Third generation Forster resident, Warren George Perkins OAM, also known as George or Kruger to his mates, dedicated much of his life to both his family and community.
George died on June 19, 2020.
George's grandparents settled in Forster-Tuncurry in the late 1800s.
During World War II George's father, Len and his brother, Rex, served in the air force. George was desperate to join the navy, and he was disappointed that the war ended before he was old enough to join up.
George was apprenticed to his father, Len who was a highly respected builder in the area. George took great pride in quality workmanship, his motto being that if you are going to build, build to last. There are still many homes around Forster-Tuncurry that are testament to that principle.
George was a natural sportsman. Every sport he attempted - and there were many - he succeeded in. He was also a natural leader and took leadership roles in most sporting clubs he joined.
As a young man his winter sport was rugby league, playing in first grade from the age of 17. He played half-back and full-back, and was captain of the Hawkes for many years. He was awarded best and fairest in many games he played. He represented Manning district teams on many occasions.
His summer sports were sailing with his wife, Gwen and brother, Rex, and the Forster Surf Club boat crew. The Forster Surf Life Saving Club recognised George's skills and leadership and he was soon promoted to boat captain and sweep. He captained the Forster boat crew to many victories, from branch to national level.
George also became hooked on golf. Even though his golf swing was somewhat unconventional, his natural sporting talent led him to three A-grade club championships and six foursomes championships. He was golf club captain in 1971-72 and president from 1974 to 1976 and was made life member when he retired from golf.
George also tried small-bore rifle shooting. His natural hand-eye co-ordination was soon revealed. Within a short time he was ranked third in the State and won the National Queen's Birthday Shoot at Macquarie Barracks in 1966.
Not only was George a first-class tradesman, an astute businessman and a natural sportsman, he was also committed to community service, a trait he inherited from his mother Bel.
George was a foundation volunteer member of the Forster Fire Brigade, joining in about 1948. He was soon made brigade captain. He served for 38 years and was awarded honorary membership of the NSW Fire Brigade for "long and meritorious service, the leadership qualities he has demonstrated on the fireground, and the fine example he has set volunteer firemen throughout the State."
George Perkins' name was synonymous with Cape Hawke Community Hospital. There is no doubt that George's keen interest in the community hospital came from his mother, Bel Perkins, who was a dedicated member of the hospital auxiliary from its inception in 1955.
He built the first stage of the current hospital in 1969-70. As his contribution, he constructed the building at cost, only drawing a basic wage for himself. He continued as the contract builder of stage 2 (1972) and stage 3 (1980), then supervised the construction of every addition until 2000.
George was elected to the Cape Hawke Community Hospital Committee in 1983 and in 1985 was elected president. George stepped down as president in 2004 and remained an active and valued board member until his retirement in March 2016.
George's service to the Forster-Tuncurry community was remarkable. He was awarded the Order of Australia Medal in 1993 for "a lifetime of community service." He was also awarded the National Australia Day Council Citizenship Award, the Premier of NSW Community Service Award, the Government of NSW Community Service Award and a Rotary Club Citizenship Award.
George will be sadly missed by his wife Gwen, his three boys Allan, Kevin and Daryl and their extended families.
Vale Warren George Perkins, a remarkable man.