Three generations of the Marmont family descended on their much loved hometown of Taralga recently to celebrate the anniversary of what would have been their patriarch's 100th birthday.
The children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren of James Joseph Marmont, fondly known as Jim, gathered at the family property, Hillview on the weekend of July 6 and 7. Mr Marmont was born on July 3, 1919.
The celebrations included a tribute to Jim by his children, who thanked their father for teaching them to face each day with courage, sacrifice, hard work, kindness and humility.
Patrick and Lily Marmont recounted Jim's commitment to his family, his contribution to community and to the nation during his World War Two Army service and throughout his life in Taralga. The festivities included the cutting of the birthday cake decorated with a familiar sight - a figurine of Jim sitting on a miniature Massey Ferguson tractor.
Jim's youngest daughter Clare organised the planting of a magnificent ornamental pear tree in remembrance of his 100th year, with each of his surviving children - Michael, Gerard, Patrick, Gemma, Clare, Kerian and Anthony - turning the soil.
Eldest daughter Kathleen passed away in 2014 aged 58 after a courageous battle against breast cancer. Her siblings said her spirit continued to shine brightly over the family.
Jim currently has 18 grandchildren, 10 great grandchildren, with two new arrivals expected before the end of 2019.
During speeches, daughter Gemma Pereira her father's commitment to the Taralga community was exemplary. It was most evident in his service on the Sunset Lodge committee, his faith in God and tireless support of Christ the King Catholic Church and the A,P&H Association. Many would remember he was a fixture on the gates at the show ground; whether it was a Taralga Tigers Football match, the annual Show or the Australia Day Rodeo, he was there.
His children credited Jim with being able to turn his hand to almost anything, despite a lack of formal training. He became one of the district's best potato growers and employed many local men along the way. He also learnt, by necessity, how to repair his farm equipment and automobiles.
He almost single handedly built the home on the farm in Hill Street, overlooking the village.
Activities on the weekend included a tug-o-war competition, horseshoe throwing, a family cricket match, barbecue and bonfire, a singalong late into the night, along with reminiscing and story telling.
Jim's grandchildren also checked on their time capsule. Its location on the farm is a closely guarded secret.
The sentiment over the weekend was one of gratitude for the opportunities he provided for his family as a result of his hard work and dedication to Josie and his eight children.
This was evident in reflections of various family members. They said Jim and his late wife, Josie, would have been thrilled that their children, grandchildren and great grandchildren continued to create such wonderful memories at their beloved 'Hillview.
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