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PROTRACK » GENERAL » The man behind the Whyalla Gift passed away on Monday 18th August

The man behind the Whyalla Gift passed away on Monday 18th August

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I was sad to read today, that Jim Hewitson, the man who resurrected the Whyalla Gift and has been the main person in keeping it going, passed away on Monday 18th August.

Jim has been a great supporter of the Gift, albeit he's been frustrated in recent years by the low number of athletes who have competed at Whyalla.

In the early 1990's, Jim was a great advocate for sponsoring the better Victorian squads to attend the Whyalla Gift. I know the Jim Bradley crew (Steve Brimacombe, Ross DeValle, Paul Tobin & myself) were very appreciative of the opportunity to attend Whyalla in January 1992. The following year, the Rupert Arnold squad (including 1992 Bay Sheff winner Richard Ralph) attended the carnival.

He was a terrific organiser for a lot of Whyalla sporting events & activities, especially in respect to the Whyalla Football League.

In the Whyalla News there's a tribute to Jim. (See below).

I would encourage all SAAL athletes to make the effort to attend the Whyalla Gift carnival in November, otherwise we might see it go the way of the Mount Gambier Gift and we lose another one of our major events.

The funeral for Jim Hewitson will be in Whyalla on Friday 22nd August at 11.00am.

James “Jim” Leslie Hewitson

20.7.1947 - 18.8.2014

Serving the community until the very end, Whyalla residents are lamenting the passing of Whyalla stalwart Jim Hewitson.

A successful businessman and passionate community servant, Jim was dedicated to whatever the task was at hand, whether it was the Lions Club of Mount Laura or as Whyalla Football League president, a title he held since 1992.

Jim was a giver – constantly giving his time and effort to the community, attending weekend football games, cooking up barbecues or serving food for Lions.

In his final days, he still continued to dedicate his time to others, working in the Lions Club of Mount Laura food stall over the two days of the Whyalla Show.

Away from the public eye, Jim was a very private man who loved his family and would do anything for them.

Suffering from ill-health in recent years, Jim passed away on Monday morning, August 18.


Club presidents remember legend

Whyalla News
Aug. 19, 2014

Whyalla Football League club presidents have paid their respects to league president Jim Hewitson, who passed away early this week.

Mr Hewitson was the president of Whyalla Football League from 1992 and first moved to Whyalla in 1965.

West Whyalla Football Club chairman Rod Harvey said Mr Hewitson had the knowledge and contacts to create a successful football league.

“Jim Hewitson is the Whyalla Football League and what it is today,” he said.

“Jim had a big influence on all of the clubs and especially the clubs that were struggling, because he stepped in to make sure they stayed viable and kept going.”

North Whyalla president Greg Flanegan said Mr Hewitson possessed a heart of gold.

Mr Flanegan said Mr Hewitson’s passion for football and Whyalla was enormous.

“Where do you start?” he said.

“What hasn’t he done?

“Jim held football in Whyalla close to his heart since the beginning and it’s not just the football where he played a significant impact in, but the whole of Whyalla.”

Mr Flanegan said he could not “lay enough praise” on Mr Hewitson’s contributions to Whyalla.

“North Whyalla Football Club would like to send our sincerest condolences to Jim’s family and friends,” he said.

“It is not only a huge loss to the Whyalla football community but indeed to all of Whyalla.”

South Whyalla Football Club president Graham Taylor said Hewitson had made an “enormous” contribution to the league through his direction, support and advocacy.

Mr Taylor said Mr Hewitson had a great reach throughout South Australia and was highly respected by the South Australian football community.

“Whyalla has a great debt to Jim for his service to the community,” he said.

“On behalf of the club, I extend our condolences to Jim's family at this sad time.”

Central Whyalla Football Club president Dale Layton said Mr Hewitson’s leadership had placed Whyalla Football League in an extremely strong position.

Mr Layton said Mr Hewitson had left Whyalla Football League in a “much better” position than it was when he first took over.

“It’s going to take some big shoes to fill his role,” he said.

“You just feel for his family and from a football perspective it’s a big loss, but also a big loss to our community.”

Roopena Football Club president Harry Marks said Mr Hewitson’s love and passion for local football was unheralded.

“He has done so much for football in Whyalla it’s not funny,” he said.

“He was at the forefront of creating an extremely strong and even competition.”

"Let's Go While We're Young"


ProTrack Star
ProTrack Star
I know its entirely up to the Whyalla organisers but think it would be fitting if a race on the program can be named The Jim Hewitson Memorial.

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