Cleeland, Robert Frank Morton Bob

Robert Frank Morton Bob Cleeland
b: 24 Jul 1911
d: 20 Apr 1999
=== EULOGY NOTES By Peter Cleeland ===
Born 24th July 1911 - at Brunswick

Son of Horace and Lillian Susannah Morton.

Educated at South Brunswick Elementary School and in 1925 was awarded the Merit Certificate (8th grade) - he was then aged 14 and left school to enter the workplace.

In 1935 he married Joy Hilda Witcombe and shortly thereafter Wendy and I arrived.

He was, first and foremost, a child of the depression. He was only 18 years of age when, in 1929, the financial system of the world collapsed.

Like many working class men, around the world, he found it hard to get work. But Bob Cleeland had a quiet determination - there was nothing he could not do.

His marriage certificate records that in 1935 he was a mechanic - in 1938, the year of my birth, he was admitted to the boilermakers society. He was also a carpenter, plumber and electrician.

Together with Jack Scott, my uncle, he built a house at Kats Ave, Kingsbury. The lot, plumbing, electricity, tiling, framing, foundations. It is, of course, still standing, and I wandered past it only the week before Bob's death.

Every motorbike or car I owned until I left home, dad repaired [CSPEL, Standard Vanguard]

He built caravans and trailers in his garage.

He taught more people to drive than I remember.

But his great love was his garage where every implement, tool or device he required was there. If he didn't have it, he made it.

In 1960 he was initiated into Masonry and raised in March 1961. He was then 49 years old. He remained an active Mason until age and infirmity prevented his attendance. He was twice Master of his lodge. Bob enjoyed the craft and was a proud Mason.

It was a pleasure for me to surprise him in 1987 when I was initated into the craft.

While he had his dissapointments he rarely expressed them. He was not an emotional person and kept his thoughts mostly to himself.

As his son I regret not knowing him better.

Above all else, Bob Cleeland was the most gentle human being I have met in my life. Wendy and I cannot remember him raising his voice or being angry with us. In fact I can recall only one occassion when he became physically angry. He gave Wendy and I all the benefit he could to enable us to advance our lives.

He was a physically strong, barrel chested man.

=== ELECTORAL ROLLS, Victoria, 1936, Bourke, Blyth ===
Cleeland, Horace Edwin, 18 Victoria Gr, Driver, M
Cleeland, Lillian Susannah, 18 Victoria Gr, Home Duties, F
Cleeland, Robert Franklin, 18 Victoria Gr, Mechanic, M

From family history book: "An aversion to ptotatoes because 'all I ever ate during the depression was potatoes'"

From Jason Cleeland
Poppa was a quiet man who could build anything. My memories of him stretch back to his and Nanna's house at 3 Frier Ave, Reservoir where he spent a lot of time in his large shed out in the back yard. He had made a fully fledged caravan, from the ground up, which eventually he and Nanna gave to Dad & our family for use. It was a silver 4 bed, and I tried to live in it for a while as a teenager.

The caravan went on many trips to Sandy Point with our family.

Poppa taught me to drive, and Fiona too. I always remember him as sweet and kind with a gentle attitude.

When my car's thermometer gauge broke he helped me to change it. When the bolt holding it to the engine block broke off I assumed that was the end of things. But poppa pulled out tools that could gouge the bolt out of the slot, gradually removing the broken bolt. In the process at one point he slipped and gouged a huge cut into his hand, but he simply wiped it with a cloth and continued on working .. stopping every now and then to wipe more blood off! Didn't hear him swear or say anything, it was like he didn't feel a thing.

His last car was an eight cylinder holden Premier, a very powerful vehicle. Dad eventually had to have his license cancelled because Poppa was getting a bit careless with his driving.

After Nanna died, Poppa started getting more and more forgetful, and eventually had to be moved into a nursing home in Reservoir (sometime in his early 80's). He had a tendency to go wandering, but he was well liked by the staff mostly because he used to maintain the gardens. He regularly mentioned, while living at the nursing home, that he wanted to buy a motorbike and ride around Australia!

As his mind slipped further, he had to be moved to a high care nursing home. Eventually he just lay there all day, not recognising anyone or even being aware if people were around him. Shortly after Lachlan was born I went to visit him with Dad to show him his new great grandson, but he didn't make any sign of recognition we were there. We took a photo of the four generations of Cleeland's together, but that was the last time I saw him alive.

His funeral was held at the Faulkner Crematorium and he was cremated.
=== ELECTORAL ROLLS 1937 - Yarra, Richmond ===
Cleeland, Joy Hilda, 73 Coppin st, Home Duties
Cleeland, Robert Frank Morton, 73 Coppin st, Mechanic
  • 24 Jul 1911 - Birth - ; Brunswick East, Victoria, Australia
  • 20 Apr 1999 - Death - ; Thornbury, Melbourne
Sarah Jane Moore
ABT 1845 - 1910
Robert Frank Morton Bob Cleeland
24 Jul 1911 - 20 Apr 1999
Family Group Sheet - Child
PARENT (M) Horace Edwin Cleeland
Birth1878Glen Eden, Victoria, Australia
Death1957 Ivanhoe, Victoria, Australia
Marriage17 Oct 1907to Lillian Susannah Morton at Morphett Street Methodist Church, Adelaide, South Australia, Australia
FatherFrancis Moore Cleeland
MotherSarah Jane Moore
PARENT (F) Lillian Susannah Morton
BirthABT 1879
Death1957 Kew, Victoria
Marriage17 Oct 1907to Horace Edwin Cleeland at Morphett Street Methodist Church, Adelaide, South Australia, Australia
FatherRobert Morton
MotherSusannah Alison
MHorace Frederick George Cleeland
Birth21 Oct 1908Broken Hill, New South Wales, Australia
Death1972Port Melbourne
Marriageto Beatrice Marion Handley
FLilian Myrtle Cleeland
Birth1910Carlton, Victoria
Marriage1934to Edward Roy Bird
Marriage1932to Arthur Henry Withy
MRobert Frank Morton Bob Cleeland
Birth24 Jul 1911Brunswick East, Victoria, Australia
Death20 Apr 1999Thornbury, Melbourne
MarriageNov 1935to Joyce Hilda Witcombe
Family Group Sheet - Spouse
PARENT (M) Robert Frank Morton Bob Cleeland
Birth24 Jul 1911Brunswick East, Victoria, Australia
Death20 Apr 1999 Thornbury, Melbourne
MarriageNov 1935to Joyce Hilda Witcombe
FatherHorace Edwin Cleeland
MotherLillian Susannah Morton
PARENT (F) Joyce Hilda Witcombe
Birth25 Dec 1915
Death18 Jan 1994 Preston and Northcote Community Hospital, Preston, Victoria, Australia
MarriageNov 1935to Robert Frank Morton Bob Cleeland
FatherHarold Witcombe
MotherBertha Louise Kingston
MPeter Robert Cleeland
Birth31 May 1938Preston, Victoria, Australia
Death17 Sep 2007Austin Repatriation Hospital, Heidelberg West, Victoria, Australia
Marriage10 Oct 1964to Private at Church, Marriage Rd, East Brighton
Marriage1994to Janet Dorothy Reid at 23 Northumberland Drv, Epping, Victoria, Australia
Marriageto Brian Frederick Robertson
Picture Gallery
Descendancy Chart
Robert Frank Morton Bob Cleeland b: 24 Jul 1911 d: 20 Apr 1999
Joyce Hilda Witcombe b: 25 Dec 1915 d: 18 Jan 1994
Peter Robert Cleeland b: 31 May 1938 d: 17 Sep 2007
Janet Dorothy Reid b: 1 Dec 1946 d: 28 Nov 2010