Wingham's Bob Clarke remembers mate Roy 'Blue' Humphreys

Colourful character: Blue (aka Roy Humphreys), second from the left in the striped shirt, and his mates. Photo: supplied
Colourful character: Blue (aka Roy Humphreys), second from the left in the striped shirt, and his mates. Photo: supplied

In memory of Roy Charles Humphreys, August 22, 1933 – March 17, 2017.

Over the years there has been a good few characters in our town of Wingham. On March 17 this year, Wingham lost another such character in the person of Roy Charles Humphreys, better known to all who knew him as BIue.

I realise that a lot of people out there would have a story or two to tell about this colourful chap, I would like to tell you mine.

I first met Blue on the January 16, 1963. I came from Sydney and started work with him and 15 others at what was then the PMG depot in Dennes St Wingham, and worked with him for over 30 years. As I was the youngest, he kind of took me under his wing and we had a friendshiop that lasted for 54 years until his passing.

All of the staff started work at 7.30am, all except Blue that is, he had his own timetable. Although he lived within 100 metres of the depot he never arrived on time.

Anyone who knew Blue years ago would be aware that he did a bit of SP bookie work at the Top Pub and was quite well known. You could find him there every Saturday afternoon, and so could the police, and he often got caught by the “Flying Squad" from Newcastle when they were trying to get rid of illegal betting in the area.

After a while they would just say “come on Blue, over to the police station," and fined him, and a short while later he was back on the job at the pub.

If you had Blue as a friend you had a friend for life. I have often told this story. After four or five months here I had the chance to go to Sydney for a temporary transfer as a cable jointer to work on the Australian ground link of the OTC cable to New Zealand for three months.

While there I was offered a permanent position but decided to return to Wingham, mainly because of the friendship I had with BIue and others.

Returning to Wingham was a turning point in my life as I met and married my wife Carol and have two grown children now with their own families, and I have Blue to thank for that, which I publicly thank him for when he attended our recent 50th wedding anniversary.

Blue loved his fishing and his bowls. He did a Iot of voluntary work over the years at the Bowling Club. He was also a good shot with a rifle or shotgun.

We had a Iot of good times together in the early years and many stories I could tell, but that will be for another time.

He had a great sense of humour and was quite witty at times. If you were lucky enough to be in the company of him and his long time mate Joe Berry, you would be entertained to the most enjoyable slanging match you could imagine. They were a great twosome if you wanted a laugh.

Later in life Blue lived opposite another good mate of mine Garry Stackman and his good wife Pauline. They took a great liking to Blue and were very good to him in his later years .

As was seen by the huge gathering at his funeral, Blue touched a lot of lives in and around our town. He was a likeable character and a great mate, I will miss him as I am sure others will also.

Rest In Peace, my mate Blue.