By Andrew Cantwell
Casey Council took a break from its normal routine at Tuesday night’s meeting to acknowledge the passing of Hampton Park stalwart Ken Reedy.
Mr Reedy died on Monday after a long period of ill health.
He was life member of several clubs and organisations in and around Hampton Park, and was the former City of Cranbourne’s Citizen of the Year in 1983.
The KM Reedy Reserve in Hampton Park is named in his honour.
River Gum Ward councillor Wayne Smith gave tribute at the start of the council meeting to a man he’d come to know and respect over decades of service to the Hampton Park community.
After his address, Cr Smith asked for a minute’s silence, and that the city considers lowering the flag outside Bunjil Place to half-mast on the day of Mr Reedy’s funeral service late next week.
Following is an edited transcript of Cr Smith’s tribute.
“I rise tonight to acknowledge the passing of a very important citizen of Casey, and particularly of the Hampton Park area, and that’s Mr Ken Reedy.
“For those who don’t know Ken, you certainly know his reserve, the KM Reedy Reserve in Hampton Park – it’s been there for a long, long time in recognition of his long-standing work in the community as a volunteer, property owner and farmer in Hampton Park.
“Ken was 90 years of age. He passed away yesterday after a long period of ill health, surrounded by his family and that was very important to him. He had some family who were away and it almost seemed like he was waiting for them to come back to finally leave us – and the family were very happy that they were able to be there with him yesterday.
“Ken was 90 years of age when he passed. He lived in Hampton Park his entire life. He was born in Hampton Park, raised in Hampton Park and lived there until his death.
“The family had a property originally 120 acres of dairy farm, reduced over the years, until in recent years Joy and Ken were able to remain in their home, but on a smaller piece of land.
“He’s well known in Hampton Park for helping being a founding member and person who established the Hampton Park Progress Association, the Hampton Park Fire Brigade and Hampton Park Football Club, and he was very heavily involved – he was a live member of all of those – and he was very heavily involved with the Uniting Church in Hampton Park.
“He attended Hampton Park Primary School – and I remember he was very proud to be there on the day we relocated it and set it up as a Men’s Shed. We’d all prefer it to be back in the school and used, but that was the next best outcome. And he attended Caulfield Park Tech in his secondary years.
“I’ll leave it there.
“Madam Mayor, I know that your office is arranging some flowers to be send to the family – his wife Joy, his very devoted loving wife of I think nearly 70 years, it might be. Cr Aziz and I visited their home a number of years ago, not that many years ago, in 2012 to celebrate a significant wedding anniversary and they were very pleased to have us visit, and it was an honour to be able to do that.
“The funeral will be at some stage towards the end of next week, and details will be out when that is known. But we certainly will miss Ken.
“From a personal point of view, in a way he had every reason not to like me because I knocked off his best friend off council many years ago.
“1993 I think it was, I stood for council in City of Cranbourne and his long-time friend Arthur Wren, who was indeed a gentleman similar to Ken, I put him out of council that election.
“But Ken never held a grudge, and he was always a gentleman to me, and he was always a good adviser.
“Ken would ring me up when he had an issue – and you knew it must be serious if Ken rings you – and he would never say this is what you should do, but you’d know what he felt and what he thought was the right thing to do, and he would let you know that.
“And he was just that sort of gentleman, he wasn’t pushy and he was so well respected by that community, so we will miss him.
“We have the reserve named after him, so that’ll be there forever, and we send condolences to the family and all his friends in the area and the Hampton Park community.”