed at the end of Masons Lane in his HG Holden Sedan when it rolled one night around 1979, he was engaged to Vicki Tudball. His nickname was Flip He did have a motorcycle accident earlier and broke both his leg and was recovering from that. He was well known and a popular man in the town he was 20 years old.
Around this period Ricky Bourke, aged about 25, a bit of a rebel raiser and quite a wild sort of bloke grew up in Bacchus Marsh. He was a friend of mine and my brother Ash and hung around Screecher Meech. He had a wicked, twisted sense of humor. He ended up in Darwin. One day he fell asleep on a sandy beach. Somehow he drowned and was found dead on the beach. No trace of drugs was found in Ricky's body. He has a brother in Bacchus Marsh named Paul.
Marcus Arnold (Ernie) a few weeks before he died pictured after graduating as a police officer
In 1980, Marcus Arnold, aged about 19, a promising young Maddingley Footballer and a recently graduated Police Officer was riding his trail bike along the Werribee Gorge Road with another young off-duty police officer friend in a Westerly direction when both rounded a bend near the entrance to Underbank Stud. Both motorcycles struck a fully laden tip truck driven by local man Bobby Scott coming in the other direction and exploded on impact, both men were killed instantly. Craig Thiele of the Bacchus Marsh fire Brigade was first on the scene, he had ironically been talking to both men 20 minutes earlier and to this day tells of his families love of Marcus and his sorrow at what happened. Marcus Arnold was an extremely popular student at Bacchus Marsh High and was popular in the town.
Marion Ellis passed away about 1979, she was found murdered in the Flemington Flats. The killer has never been brought to justice. Marion left a beautiful 2 year old daughter.
Around 1982 Alan Blight, aged 20 of Lerderderg Gorge Road took his own life with a shotgun, Alan had kidney disease and was on a permanent dialysis regime, he was an extremely sick lad. I was in Alan's class at High school, he was a popular kid in the town and at school, his brother was Warren Blight and he had a sister Leonie.
Around the same year Raymond Stewart, aged 20 was crossing Main Street, near the Old War Memorial on a Saturday night after partying at the Coach House when he was hit by a car driven by Robyn Vanstan, her boyfriend Dane Freeman. had pulled the steering wheel when he saw Ray, as a prank, Ray Stewart was killed instantly, Dane was charged and jailed. Craig Thiele again of the Bacchus Marsh Fire Brigade was one of the first on the scene and still remembers the night with sadness. Ray died of a broken neck.
In the early 1980's Mark Thomas in his early 20's, brother to Mandy and Kim sadly took his own life with a shotgun. He was married to Michelle Hibberd and had young children. Mark grew up in Main Street, at the top of Stamford Hill, Mark and his best mate, Graeme (Skeeter) Adair (now in Coffs Harbour) were both motocross enthusiasts. Mark was well known and liked in the town and at school. Later in the 1990's Skeeter Adair's girlfriend and mother of his children, Jodie Harris, daughter of Joy Harris took her life by gassing herself in a car leaving Skeeter with 2 small kids to bring up. She was also known as Josie O'Hara. She lived in between Stonies and the Railway Hotel and had a sister, she was a popular and vibrant girl.
In the early 1980's Fesser Jones (uncle to David, Warren and Daryl Jones) took his life with a gun as did Bruce Stevenson who died on 15th November 1982, his mother was Barbara Stevenson.
On 23rd November 1990, Angelo Toteri, aged around 30 a well known and popular Bacchus Marsh man of Italian descent was returning from a fishing trip at Pykes Creek Reservoir with Brendan Shields. Both men were driving their own cars. While returning to Bacchus Marsh on the Western Highway Angelo Toteri's car left the road after he fell asleep at the wheel and hit a fully laden semi-trailer coming in the other direction. The terminal speed was about 250kmh between the two vehicles. Angelo was killed instantly and leaves a young wife and son, his Father Eddie and Mother as well as sister Oriana.
Around 20 years ago Tony Dixon died at home with his parents suddenly, believed to be from asthma.
Joanne Kershaw who was married to Rino Bee was traveling along the Lerderderg Gorge Road in the late 1990's when she had a head-on with another car. The accident was not her fault, she was killed in the crash. Joanne went to school at Bacchus Marsh High around 1978/79. She was a popular girl and was friends with everyone. She lived in Darley and left a young family.
Picture of Wayne Salt and Robert Thompson (both dec.) taken in 3E class at BMHS, please take note, the rest in the picture are all still alive. They are Robyn Allit, Rodney Hillberg, Robert Whitlow, Nick Kikos, Wendy Ikin, Gary Kirby, Kerry Reale, Pascoe Mammolitti, Tony Barton, Leanne Miller and Peter Bolton. Photo Courtesy; Leanne McCabe- photo found in a book shop.
In the late 1980's Wayne Salt a popular student at Bacchus Marsh High School with the ladies was found dead in a caravan at the rear of his grandfather, Ralph Patman's property near Timbrock from a drug overdose, he was in his early twenties.
Around 1983, Mark Thacker aged 12 who lived three doors from Mark Lester and next door to Laurie Dunen's house (both Dec. see above) in Dundas Street was digging in the sand at the Darley tip with members of the Stone family when the sand caved in and Mark was buried alive and killed instantly, Mark was an avid footballer at Darley Football Club and a Collingwood supporter and a popular kid in Bacchus Marsh as are his parents John and Kathy Thacker who again live next door to Laurie Dunen (Dec. Above).
In the 1990's we lost Greg Light the once President of the Darley Football Club to Bowel Cancer. Greg was an excellent footballer and was a huge contributor to the Darley Football Club. He died in his early forties still a fit and healthy man, apart from the cancer. He is well missed by his family, friends and the Darley Football Club.
Left to right: Merrilyn Curran, Bunsen Curran,
Malcolm Stewart, Debbie Stewart
I certainly wouldn't tackle him. He was a good tough footballer and had a wicked sense of humour, I once saw him driving a car around without a steering wheel, he was using a shifting spanner! An unfortunate postscript to the story is that after Bunsen's death his house was burned to the ground leaving his wife Marylin and kids without a home. Bunsen had several children and his son Tim was reported in the local Bacchus Marsh newspaper as being homeless, he was living under Darley Bridge, although it has been reported by the family that he was at the time actually living in a flat on Stamford hill having been paid for a beat-up story. Several months later his son John was found dead in Footscray, he died as a result of accidently mixing prescription pills. A doctor was negligent in not giving correct instructions to John.
Around the year 2000 Paul Whelahan a staunch champion Darley player died at a friend's house in Darley from a heart attack. He was aged around 40, his father was my junior coach at Darley and his brothers also played for Darley in the 1980's.
Yvonne and Caroline Davies were both heroin addicts in St Kilda in their early years and heavy drinkers in later years, Caroline died in her late 30's in the early 90's from kidney failure and Yvonne around 2004 in her early 40's from pneumonia. Their Parents were Ray and Joyce Davies (dec) and their brothers are Steven and Wayne.
Robert Dickson of Bacchus Marsh, brother of Stephen died after being hit in the head with a can of beer at a brawl at a VFL football match, details not known. Tim Burn of Melton died after his car hit a tree in the avenue of honour, details not known.
Robert Goodwin of Bacchus Marsh took his own life on the 1/1/2001
Marcel Smits, brother of Mick died in the black Saturday bushfires in 2008.
Bill Creaney, brother of Peter Creaney died of Cancer in the late 1990's top bloke and well known and loved around the Marsh. Ronnie Dignam also died of Cancer in the 1990's
Robert (Toppa) Thompson died in 2009 in Ballarat of a heart attack, he had a history of heart problems, he was a good mate and a popular kid with the ladies at Bacchus Marsh High
Craig Skinner from Bacchus Marsh was found dead in his home in Melton in late 2009. I am not sure of cause of death. Craig attended Bacchus Marsh High School and played for Darley in the 1970's, he was an excellent player and a mate of mine, we played in the same team. He will be well remembered by all in Bacchus Marsh and sadly missed. He had a brother Neville (an ex copper) and one nick-named Ted as well as some sisters.
John Condon, formerly of Gisborne Road and a Darley Footballer in the late 70's early 80's sadly took his own life in late 2009, he was aged about 46.
Mick Denning a mate of Beau Gage died of cancer in 2009
Joan Sylvia (Nee Stewart) died on Cancer of the Pancreas in Bacchus Marsh hospital in early 2009. Her parents were Dick and Norma Stewart and her siblings were Kaye (authors mother), Colin, Sandra, Noel, Ian, Jimmy, Bruce, Malcolm and Betty. Joan was my Aunty.
Jeanette Collins of Bacchus Marsh died a few years ago suddenly while shopping from a brain aneurysm, she was an old girlfriend, used to go out with Johnny (knuckles) Castles.
Alan Sinclair died of cancer a few years ago. Details not known.
Jeannie Meech died of Lung Cancer, details not known. Her brother Peter Meech died of a drug overdose in Western Australia, details not known. Fiona Musgrave who moved to Queensland when she was 13 was murdered.
Mark Hicks brother of Brenda Lee Hicks died of a brain aneurysm in 2007, he is much loved by Brenda and family, he was married to Debbie White.
Jane Kerr passed away around 2005 from breast cancer.
Geoff Barling passed away in Townsville around 2008, details not known
Ronny Callaghan who was coming back from a gig late one night was tragically killed in a car accident. Apparently a talented musician and vocalist.
Mick Williams was found dead in the shower from a heart attack in 2010. He was a popular cricketer and also footballer, a mate of Billy Stones, well liked in the Marsh.
Bruce Runnells a popular teacher at Bacchus Marsh High has died of cancer, in June 2010.
Gordon McKechnie (above) died of a heart attack around 2010, his sister is Debbie Meech.
Eddie Kula died of cancer in the first week of March 2012, he was 56 as did Bob Carr, a fervent Darley supporter.
Simon Jones from Melton died on or around 29th August, 2012 from a brain tumour. He was a few years older than me, around 55. Simon was a motorbike racer in his younger years and competed both at Bathurst in the early 1980's and also in the Australian Superbike chamionships and many other races. This writer went to Bathurst bike races and Phillip Island bike races with Simon and other friends from Bacchus Marsh. Simon used to own a motorbike shop in Melton but ended up owning a restaurant. Simon first got sick when he went ot the doctors with a headache, he then got a brain scan and they told him he had a brain tumour and had six weeks to live, he lived for over a year although he stayed at home with his family being too proud to let anyone see him in a terrible condition. Simon was married to Sharon Hill who went to Bacchus Marsh High. I believe Simon had kids. Simon was well known and loved by many people in both Bacchus Marsh and Melton and will be sadly missed. Rest in Peace mate, you were one of the quietest and gentlest people I have ever met.
Carol Matthews in her young days
Carol Matthews died peacefully of lung cancer ten months after being diagnosed in the Western General Hospital on 8th October 2012. Carols dad was Kieth (Dec) and her mother is Belle, she had 2 brothers Ron and Ricky and 4 sisters Kaye, Pat, Dianne and Wendy. Carol was married to Bruce Stewart and was my Aunty by marriage. Carol left two kids Robbie and Mandy. She was a good person who was never judgemental and when told she was dying commented that "she had had a good life. As my Aunty, she had helped me many times over the years when I was in a tight spot, she will be sadly missed. Carol was well liked and well known in Bacchus Marsh.
Stephen Maddison has passed away details not known information from Philip Clinkaberry
Sarah Cafferkey was the attractive 22 year old daughter of Noelle Dickson whom I went to school with in Bacchus Marsh in the late 1970's. An out-of sessions court hearing at the St Kilda Rd Police Crime Complex on 20/11/12 heard Steven James Hunter had fatally stabbed Sarah Cafferkey with repeated blows at his Bacchus Marsh address in Simpson Street on November 10, 2012. Though I had never met her, Sarah was a popular girl in the Marsh and will be sadly missed by her family and friends. This was a shocking crime and no words can describe how badly I feel about what happened to Sarah, my heartfelt sympathy goes out to Noelle and family. May Sarah rest in peace.
Stephen (killer) Kilpatrick around High School Age
Stephen (Killer) Kilpatrick died on 30th January, 2013 from a sudden heart attack. Stephen was battling lung and bone cancer and was a member of the West Australian Police Force. He was a converted muslim and left a wife and three young kids. Stephen also had three adult children, Laura 29 and Alesha 27 and grandfather to Jordan, Alexis and Darcy. He was in my class at school and was known for being very quiet and gentle, he was mates with David Callander and Darren Trask amongst many others. I was in contact with him on facebook up to 3 months before he died (as were a lot of people from Bacchus Marsh High School) and was meaning to catch up with him. I will never forget you killer. RIP mate, you were taken too young like many others.
Dennis Curran (above) brother of Bunsen passed away on 3rd March 2013
Vicki Crampin passed away on Wednesday, 1st May, 2013, after a two-car, head-on collision on the Geelong-Balliang Road. Her son, Dylan was critically injured (at this time still in hospital fighting).
Vicki Crampin shortly before she died
Vicki was a friend of mine. As a teenager I live in Darley and had a German Shepherd named lady, Vicki also had a dog, although I am unsure of the breed. We would muck around and talk over the park for hours and became good mates. In 2010 I saw Vicki at Stoney's pub, she was sitting with Jenny Connell, I went over a bought them a drink and told Vicky how special those times with her at Darley Park were, she mistook me for my brother, Martin I had been away so long. She was very much love and will be well missed in Bacchus Marsh. She loved writing poetry, so Vicki, this is for you old mate:
As the years pass by and we drift away,
Your mind wanders back to a younger day,
As kids we played with our dogs in the park,
and we didn't get home until after dark,
Thirty years went past, my doesn't time fly,
now God has called her and my heart wonders why?
Robin Jones of Ballan passed away on 13th January 2013 from Oesophageal cancer, he was married to Flip Bourkes sister, Maren.
Gary Thibou died of a suspected heart attack while working overseas in the Congo on April 29th, 2013. He was in my class at school and was a great mate. He had two sisters, Pam his twin and an older sister Sue, his mum and dad were school teachers. Gary played back pocket for the Marsh and I forward pocket for Darley, he often played on me but was hopeless at footy but a big trier. He left a wife and children in Brighton.
Trevor Libbis (above) died in hospital of liver cancer on August 31, 2013. He used to go out with Yvonne Davies, his brother was Laurie, he was mates with Dennis Curran and Geoff Granger and many others, he was well known in the Marsh.
Peter (Skinny) Masterton died on 15th September, 2013 from cancer aged 54. I played footy at Darley with his brother Jimmy.
Peter Vernon (Egg) Uren aged 53 took his own life on 9/9/2013. Peter suffered from schizophrenia. Peter was a close mate of Marcus Arnold and was devastated when he was killed aged 19. Peter was in the Navy for a while, he was a great mate of my brother Ashley and I and we had some fantastic wild times together in Melbourne while on the turps, although I have not seen him since the funeral of Marcus Arnold. He was living in NSW in Mayfield and is survived by 2 children Ian and Kayla. RIP mate I will never forget you.
Robert (Oggie) Grieves passed away on December 6th, 2013 after a long battle. He was friends with all including Malcolm Trask, Bruce Stewart, Kaye Dunen and Yack Johnson to name just a few. I knew him well, he was a good bloke and was quite a character and was well known to all in Bacchus Marsh, especially the pubs!
Bronwyn Reed passed away at home on Monday 13th of January 2014. Bronwyn was the sister of Lynne Hicks. She went to Bacchus Marsh High School. She is at rest along with her son and brother Ken Reed.
David Hjorth fell and broke his neck in an accident and passed away around July 6th, 2014. Deepest sympathy to his family. I did not know him.
Joan Chapman also passed away around July/August 2014. details not known.
Sheila Trask on the left at the 2012 Bacchus Marsh High School reunion.
Sheila Trask passed away from heart problems on 5/8/2014. I was good mates with her ex husband Phil and had many good times at Stoney's hotel and others, with her in the Jackie Push and the Kick Start days. (Oh those were the days). She will be sorely missed and was well known and liked in Bacchus Marsh.
Wayne Dwyer in Tasmania around 2013
Anthony Giani in 2014
Irene Stewart pictured shortly before she died
Irene Stewart lost her life while diving in the Tweed River in New South Wales on April 14th, 2015. She was a keen and experienced diver. She lived in Kingston, Queensland and was married and had kids. She had a bubbly and loving personality and I loved her dearly. Irene Stewart was my first cousin, her Mum and Dad are Colin and Dianne Stewart.
Colin Stewart is my mother's brother. I saw Irene a few years before her passing at the the Stewart Family Golf Day. Irene went to Bacchus Marsh High School but left Bacchus Marsh with her family to go to live at Albury/Wodonga I think, on the Murray River very early on. She was well loved by everybody she came in contact with and is very sadly missed by her entire family.
My Aunty, Brenda Stewart as she was shortly before she was
tragically killed in a car accident
Tracey Hodgson (Murphy) in happier times
Tracey was in my class at Bacchus Marsh High School. I remember her like it was yesterday. Tracey had a very strong personality and was always highly opinionated, (but then again so am I). She would be there to help people when the chips were down and that is what matters.
I remember this girl who was new to the school who came from Belgium, she was in our class and she had made a mistake and got pregnant and did not know what to do. Despite hardly knowing her, Tracey took this girl under her wing and helped her to contact the right people and deal with her unwanted pregnancy. I still remember Tracey and I and a few others sitting at a table, talking to this pregnant, crying girl in the High School library.
I also remember watching Tracey play netball over at Maddingley Park with Jan Hooper and she was pretty talented in that area as a sportswoman.
Tracey and I were friends, but we often argued, but in the end, after having serious discussions, we always remained friends. I was lucky enough to stay in contact with her on Facebook and we caught up about three years ago and talked about old times. I watched her life unfold on Facebook and it saddens me greatly that she went how she did. I will never forget her.
Dave Callander and Jan Hooper were her good friends amongst many others and I can honestly say she was well loved by all in Bacchus Marsh and had no enemies. She will be sorely missed.
Mark (Boof) Stone died of a heart attack around August 31st, 2016. Mark was around 55 years of age at the time. Mark played for Darley Football Club and this is where his funeral was held. I had a lot of time for Mark, we played footy together as young blokes and he was a good mate with a great sense of humor. He was well liked by everybody, he left a wife & kids & will be sorely missed. He was married to Janice Dickson's daughter.
Lynne Marie Hicks, (Frog), right, pictured on the steps of the Bacchus Marsh High School Hall with her lifelong friend, Brenda Lee Hicks
Lynne Marie Hicks in younger days
with her wonderful smile
Lynne Marie Hicks died in Rockingham, Western Australia around the 6th of January, 2017, aged 56, of heart and lung complications. She died at home in the arms of her daughter, Michelle Abel. Lynne's lifelong friend since her days at Bacchus Marsh High School was Brenda Lee Hicks. Brenda was her sister-in-law, they were in contact daily & shared a loving bond. Brenda tells me that Lynne had a weird, whacky sense of humor & fought her illness right to the very end. Lynne's nick-name at school was "Frog" because she had a croaky voice when she was younger. May people from Bacchus Marsh High would remember her by that nick-name. A memorial service was held for Lynne at the Gisborne Football Club in Victoria. People that attended the service were asked to wear bright & spritely colors as requested by Lynne herself. Lynne and I talked a lot on Facebook in her last few years. I knew her at school but just to say gidday to. She was a wonderfully positive person and had many friends all over Australia. Her request for people to wear bright & spritely colors at her memorial was a direct reflection of her wonderful personality.
Lindy & her son Elliot
Lindy Light (married name McGrath), passed away in the Bacchus Marsh Hospital on May 21st, 2017 of a brain tumor. Lindy had had an operation for the cancer in Sydney & was told she would survive but the cancer returned. Lindy was married to Bacchus Marsh High School teacher, Murray McGrath, he was my economics teacher & I played footy against him as I played for Darley & Murray played for Bacchus Marsh. Lindy is survived by her mother Bernice, her father passed away about ten years ago. Lindy also has a son, Elliot & a daughter, Ashlea. Bernice, Lindy’s mother is well known for her appearance & little dance on the “Street Talk” segment of the Footy Show” with Sam Newman. Lindy also has four beautiful surviving sisters, Amanda, Julie, Robin & Jenny. Lindy’s brother Greg was a lifelong friend of mine & I played footy with him at Darley, he was the club president, Greg, unfortunately, died of bowel cancer. (see story above). Lindy Light used to come out to Darley Footy Oval every Saturday during the footy season with Jillian Brady & watch the footy, she & Jillian were my most ardent supporters & I truly loved spending time with her & I loved her as a friend. Lindy was one of the most beautiful people you could ever meet, both inside & out & I was devastated when she passed away. My deepest sympathy to Murray McGrath, Elliot & Ashlea, they were a great couple & they loved each other dearly. The Light Family are very well known in Bacchus Marsh for their kindness & their contribution to Bacchus Marsh society. You will not find a better family of people & my deepest sympathy goes out to Murray & all of Lindy’s family and friends, the whole world is a lesser place for Lindy’s passing. One day we will catch up in another place- RIP Lindy, a man could not have a better friend
Lindy & her sister Amanda shortly before she passed away
Lindy in happier times with her son Elliot & her husband Murray McGrath
Robert Davies- brother to Yvonne, Caroline, (both Dec.), Steven (Daff) & Wayne passed away sometime in 2017- details not known
Stephen Closter pictured above, right with a good mate of his
Stephen Closter died around the 13/01/2018 from cancer. I had many great times with him camping along with Michael Sylvia, he was a very funny bloke with a good sense of humour and was well known & liked in the Marsh.
Stephen Duncan writes to me and says "I Am a cousin of Jodie Harris, my mum is joy's sister Jennifer Barber, who sadly lost her life to cancer 26 years ago, if you could publish this that would make me very happy, to think that her son loves her and misses her still 26 years on!!
Other Bacchus Marsh people no longer with us courtesy of a request from Stephen Duncan are:- Jeff Collie, Stuart Bird, Troy Lorencini, Gary Dodd and Nathan Harcom. If you can supply more information on these people please do so.
This post was written in the memory of all of these people from Bacchus Marsh. Most of them were my friends and if they weren't I am still sad at their passing. If you have the correct dates of death or any further information please feel free to post it. Further updates of other people, that I remember from my past and are no longer with us will be posted as I do more research. There is no intention in the information above intended to upset anybody and if this has done so I apologise, regards Trevor Dunen 0424 534 390
Thanks go to Beau and Lesa Gage and Craig Thiele for further information provided, much appreciated. Thanks to Tim Curran for information on his dad Bunsen, thanks to Debbie Dole. Thanks to Lynette Wells, John Ginnane, Katie Becker, Robyn Johnson (nee Stancliffe), Malcolm Trask, and Wendy Curran, Vicky Marrett.
Steven Wayne Milligan
formerly of Bacchus Marsh died in extremely suspicious circumstances
The Minister for Police and Corrective Services has approved a reward of $250,000 be offered for information which leads to the apprehension and conviction of the person or persons responsible for the suspected murder of Steven Wayne MILLIGAN at Oxenford on or about 20 April 2000.
INDEMNITY FROM PROSECUTION:In addition, an appropriate indemnity from prosecution will be recommended for any accomplice, not being the person who actually committed the crime, who first gives such information.
The allocation of the $250,000 reward will be at the sole discretion of the Commissioner of the Police Service.
On Tuesday the 18th April 2000 Steven Wayne MILLIGAN, 20 years, of 5 Cash Place, Oxenford went missing from that address. His badly decomposed body was located in bushland near his residence on the 12th May 2000. Mr MILLIGAN's clothing was located some distance away from where his remains were found and police consider that his death is suspicious. Investigations have failed to establish any motive for his death.
Steven was my second cousin, he was the son of Debbie Milligan and Michael Angus from Bacchus Marsh. Steven grew up in Bacchus Marsh and his grandmother, Sandra Milligan (nee Stewart) is my mother, Kaye Dunen's sister. If you have any information on Stevens murder you know what to do.