These diary entries were written by Vince Lionel Rimmer Starting shortly after the death of his son Robert Bruce Rimmer, on 29 Nov 1969. These are his words Quoted from his writings by Paul Rimmer his third son
"Our Son Robert Bruce." As remembered, "Not in chronological Order."
Robert was, ( when I arrived at the hospital,) being named. My first thought was 'Oh no I do not like these names." the names I came to accept & become accustomed to, the baby, later the boy & then the man I came to love.
I remember the day a bright sunny day when I took the boys Vince aged four (4)& Robert then three for a walk to Wentworthville one morning and we took a shortcut which required that we enter and walk along a five foot high concrete storm water channel. Vince and Robert waited on the bank while I climbed in, then turning I held up my arms to Vince and said "Jump" this Vince would not do, no amount of persuasion would encourage him. Robert jumped immediately when asked, I have never forgotten this.
Age 4-5 yrs,
I remember a day at the zoo, when Robert wanted to pat or go near the cage of some harmless animal, but Vince stood between him and the cage and would allow him to go any nearer. This both amused and interested me, Vince's protective attitude towards his brother despite his own fear was very good and I like this.
1953, about 9 yrs, old
The time during our trip in the old ambulance up the Oxley Highway. The old daisy air rifle which Robert said you aimed a foot high and a foot to the left to hit the target.
We parked about 100 yards from a bridge, next morning Robert and Vince going down to the bridge & firing the air gun at objects in the river below, then going to a house nearby and buying eggs and milk. The milk was ok but the eggs looked funny, but when the boys complained about the look and the smell I told them that there was nothing wrong with the eggs and eat them. They were bad later we were stopped by the road side with the canvas stretched over head to protect us from the rain. When a car came speeding past, people were yelling and calling to us. On their return we threw the eggs at them, boy did they smell;!!
Age 15 yrs,
I remember Robert was a lolly boy. ( A boy used to sell lollies at the movies and had a tray full, this was held around the neck by a strap.) Two things stick in my mind his appearance in this big jacket and his leaning back to balance the weight of the tray with hands just appearing out of the ends of the long sleeves, and that infectious , wonderful smile, really beaming.
Age 18 yrs,
One sunny Sunday morning whilst Phyllis (My Wife) and I were talking to Shirley Cater and Joan Pretsel Near Pretsels,
( This was in Lloyd Street Blacktown) in the front of the vacant block we heard a noise and turned to see Vince and Robert not actually fighting but pushing and challenging each other. After some questioning the reason for their disagreement was that each boy beleived the other was fathers favorite.
The last time Robert and I had a drink together was at the Victoria hotel we talked and discussed things in general, we were both dirty and in work clothes. How is it that in this world we do not do many of the things when we have the opportunity, then regret the lost opportunities later? I remember the afternoon at the workers club when we played snooker together. We played often at the snooker room and joked with the proprieter, I was very proud of my son and am sure that all I spoke to were very much aware of my feelings towards all my family. There were times Robert walked through the house with a towel draped around his waist.
Entry 2:am Friday 27 Nov 1969 after driving taxis.
Roberts first car was a black 1938 Chevrolet, Robert asked me to come down to Patrick street (Blacktown)to have a look at it. At 25.00 pounds; it was not a bad buy. How proud he was when he brought it home, for all to see. Then taking his Mother over to the chapel at Doonside. I think back on the memories I have and am grateful that we had our son for this period, he was not the greatest son in the world but he was our son, and a very good son at that, he was bright, cheerful and witty. He had a tremendous sense of humour and enjoyed life. I don't understand this life!! and only hope some day I will have the wisdom to do so. But until then all I can say and think is that I loved my son and miss him terribly. He was a kind man and showed love and respect towards his Mother and I, he had my Fathers looks and facial expressions, and Dads dry sense of humour. He treated his Mother as my Father treated my Mother. He was a source of happiness and affection, his constant remarks concerning his Mother banking at a Swiss bank. his constant references to his Mother going out, a really wonderful boy who was never a worry to us, and was so easily pleased who ate and enjoyed all foods so that it was a pleasure to cook for him. Our joint work efforts including brick laying and concreting. Some girl, I am absolutely certain miss a wonderful life and marriage and some unborn children remain unborn and missed the priceless possession of a loving, good and devoted Father.
The times at Blacktown Snooker Hall, when we played together. The all too few times we had a social drink together. (God, How I Miss my Son Robert.)
One of Roberts friends said that he (Robert ) could not fight, but would just keep swinging & when it was all over would want to have a drink with his opponent. How much like my own father he was. I remember well the times my mother told me of the times she had to keep the breakfast hot while my father was having a fight, Not in the way that people may think, But, in a good natured way with two men who respected each another, just being men testing one another, and then sharing a meal or drink together.Like the day in the Army when a man on hearing MY name said, is your fathers name Vince Rimmer too?" I replied Yes, He then said I knew your father, when we were both young men in Cobar & Nyngan If I saw him walking down the footpath I would cross the road rather then walk past him. But for all that he was very well liked & respected as all the Rimmer brothers were. What this man had said reminded me of my son Robert.
Very often in Wayne, who was the most alike of the brothers, I see his stubborn defence of his wife Sandra, even when he knows she is wrong. His ( Wayne) Loving adoration of his two daughters, and his spoiling of them both. I have been told that Robert would roll around the floor with their children in a playful game.
By Paul Rimmer
I remember at the funeral service of my father, ( Vince Lionel Rimmer ) while we were sitting in the chapel I felt a hand placed upon my right shoulder and with out looking I knew it was my fathers hand and upon looking there was no one insight. My Father died in Westmead Hospital, late at night. I was the last family member to see him before his death.
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