Garry Robert Newman

Rest In Peace

25.04.1951 — 16.01.2024

Garry Newman with his HASKELL model (HO gauge) of a WAGR L class locomotive on Bill Hill’s layout (formerly owned by Allan Hamilton) at Collie on 21/12/2015. Photo courtesy of Don Finlayson.

Garry was born in Melbourne, Victoria and his family moved to Bunbury when he was ten. His interest in both real and model railways was very much with him even at this early age.

He completed his education at Bunbury High School and joined the WA Government Railways (WAGR) as a Junior Station Assistant at Bunbury on 1st February 1968. He was promoted to Guard and spent approximately six months in that capacity at both Esperance and Pemberton before returning to Bunbury. He resigned from the WAGR in December 1973 to go to Melbourne to work on the Railways there.

He got a job as a guard on the suburban trains in Melbourne but returned to WA in the latter half of 1974. He rejoined the WAGR at Forrestfield on 15th October 1974 as a porter. His promotion line took him to the position of Special Head Shunter.

Garry joined our club as a Country/Outreach member in the late 1980’s. At the time he lived in Northam and was a shift worker in the WAGR. He was promoted to Picton in 1993 and was still involved with shift work which didn’t give him much of an opportunity to get to the Club.

He became a clerk (officer position) at Subiaco in August 1979. From Subiaco he was promoted to Assistant Stationmaster first at both Perenjori and then at Lake Grace. Further promotion saw him as Foreman at Avon, Assistant Yardmaster Avon and finally Train Controller Picton in 1997. He retired in 2009.

On the model railway scene, Garry had a Triang train set when he was younger and ventured into “N” gauge where his interest led him to Victorian and South Australian models which he mainly obtained as kits and assembled.

I first met Garry at Lake Grace in September 1983 where he had the “N” gauge track running behind the taps in the laundry and using several lift out baseboards the layout continued across the washing machine to other parts of the laundry.

At Northam there was a large open sided shed which Garry filled in the side in to make a large “dust free” room for his model railway. He had quite a layout there and then in 1993 he was promoted to Picton.

His layout room at their Australind home was a reasonable size ‘COLORBOND’ shed. Unfortunately white ants took a liking to the pine timber of the baseboards and much of the layout was damaged and had to be dismantled. By this time (around 2017), Garry’s eyesight was deteriorating and a table was set up in the middle of the shed using the larger “HO” gauge trains which he could see better.

Garry was also interested in Classic FX Holden cars and had two of them restored, using them in a business he started called “Classic Holden Wedding Cars”.

In the early days of his retirement, he volunteered at the Dardanup Heritage Park and with his model train mate and fellow Club member (Harry Gleeson), many happy hours were invested at the Park. Both also became involved with the model railway group at the Boyanup rail museum.

Unfortunately, not only did Garry have hearing and vision problems but late in 2017 he started to exhibit the first signs of dementia. His wife (Robyn) kept him at home until February 2022 when he was admitted to a Bethany Aged Care home.

Garry left us on 16th January 2024. His funeral in Bunbury on 29th January 2024 was attended by an estimated 150 mourners.

This obituary prepared by Club Life Member, Don Finlayson — February 2024.