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Vale Dick Humphreys

Discussion in 'Falls Creek' started by currawong, Dec 4, 2012.

  1. currawong

    currawong Old but not so Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Long time Falls Creek skiers will know "Uncle" Dick. He was the chief engineer with the lift company for many years. I think he was well into his 80s and skied until a few years ago. He was a great bloke with a huge knowledge of Falls Creek. His daughter Danielle is also known to many at Falls as an instructor.

    Dick's Folly ski run was named after him, but I'm not sure if it still appears on the current trail map. It's one of the black lines to skiers' right of Ruined Castle chair

    Vale Dick. Thanks for helping to create a great resort and inspiring so many people in our ski community
     
  2. Apresski

    Apresski Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    RIP Dick, one of the 'old guard' of Falls Creek.
     
  3. Boonie

    Boonie Hard Yards

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    Uncle Dick wasn't just skiing until 'a few years ago', he was skiing last year.

    Dick was a lovely man always with a smile and a good yarn to tell. No-one had a bad word to say about him and his loss has been keenly felt around the upper Kiewa Valley and Falls Creek. Dick had been in palliative care for a number of weeks in Geelong but came back up to his beloved Kiewa Valley on Sunday before passing away in the early hours of Tuesday morning.

    For those who want to say a final goodbye, there will be a farewell service in Tawonga on Saturday in the early afternoon (the exact details haven't been finalised yet).
     
  4. currawong

    currawong Old but not so Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    I don't think I managed to ski with him last year so I wasn't sure. Pretty sure the last time I bumped into him skiing was in 2010. Thanks for setting that right.
     
    #4 currawong, Dec 5, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 13, 2013
  5. JonthePom

    JonthePom Hard Yards

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    What a sad loss to say goodbye to Dick....but what a legacy he leaves behind. Two great daughters, friends and family who moved heaven and earth to get him home to his beloved mountains for the last farewell.....and what composure, clear thinking and humour right to the end. Debbie's account of the final days is the most moving thing I've ever read.
    Dick was my boss on the maintenance crew in the 'old days' of 70-72 under the "Alpine" lift ownership. Forty years later, I still use a spanner his way, hear his voice if my workshop is a mess....and try in vain to emulate his skiing style.
    After a summer's work, we opened on a very snowy Queens Birthday with me a complete non-skier - on Tuesday morning Dick told me to get some gear and learn to ski by Friday....or I'd get the sack. Heinzi got the same ultimatum. What an incentive....we could all 'get down' the Summit by the end of the week, and the rest is history.
    It was only years later that skiing with poles instead of two grease guns and a rucksack of tools became possible.
    Dick really was from the old school where skiers brought their own skills to the mountains, in his case, as a mechanic. There were no university degrees in ski area management then, what we didn't know between us, we picked up along the way.
    In Dick's case, he was released from backroom engineering to become manager of the wider lift staff....shaking off years of autocratic European barked orders and replacing it with leadership from the front, ascerbic wit and awful sarcasm when one screwed up. Getting it right was rewarded with a smile and friendship.....second chances came with help and advice.
    Despite the increasing size of the staff, Dick & Elena still made it feel like being part of a family business, living as they did then above a Powerhouse which still contained the noisy T-Bar drives.
    Tea parties for the girls' birthdays and dinners all came with generous helpings from Elena's cooking skills.
    Happy days.
    In later years, we skied together in France, where Dick's easy style left us struggling in his wake on huge top-to-bottom descents.
    Sadly we couldn't make it to Falls for a final run or two together after his challenge that my 61 years was no match for his approaching 80....but lively emails were swapped just a month or so back.
    A wonderful interlude when we stayed with them in Tawonga a few years back, will be the lasting memory of a couple who were enjoying retirement - but still keeping a quiet eye on everything at Falls.....and lived with the best view of Mt Bogong.
    Thank you Dick and Elena - for everything.
     
  6. currawong

    currawong Old but not so Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Also heard that Ralph Price died last week too.

    Ralph's wife Virginia is well known for her enthusiastic organisation of the Mim Sodergren women's program at falls. They are both well known to many long time Falls skiers.
     
  7. Brookesy

    Brookesy First Runs

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    Thanks John the Pom for sharing your memories of Falls Creek back in the good old days and of Dick (Dad) I wish I had of seen it yesterday so we could have read it out. Dick spoke of you a number of times. His memory will remain with many of us forever.
    Dick last skied in 2011 at the age of 81.
    If anyone else has memories to share please do.
     
  8. gettingtooold

    gettingtooold One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    A very nice and touching tribute to a man I never met and appreciate his contribution to my favourite resort. In 2010 on the summit chair I was pointed out to an elderly skier, told he
    was about 80 years old carving slow but graceful lines down black runs. It was a bluebird day and recall he was wearing a hand knitted woollen jumper. Wonder if it was him.
     
  9. JonthePom

    JonthePom Hard Yards

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    Thank you but I'm sure my words weren't needed when so many others were saying the same things in Tawonga, last Saturday. Everything we've heard indicates it was gathering that Dick would have been sorry to miss but happy to be the reason for dozens of old acquaintances to meet together again.
    You did him proud - friends and especially family, you've been praised by everyone!
    So sorry not to be there.
     
  10. JonthePom

    JonthePom Hard Yards

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    Another dear lifetime friend sent me this today. "Pommy Patsy" was one of Lorna's girls in the top ticket office in 1970

    """Thanks so much for your emails about Dick. It was sad news and must have made you wish you were able to go out to Falls Creek and be there with them all. It had a tremendous effect on us all that place, and you especially as you were so much part of the ‘family’ out there, and spent such an important time with them all. The emails from the family were lovely, and it sounded like he had a very good end to his life, with all those people dear to him around. It was funny today, because it is so, so cold, and we had such heavy frost, but the air was beautiful and I went into London Christmas shopping, and at some point in the travelling, and I can’t remember when it was, but I came up into the sun and just the feeling of the air and the atmosphere I thought it felt just like ’Falls Creek’, it was weird, I was right back there........"""