Condolences to the Hughes Family

We would like to express our sincere sympathies to the family of Erick William Jack Hughes; who fell asleep in Jesus on the 9th October 2017, caused by a heart failure while in Lightening Ridge.   

Our dear brother will be missed by many for his cheerful attitude at our conferences and main events.  May the memories he left live in our hearts until we meet once again at Jesus’ feet! 

For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.  For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive [and] remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.  For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive [and] remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.”  1 Thessalonians 4:14-17. 

“In remembrance of” 

Eric William Jack Hughes was born 21 February, 1920 at Junee, NSW.  His parents moved to a farm close to Wagga and Jack attended the public school at South Wagga.  His father was building a new house on their new farm called “Clearview” situated on Holbrook Rd, Wagga.  The move was hurried along as Jack’s mother did not like the worldly influence of the town on their young family.  Jack continued to live on this same farm until the close of his life.  He had three sisters and one brother. 

Sadly, the brother was killed by a car accident at 24 years of age not too long after Jack returned from three and a half years in the army.  This brother was a twin to his sister, Alma. 

Jack Hughes’ experience in the army was an interesting one.  Before enlisting, he asked the Baptist minister if he should join the army.  The Baptist minister told him, anyone who does not join the army is a coward and there will be no cowards in heaven.  Because of this, Jack joined up.  Jack underwent army training at a camp near Goulburn.  During this time he met an SDA family, who changed his prejudice of Adventists.  They used Bible evidence to support that Saturday is the true Sabbath and not Sunday as changed by man.  Soon Jack wanted to be baptized.  After Bible studies and time, he and a couple of other soldiers were baptised and became members of the SDA church.  

At another point in the training Jack asked their commanding officer if they could have Sabbath off from a training exercise and from carrying arms.  He told them to get a letter from their minister.  They went to see the Union President at Wahroonga.  When they explained to the minister their request, he laughed at them.  He said, “My son is flying bombers over Germany, bombing women and children and I believe he is quite justified.”  The young soldiers were shocked.  All be it, the exemption letter was given. 

During his time in service, he was employed as a runner to run messages.  As there was time between each duty, Jack convinced his officers he could read the Testimonies (sent to him by a SDA lady) whilst waiting for an order.  He had something like seven hours a day to read. 

When in active service in Papua New Guinea, Jack was a nurse in the hospital as part of his duty in the medical regiment.  As he was treating injured and broken-spirited soldiers who had been sent back from the frontline, Jack explained to them how God tells us to love our enemies.  This resulted in the soldiers not wanting to return to the fighting.  Jack was transferred immediately to kitchen duties. 

I believe Jack’s experience proves Ellen White’s statement that in the army we cannot obey God and our commanding officer at the same time. 

Jack married Linda Hore in 1946.  Three children were born to the marriage – Trafford, Neridah and John. 

In the early years of the marriage, the SDA people in Wagga asked Jack to visit a few local members (one of them being Sr Shirley Matthies’ grandfather) who had recently left the church and joined the SDA Reform Movement.  He was chosen to go as they said he had read the Testimonies and he could be an influence to win them back.  However, when he had visited them, he was convinced their position was correct, especially on the war stand.   Jack soon joined the Reform Movement after further studies.   

He showed a great interest in the benefits of living a healthy life.  He practised vegetarianism in the army and claimed to be much much stronger than all his counterparts who ate meat.  His grandchildren also remember visiting their grandfather on the farm and helping to make healthy lollies from nuts and dried fruit by winding the handle of his mincing machine. 

Jack lived a long life of over 97 and a half years and sadly passed away on 9 October, 2017.  

Jack was a missionary-minded person throughout his life.  He was always talking to people about God and the wonderful plan of salvation.  Where and whenever opportunity arose, he would sing to people.  All of his songs were his own compositions and gave a good message. 

Uncle Jack’s hope was to gain heaven and live with Jesus.  We share his hope and look forward to spending eternity together with all the faithful. 

~ Memories by Robert and Mary Wiseman 

An Ode to Brother Jack 

– Written by Craig Cunningham 

At very first glance 

I thought, “Who’s this?” 

It’s brother Jack Hughes 

Who sings before pews 

Something we ought not to miss. 

 

Brother Jack sang of God’s love 

And Jesus above 

Who intercedes for us with crying 

These songs are renown 

And will always redound 

In view of a world that is dying. 

 

That a man such as he 

As he only could see 

Love in all of God’s creation 

He would sing a song here and there 

So beautiful and fair 

That brought delight and elation. 

 

Oh Brother Jack Hughes 

Who sang before pews 

Until that great day in heaven 

Will no longer be heard 

To sing a bright word 

On that day we count number seven. 

 

Eulogy 

Jack’s life story written by his family and read at his funeral 

We are gathered here today to celebrate the life of Eric William Jack Hughes who we all know as Jack.  He was born on the 20th February, 1920 at Junee, NSW to Alma and William Hughes.  Jack had three sisters and one brother.  Their names were Gladys, Merle and twins, Alma and Bill.  Jack’s mother and father and the family moved from Junee to a farm call Cocklea in Wagga.  Jack and the children attended South Wagga Public School until they built out on the farm on Holbrook Road, Wagga.  The family’s move to the farm was hurried up because when the children came home from school Jack was swearing.  So, his mother said, “We are not staying here one more night with the town’s larrikin kids.  So, Jack’s mum packed up all the beds, pillows, clothes and things and had them on the verandah for when Jack’s father came home from working on the farmhouse, he then saw everything on the verandah.  Straightaway he picked up his builder, Dick Jones, which Jack’s father used to call him Chip Jones.  They loaded up the wagons with the lanterns at night with Mother and children and the dog.  That’s the beginning of Jack and his family life at Clearview Farm, Wagga. 

Jack was 8 years old when they moved to the farm where they all went to Rowan School.  Jack and his three sisters and brother Bill walked to school at Rowan which was just down the road.  Jack was mostly always late.  When the other children were ready to walk to school, Jack would be pulling on his braces running down the road saying, “Wait kid, wait.”   When it was magpie season, they were always getting swooped and chased on the way to school and this one day, Jack’s book was not big enough to cover his head.  The magpie swooped him this day and took a big chunk out of his head.  He ran so fast back home with his hand over the wound, so his mother could stop the bleeding.  After school, the children had to work on the farm.  Chickens had to be fed, cows milked, wood brought in for the fire and there were always chores to do.  As Jack got older, he helped with the horse team, he helped with ploughing and stripping the wheat and growing the crops for the sheep and stock and there was dairy to attend as well. 

Jack and his brother, Bill, worked on the farm ringbarking the trees, clearing the paddocks for cropping and pulling stumps out with the draught horse.  He loved being out in the open, in the sunshine and in the blue skies.  He loved the bush flowers and watching the birds building their nests and finding their eggs and patiently waiting for the baby birds to hatch. 

Jack helped his brother Bill with three big stacks down the track to the front gate of the farm that stood there for many years for everyone to see. 

Times were hard in the second world war and Jack was called up to serve his country.  He started in the light-horse brigade, then in the medical as a male nurse.  He was sent overseas and witnessed so many terrible things in the war. 

He loved to help and show his kindness to everyone that he could, especially the sick.  Jack caught malaria and was sick for many years.  Unfortunately, due to these events, including the war, Jack never came back the same.  He served three and a half years in the war. 

Soon after, Jack met Linda Hore from Wymah.  They were introduced by Jack’s brother, Bill at an Adventist picnic.  Not long after the war, Bill, Jack’s brother was accidentally killed in a truck just up from the family farm.  This was another big blow after what Jack was already going through.  While Jack was in the war, he was always looking forward to coming back home to be with his brother Bill again and going to church and singing with friends as they were best mates.  And through this tragedy life was very sad for Jack, so he put his heart into working on the farm. 

In 1946, he married Linda Hore in Albury, NSW, and together they had three children – Trafford, Neridah and John.  With the family completed, they lived on the farm with Jack’s family.  Jack kept busy on the farm, planting crops, shearing sheep, harvesting clover and working at Kyamba Station carting baled hay.  Jack had a team of men plus the whole family and his father, Pop.  The family stayed at the station and Linda and Pop did all the cooking and looking after the crew. 

Jack’s father, Pop was the backbone of the family and the running of the family farm. 

Jack loved to go to Sydney attending conferences, meeting new people and of course going to clearing sales, buying trucks, tractors and any kind of farm machinery.  Jack loved a bargain.  He bought things across most of Australia and to this day, most were never picked up.  Jack would say he never had time to collect them and that they were okay there for the time being and that he would go back and get them later, but he bought so many things a lot were never retrieved.  As well, but what did he have could have easily been Jack’s own museum.  Jack was very handy and thrifty.  He was an excellent improvisor and a clever man with many hidden talents, as he could fix many things with what he could find to make do, and as his determination and his never-give-up attitude he won in the long run. 

Jack was always bringing cases of fruit and vegetables including watermelons, rockmelons, and pumpkins home from Griffith and Narrandera and the family would sell them at clearing sales. 

Later on after the children grew up, Jack and Linda separated and later divorced. 

Jack and his sister, Alma, spent a lot of time together, where they both lived in the homestead and unfortunately, Alma accidentally threw a piece of wood, that she thought was out and put it back in the woodbox.  The whole house caught fire.  You wouldn’t believe, but later on after the homestead was partly fixed, Jack accidentally burnt it down again.  By now, you would have been thinking one would be extremely careful with fire and wood, but it wasn’t to be believed.  Jack had done it again.  He had long pieces of wood in the fire and went to sleep with a diesel tin near.  The wood knocked the tin over and it caught fire and the only place left that was called the little green house was no more.  When the fire brigade came they heard this little voice sing out, “Oy, eh” was seen crawling out of the orchard.  After all that happened the family was always worried about Jack and his fires.  Jack loved travelling and always loved calling family and friends from the telephone box before mobile phones, of course.  It was 20 cents at a time for Jack and he would be talking and half way through the conversation you’d hear “clunk.”  Yet, Jack never put more money in it.  That was the end of his call and he would not ring you back to end the conversation. 

Jack loved helping people that had nowhere to go and he would bring them home to the farm.  He went to the old people’s homes and hospitals, visiting the sick and elderly, reciting poetry and singing songs and dancing as this is what made him so happy.  He loved country music festivals, especially the country music festival at Tamworth where he enjoyed the entertainment and the atmosphere, where he sang and danced on stage and met lots of new people. This was one of Jack’s yearly adventures that he looked forward to each year and when he could no longer drive anymore, he’d catch the train to Tamworth.  He still went to his last visit up there this year 2017.  Jack loved singing his own made-up songs to anyone.  He would stop random people just to sing them his song.  He really was a happy man when he saw them smile and say thank you to him.  His most-loved song that he sang to the ladies was called “Your smile is worth millions to me.” 

Jack also enjoyed attending the ANZAC march in Wagga where his daughter Neridah would take him every year.  It was always a sad day for Jack to remember for all the soldiers that gave their life. 

Jack always maintained contact with all his family, hence his mobile phone.  Some were often called two to three times a day.  He just loved talking on the phone.  Whether it was just to ask how you were, or if he had a question or needed to know something, like a person’s phone number or address, but if anyone ever tried to ring Jack, mostly he was engaged.   

Jack felt very blessed to have three children that loved him dearly as he loved them.  Some may have lived far away, but they were only a phone call away. 

As Jack was getting on in years, he liked staying away for shorter breaks as he just loved to be home on the farm.  Jack got his wish granted.  He managed to live life on the farm until the fantastic age of 97 and was only possible from the small bunch of family and friends that he could do so on his own.  Jack left behind his three children, eleven grandchildren, eleven great-grandchildren and one great great-grandchild.  Jack will be remembered for his generosity, kindness and his gratitude, his dancing and singing and of course, and his big hat. 

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