Vale Gordon Smillie

Gordon Smillie was my great friend. It was inevitable that Gordon was in the “home straight”. At 96 he was slowly fading, losing his ability to play his favorite Jazz on his piano through terrible arthritis and later to get around, but the worst was losing his eyesight.

Yet this jolly Scotsman revelled in his love for life and his many supportive friends, friends that he had made progressively through the many aspects of his (and dear Gladys, his wife’s) lifetime. Gordon had the supreme disappointments with the tragic death of their 12 year old daughter in a car smash, and much later Gladys sad passing in 2006, yet always had time and interest to catch up for a lunch or chat on the phone with his old mates, and industry people… me included.I first met him in the mid 70’s at The Annual Caravan Show/s in the Old Royal Exhibition Buildings in Carlton, it was usually over a scotch or two with Ron Chapman and Eric Hayman… his knowledge and modesty were very impressive to me as a young advertising guy and his preparedness to share those traits formed the basis of me being required (in the last two decades) to become the Unofficial Industry Historian for the Caravan Industry Association of Victoria.

Like everybody I’ve spoken with that knew Gordon, he NEVER had a bad word to say about anyone and was so proud and excited to hear and see the development and growing success of the Caravan Industry through the Association, and our TV Show What’s Up  Downunder. He often read our magazines from cover to cover.

We call Gordon and his older colleagues and mates like Max Evans, Bruce Illingworth, Eric Hayman and the Christfield brothers etc.. LEGENDS! – they certainly are! They, along with other notables of that generation, founded not just the Industry in Victoria, but right across Australia.

Whilst Gordon has finally past, his LEGEND status will always remain… Rest In Peace dear friend the world and our great industry are all the better for your having been here…

Col Parrot – Chairman
Parable Productions / Whats Up Downunder