The joy of celebrating our 10th anniversary in July 2019 was tinged with sadness with the passing of two or our beloved members – Life Member Tony Bendiech and Jim Eccles.
Vale Anthony “Tony” Bendiech
Anthony “Tony” Bendiech passed away peacefully Saturday evening 6th July, 2019 at Port Private Hospital.
Tony, with wife Nancy, joined Hastings Fly Fishers some five or six years ago (but it could have been longer), he was an instant success as a member, he brought with him such useful talents.
He was a fisher and had been a fly fisher for some time. He also liked to have a go at the Blackfish down in Stingray Creek (on the Dark Side) at Laurieton where I joined him on quite a few occasions, he would catch ten to my one from his favourite spot sitting on the bank.
We soon found out that he had great skills in machining, metal turning (he had his own lathe) which he used on many occasions making such valuable items like fly fishing reels and fly tying vices – ask Dawn, she has been fortunate to acquire two of them along with the presentation boxes that I made to go with them.
One of the fly reels was a “Spey” reel, he borrowed mine to match the size for a #9 weight – they were beautifully made, we bought many tickets in the raffles, as we were all trying to win one of them. He would acquire suitable sized offcuts of marine grade aluminium from a boat manufacturer in Taree and spend many hours to producing the reels complete with drag.
He was very active with the club fundraising for the Native Fish (Bass) “Dollar 4 Dollar” program with Reel raffles and a 100 club organized towards that purpose. He would buy tickets in the raffles, stating all he wanted was the beautiful box. He never did win one, and so I made & presented him with a “Special One” in Tasmanian Blackwood & Huon Pine.
He was active with the release of the Bass fingerlings and Rainbow Trout fry along with Dawn, Rodney, Iain, Bob Dove, Dave Wiggins, David Hall, Robin and Ron. We took him on several exploratory trips to check release locations and he enjoyed the day out with us. We kept an eye on him, after all he was in his early nineties. I used to call in and have morning tea with them both reasonably regularly – Tony loved his “Coffee Maker” and I like Cappuccinos.
I have “soggy eyes” putting these few words together – he reminded me of my father, as he was so much like him.
We are all better for having known him and we will miss him dearly.
– Don Dixon
December 2014 – During a lovely Christmas lunch, Ron asked Tony “when did you first start fishing?”
Vale James “Jim” Eccles
James “Jim” Eccles passed away unexpectedly on Thurday morning, 11th July 2019.
Jim, and his wife Julie, moved to Port Macquarie in 2005.
Fly fishing started for Jim after talking to some of our members at one of our Demo Days at Settlement City. He was inducted into the Club on July 10, 2013.
He enjoyed fly fishing at some of his favourite locations to Hartys Plains, Ellenborough, Settlement Point, Lake Cathie and Googleys Lagoon. He was also a regular attendee at many Fly Tie Nights and other social Club activities.
Left is a smiling Jim Eccles with his raffle prize he won at the July 2019 general meeting.
You can see he’s wearing the same fishing cardigan (knitted by Julie) he wore when he joined the club.