Former Sydney Water Board engineer and Manly reserve grade rugby footballer Basil Atkinson has died aged 87. Basil was born in Sydney's Lakemba on April 12, 1925 and died on the Gold Coast on September 22. Husband to Pat (deceased) and father to Terry and Jim, Basil's best memories were of living in Springwood between 1962 and 1985 before retiring to Laurieton, near Port Macquarie.
"His fondest memories were of times in Springwood and all the friends Mum and Dad made through the Springwood Bowling Club and also the Thompsons from the Royal Hotel," his son, Jim, told the Gazette this week.
"They probably would have preferred to stay in Springwood but they also liked the coast," Jim said.
Basil was in the Australian Army from 1943 to 1947 then worked for the Sydney Water Board at St Marys for more than two decades. He met his wife Pat in 1962 and he moved his family to Springwood soon after, where Jim and his sister Terry attended Springwood Primary and Springwood High.
"When Dad got ill we moved them up to the Gold Coast to look after them," Jim, who is a paramedic, said. Jim's wife, Vicki, who is a nurse, also assisted with her father-in-law's care.
"He was diagnosed with mesothelioma (an asbestos-related cancer) in March this year," said Jim. "It developed relatively slowly and he suffered no pain. He had a nice sleep and he didn't wake up."
All of the family were close by when he died said Jim, except Jim's sister Terri who lives in America had been in Australia for an earlier visit.
Summing up Basil in one word Jim said he was "honest". Basil is survived by his son Jim, daughter Terry and grandchildren Toni, Tracy, Ashley and Sandi and great grandchildren Byron, Tegan, Kirra, Chloe and Zai (photographed). He was a brother to Beryl (deceased) and Jessie.
A funeral service will be held on Wednesday at the Allambie Gardens in Nerang in Queensland. Tributes can be left below and will be viewed by the family.