Jim Pegram - A Tribute

By tonyh, 12 June, 2016

Jim Pegram - 1936 to 2016

"I can see clearly now the rain is gone

I can see all obstacles in my way

Gone are the dark clouds that had me down

It's gonna be a bright bright sunhinin' day."

These are the words of the Jimmy Cliff song that played out at the finale of Jim Pegram's funeral which was held the Newcastle Memorial Park last Friday.

James Arthur Pegram was born on the 30th August 1936. His son Grant told us his story:

"Dad grew up in the suburbs of Drummoyne and Five Dock. He was a terror at school,  I understand.

He loved the water and spent every waking minute he could either sailing model boats, sitting in something that would float and move by the breeze and, later, racing sailing boats.

My father did his apprenticeship at Cockatoo Island and he began his career as a “Ships’ Joiner”.

From 1952 he worked on:

The P&O-Orient troop ships: Orsova, Oronsay and OrcadesThe first all-welded V class

Destroyers: the Voyager, Vampire and Vendetta

The T-Class submarines;

Group 1: Truant

Group 3: Thorough, Trump and Truculent

The O-Class submarines: the Oberon, Otway and Otford

T-Class frigate: the Tobruk

River Class Destroyer escort: the Derwent

Other ships: Darwin & Dorrigo

From 1958 to 1977 he, with a partner, formed a boat building business “Mariner Craft” at Condell Park. They built:

Flying 8s & Flying 11s

Northbridge Seniors

16 & 18 ft skiffs

Trailer sailers and

Mariner 21

From 1977 to 1988 he and my mum Marie owned and operated Concord Squash Courts who were Minor Premiers in the A1 grade competition

Jim and his dear wife Marie married in 1958. They had two children, Mitchell, who sadly passed away in 1996, and Grant. Grant continued:

"Dad’s dream was to retire early and to have a waterfront home. He achieved both. Mum and Dad bought the land at North Arm Cove in 1980 and after a two year design stage started to build in 1982 finishing around 1988 and they moved up from Sydney."

I think that would make Jim and Marie among the first permanent residents on that side of our village.  Here, in keeping with their life-long love of sport, Marie and Jim took up golf. They became long-standing members of the Hawks Nest golf Club, winning many trophies.

"My Father….a great man who cared for and loved his family.He was a true friend if you knew him. Show him respect and you would get twice the respect back."

Jim suffered with cancer for the last few months of his life. Let's hope now that  Jimmy Cliff's words form a suitable conclusion to Jim's life story:

"Oh yes, I can make it now the pain is gone

All of the bad feelings have disappeared

Here is the rainbow I've been praying for

It's gonna be a bright bright sunshinin' day"

Tony Hann

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