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This page is where we pay tribute to Byron Bay local residents, characters and legends. The Bay is forever richer for the actions, deeds and stories of our wonderful and colourful residents.


HELMOOD, Robert George (Bob) — Passed away on Friday 10th March 2017, aged 76, peacefully at home in the care of his loving wife and daughter. Much loved husband of Lyn, father and father-in-law of Heidi, Jason and Naomi and grand father of Chloe and Jacob.

Bob was born in Lismore on 31.07.1940 to parents George and Elsie Helmood (dec.). He grew up on Rous Rd in Goonellabah with his brothers Donald (dec.) and John, attending Goonellabah Primary and Lismore High Schools throughout the 40s and 50s. Bob was an avid sportsman and represented both club and regional teams in Soccer. He was made a life member of the Eastwood United Soccer Club (now Lismore Workers) in 1976.

During his regular fruit picking trips to Victoria in the 70s, Bob worked on the Gaulke's farm in Merbein where he met his future wife, Lynette. Bob and Lyn married in 1977 and moved to Byron Bay where they bought a house on Bangalow Rd and started raising their family. Daughter Heidi was born in 1978 and son Jason in 1980.

Over the years Bob worked a number of jobs in Byron Bay, including running a takeaway shop, a bread run, lawn mowing service and cleaning at both the Railway Bar and Beach Hotel. Bob worked at the Beach Hotel from soon after it reopened in the early 90s until his retirement in 2007.

In retirement, Bob stayed active by helping maintain the wooden floors at the Surf Club and Uniting Church as well as being a regular patron at both the Beach Hotel and Bowling Club.

Bob will be sadly missed by friends and family, far and wide.

A funeral service will be held at the Uniting Church, Cnr Carlyle and Middleton St, Byron Bay on SATURDAY 18th MARCH, commencing at 11.00 am. In lieu of flowers on the day, please consider a donation to the NSW Cancer Council in Bob's memory.


Noel (right) with brothers Ray, Colin and Alan.

IT'S WITH a heavy heart and much sorrow that we wish to inform you that we lost our brother Noel James Henderson after losing his battle to cancer on Sunday 26th February, aged only 75.

He will be dearly missed by all..

Fly with the Angels, Noel ..

Glenda Henderson

Late of Rifle Range Road, Gympie and formerly of Logan Village and Byron Bay NSW, Noel passed away peacefully 26th February 2017, Aged 75 Years.

Beloved Soul Mate of Elsie. Loving Father of Sharon, Michael and Jennifer. Cherished Step-Dad and sadly missed 'Pop' to Elsie's Children, Grandchildren and Great-Grandchildren.

Noel's Funeral Service, was held in the Cooloola Coast Crematorium Chapel, 236 Brisbane Road, Gympie on Friday, 3rd March 2017 at 2 pm.


IT'S WITH great sadness, after a long battle with cancer, former Byron Bay resident and meat inspector Ron Smith has passed away.

Ron, formally of Burns Street, Byron Bay, was married to Lynnette Reidy.

He passed away in the early hours of 31st December, 2016.

Ron has gone to join Lyn and his two boys (Mark and Paul.)

RIP Uncle Ron – say "Hi" to all the family up there.

"Charge your glasses" xx

Lisa Falzon


Lilian Ruth Perry, 9-10-1918 to 25-12-2016, formerly of Federal and recently residing in Byron Bay.

Passed away peacefully at the Lismore Base Hospital on Christmas day.

Dearly loved wife of Charles (dec). Loved mother and mother in law of Elaine and Peter Tickle, Lance and Isobel Perry, Patricia and Ian Johnson.

Loving Nan and Nan Nan to all her grandchildren and great grandchildren.

Relatives and friends are respectfully invited to attend a Memorial service for Lilian on Friday, December 30th 2016 at the Richmond Chapel Parkview Funeral home, 43 Holland Street, Goonellabah, commencing at 11.30 am.


PHILLIPS, LESTER GORTON 14.02.1922 to 17.12.2016

Passed away peacefully at Ballina Hospital. Late of Ballina and formerly of Byron Bay and Brunswick Heads.

Beloved Husband of Beryl (dec), Father and Father in law of Anne and Kerry Biddulph (Banora Point), Rhonda and Roger Garrod (Paradise Point) and their Families.

Relatives and Friends are invited to attend Lester's Funeral Service to be held at the Chapel of the Tweed Heads Memorial Garden Crematorium, 176 Kirkwood Road Tweed Heads South, on FRIDAY (December 23, 2016) commencing at 11.30am (NSW time).



`dion anderson

Dion was born in Australia on 11 September 1975, and passed away on 12 December 2016.

His funeral was held at Rainbow Chapel, Rainbow Avenue, in Ballina NSW on Thursday, 22nd December 2016 at 10 am.

Late of BYRON BAY, aged 41 years.

The Greatest And nothing but. 

Dion was a man beyond creative that overcame any and every obstacle for loved ones his friends and over all his children.

Always kind, empathetic and understanding in the process.

  • Artist.
  • Musician.
  • Skater.
  • Father.

Never forgotten and always at large.

Kevin John “Kev” Pearce

WITH GREAT personal sadness we mark the passing of one of Byron Bay's true gentlemen, Kev Pearce.

Kev was part of my Bangalow Road life where I grew up in the Bay. His son Bill (RIP) and I were mates in our formative years and I learned to ride a pushbike at their home, on Bill's younger brother Bradley's pushbike.

My love and best wishes go to Lorena, Brad and the family.

Vale Kev Pearce, safe journey — John Wright

Kev passed away peacefully, at Tweed Heads Tweed Heads.

Dearly loved husband of Lorena. Much loved father and father-in-law of Bill (dec) and Lyn, Brad and Mandy.

Cherished Pop of Matt, Jayme, Luke, Mitchell and Toby.

Sadly Missed…

Relatives and friends are invited to attend Kev's funeral service to be held at the Presbyterian Church, 13 Ruskin Street, Byron Bay on FRIDAY (September 9, 2016) commencing at 10.30 am.

After the service, a private cremation will take place.

Ian Hargreaves

Ian Hargreaves passed away in Melbourne over the weekend. An original Bay boy went to Ballina High and then worked at the Bank of New South Wales, later to become the NAB. A keen surf club member, Ian did his bronze at the Bay.


WE WERE saddened this week to hear of the passing of Heather Clarke, late of Byron Bay.

18/04/36 to 26/12/16

UPDATE: Heather's funeral will be held on Tuesday, 3rd January, 11 am at St Paul's Anglican Church, Byron Bay.

Her daughter Wendy O'Keeffe shared these touching words:

"I would like to let all my friends and family know that our mum decided to visit heaven, and start a new journey in her life, at 7.30 pm Boxing Night, peacefully in her sleep.

"Mum is now in peace . . .  no pain, no needles that mum hated so much.

"Heaven is where mum will be met by my dad, nana , grandad and many more.

"Mum I know I won't be able to ring you, tell you my secrets but in my heart and spirit world you will be by my side and listening to me.

"We love you so much, thanks for being the best mum ever.

"Love you to the moon and back Xxxxxx"



IT IS WITH great sadness we announce the passing of one of the Bay's long-time locals, Pearl Varcin.

Devoted Mother and Mother in law of Lynn and Ian, Russell and Kate, Jeff and Jacki and extremely proud Nanna of Kandice and Dylan, Ashleigh and Dean, Lauren and Ben, Taylor, Nathan and Maddison and Great Nana of Mia and Beau.

Relatives and Friends are invited to attend a Celebration of Pearl’s Life to be held at the Presbyterian Church, Ruskin Street, Byron Bay on SATURDAY (November 19, 2016) commencing at 11.00 am.

After the Service a private cremation will take place. No flowers by request. Pearl’s wish was for donations to be collected for Byron Aged Care. These may be left with the Funeral Director in envelopes provided.

Pearl touched so many lives over decades of living and giving, as a valued part of the Byron Bay community. We offer her friends and family our deepest sympathies, and will update this notice as more information comes to hand.

Vale, Pearl Varcin. You'll have the editor's eternal gratitude for healing his once-ruined back!

John Alexander

John Alexander, past Principal of Byron Bay Public School, passed over this week.

Much loved Byron Bay local John Alexander died peacefully on Tuesday, August 9th in the loving care of Caroona staff in Lismore, aged 77 years.

Family and friends are invited to celebrate John's life on Friday, August 26th at 1pm at the Anglican Church In Byron Bay. John's service will be followed by his wake at the Byron Bowlo.

John's service will be followed by his wake at the Byron Bowlo. No

No flowers, please. Please consider making a donation to John's favourite charities; The Fred Hollows Foundation or The Salvation Army Homeless Appeal.

Please consider making a donation to John's favourite charities: The Fred Hollows Foundation or The Salvation Army Homeless Appeal.

John will be fondly remembered by hundreds of BBPS pupils and teachers.

Vale, John Alexander

Gwen Simpson

On behalf of my family, I would like to let you know that our wonderful Mother (Gwen Simpson) passed away peacefully last night, July 6, 2016.

She is now with her loving husband Pat and her beautiful daughter Margaret.

Forever in our hearts Mum.

Thank you all for your kind words, it was much appreciated.

The celebration of Gwen's life was held on Friday 15th at Billinudgel Chapel, 16 Mogo Place, commencing at 11 am.

After the service, refreshments were held at the Byron Bay Services Club for refreshments.

Thank you all once again. Judy Keenan (Simpson)

Anitta Rathke

More sad news to hear of another local, Anitta Rathke, passing over.

Vale Anitta Rathke.


Glad Robinson

Glad Robinson of Byron Bay, formerly of Mullumbimby, passed away peacefully on 4/8/2016, aged 84 years.

Loved and loving wife of Kevin Robinson (dec)

Much loved mother of Mark, Peter, Ross, Anthony, Jamie and their families.

Deep in our hearts, memories are kept, of a mother, we love and will never forget.


Joan Disson

So sad to hear of a third local this week, Joan Disson, passing over.

From Maddy's Facebook:

"For anyone wanting to attend Mum's funeral, it will be held on Friday the 12th at 11:30am at St Finbarr's Church on the corner of Tennyson and Ruskin Streets in Byron Bay.

"There will then be a gathering at the Byron Bay Services Club on Jonson Street around 12:30pm."

Vale Joan Disson.


Rodney "Rod" Campbell

It is with great sadness we inform KWIMABB members that long time Bayite Rodney "Rod" Campbell passed away today, February 8, 2016 - peacefully, and with family at his side, at 4am in the Tweed Hospital.

Vale Rod Campbell...

Bernie Donlon

ONE OF the original founding members of Byron Bay Golf Club, Bernie Donlan, passed away on October 8th, in Fiji where he has spent the last years of his life, Bernie was 98. Our thoughts are with his family at this time.

Bernie was the last surviving member of the original provisional committee that was formed on August 21, 1957 to establish a golf club in Byron Bay. Up until that time Byron Bay golfers had played at either Lismore or Mullumbimby.

Bernie served as Vice President on the inaugural Byron Bay Golf Club Committee; and in the late 1950's and early 1960's was a part of the local volunteer group who brought the course and club into being. Bernie's experience in the hospitality industry was helpful in the club sourcing the equipment to set up the bar and gain a liquor licence.

Bernie was a well known local who ran the newsagency in Jonson Street for many years. 

A memorial service is planned early 2017, details to be announced.



Percy Kerrigan


IT WAS with great sadness we learned earlier this morning that long-time Bay local Perc Kerrigan passed away yesterday afternoon, Saturday, October 15, 2016.

Perc's funeral will be held on Friday 21st October at 1 pm, at Saint Paul's Anglican Church, Kingsley Street, Byron Bay, followed by a catch-up afterwards at the Suffolk Park Tavern.

Our sincere thoughts and prayers go out to his wife Ann, children Debbie and Chris, and their family and friends. As we have more information we will publish it here.



Alan Claydon

ALAN HEDLEY CLAYDON, 20.12.1923 ~ 14.08.2016

Passed away at Byron Bay and formerly of Newcastle.

Alan will be sadly missed by all family and friends.

Relatives and friends attended a Graveside Service at Byron Bay Cemetery on MONDAY (August 22, 2016) commencing at 11.00 am

Colleen Burns

Colleen Burns passed away peacefully at Byron Central Hospital, late of Suffolk Park.

Dearly loved wife of Ken (dec). Much loved Mother and Mother in law of Kayleen and Graham, Noel and Tracey, Leanne and Earl. Loving Nan and Nan Nan of her 7 Grandchildren and 10 Great Grandchildren. Loved Sister of Joan Baker and Family.

"Reunited With Ken"


John Charles "Jack" Allport


04.06.1920 to 10.10.2016 — Passed away peacefully at Byron Central Hospital, Byron Bay... "Gone fishing"

Dearly loved Husband of Dorothy (dec), adored father and father-In-Law of Margaret and Allan, Elaine and Charles, Kevin and Janice, John, Rhonda and Colin.

Cherished Poppy of 15, Great Poppy of 28 and Great Great Poppy of 2.

Relatives and Friends are invited to attend Jack's Funeral Service to be held in the Chapel of the Lismore Memorial Gardens Crematorium, Skyline Road Goonellabah on TUESDAY (October 18, 2016) commencing at 11.00am.


Members of the Sub Branch are invited to attend the funeral of their late member John "Jack" Allport as per above notice. R.Asquith/Pres


Ian Cook

Another long-time local has left us this week – Ian Cook passed away on the weekend.

His funeral will be held at 1pm this Friday 29th July at the Church of England in Byron Bay.

Our thoughts and best wishes go to his wife Carlene, David, Steven and Tracey and families. Vale Ian...

Judith Elaine Conlan (nee Cross)


Late of Byron Bay, NSW. Passed away on 27th June 2016.

Aged 76 years Loving Wife of Charles.

Dearly loved Mother of Penny and Felicity.

Cherished Sister of Sue and Peter.

Will be sadly missed by all,

A Memorial of her Life was celebrated on Friday 8th July 2016 at the Byron Bay Golf Club, at 3 pm.

Paul Mitchell


VERY SAD news to hear popular local Paul Mitchell left this earthly vale on Sunday, September 11, 2016. His funeral was held at the Ballina Catholic Church at 11 am on September 20, 2016, with refreshments afterwards at the Ballina Bowlo, followed by a celebration at the Byron Bay Rugby League Club.

Aged 42, Paul, originally from Ballina/Broadwater, moved to Mullumbimby and was an active supporter of local sport, including Mullumbimby and Byron Bay Rugby League.

He will be sadly missed... our thoughts and prayers go to his family and friends.

Vale, Paul Mitchell

Joan Meyers


Our dear lady, Joan Meyers passed away in the early hours of Sunday morning at RSL Lifecare.

For people wishing to celebrate Joan's beautiful life, her funeral will be held this Thursday the 22nd of September at 11am at the Uniting Church Byron Bay.

A tiny lady with an enormous heart, who loved her town, Byron Bay.

Vale John Meyers.

Vicki Phillips

Vicki passed away peacefully on Sunday, 28th August 2016 in the arms of her loving partner Guy and family.

Devoted Mother of Zoe and Connor. Dearly loved Daughter of Michael and Thirza. Sister to Tony (dec), Mark, Chris, Kevin (dec) and Barry.

Grateful thanks for the compassionate care provided by all at Byron Hospital and our Suffolk Park community.

A farewell remembrance service will be held at Suffolk Park Community Hall on Friday 2nd September at 1pm followed by refreshments at the Park Hotel, Suffolk Park.

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