Having lived in The Hills for quite some time I have met some wonderful characters whom I remember fondly. One such person, I would have to say, was a guy who sold his home to the local council for just $1.
The fellow I called an old mate was Gordon “Clive” Roughley who lived in the home in which he was born in 1914, known as “The Pines” at Dural. Old Clive was known locally as the “Honey & Egg Man”. One recollection I have is calling on Clive one evening when it was getting dark. Knowing that he spent much of his time in the rear kitchen I went to his back door and knocked. He came to the door with a lump of 4” x 2” wood in his hand ready to “knock me head over heels”. You see Clive had been robbed a number of times and was fearful that I may have been a burglar. He always had a dog at the house. I can recall three dogs that he owned during the years that I knew him. They were “Sally”, “Jackson” and “P.C.” (for Police Constable), so named as he had obtained it from the local Police who gave him “P.C” after a robbery to help frighten off any burglars.
Clive was often seen pulling out wads of notes from his pocket as he gave out change to purchasers of his honey or eggs. No doubt this would have been an attraction to those who wished to rob him of his hard-earned cash. Among the robberies was a situation where his dog “Sally” attacked a pair of burglars who stole $600 he had collected for a childrens’ cancer charity. Clive loved to chat with visitors particularly during “Jazz at The Pines” concerts which were being held on his front lawn.
It was through the original “Jazz at The Pines” events that I first came to know Clive. My wife and I were members of a local tourist association and, at a meeting where the establishment of a Tourist Information Centre was being discussed, a suggestion was put that such a centre should be sought to be built at Mt Wilberforce, West Pennant Hills. Later it came to the group’s notice that the local council had built a building that would suit our purpose. The building was located alongside the driveway to “The Pines” and had been built with funds being donated by way of a grant to council in 1988 for the Bi-centennial year.
The group formed a new Tourist Association taking in the Greater Hills area, with representatives from tourist related business. Thus, Sydney Hills Tourism Inc. stationed at “The Pines”, was formed with Lisa Pegler as Chairperson, my wife as Secretary, myself as Public Officer and Jennifer Touzel, daughter of this magazine’s founder, handling publicity. The Committee then established “Jazz at The Pines” as a way of introducing the new Tourist Information Centre to the local community.
Clive always made us feel welcome and would sit on his front verandah listening to the various jazz bands and other performers that would entertain the visitors once a month on what became an enjoyable afternoon. Later the Council decided to form a management committee to manage the event as it was on Council owned property and even later handed the operation of “Jazz at The Pines” to a local Rotary Club where it is still held on a regular basis during the warmer months of the year.
Clive’s home is a time capsule of the five generations of Roughley family that once lived at “The Pines”. Clive, being the last member of the family to reside there, died during February 2002. At his funeral which I attended, his dog “P.C.” was also in attendance.