Narooma farewells community stalwart Jim Pollock (1926 -2021)

Narooma's last surviving WW2 veteran, 'Jim' Pollock passed away at IRT Dalmeny on Friday, July 9.

Vale Jim Pollock 1926 -2021.

Vale Jim Pollock 1926 -2021.

John James Pollock was born in Mogo in 1926 before he moved with his parents Jack and Vera Pollock (nee Chesher) and his sisters Patricia, Elizabeth and Shirley to North Narooma in 1930.

Jim was well known around town for his war service, where he learnt his trade as a motor mechanic. He was also a hardworking volunteer and drove the town ambulance during the 1950s, later driving patient transport for IRT.

Jim's daughter Gai Burton said he was a talented sportsman and loved playing rugby league, golf, lawn bowls, cricket, darts and snooker.

"His rugby mates nicknamed him 'Bernborough' after the magnificent racehorse, he must have been a great player to watch," Ms Burton said. "He also won the Cobargo 100 yard dash back in 1937."

Jim completed his schooling at the 'old' Narooma Public School when he was 14 and in 1944 he enlisted in the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) where he completed extensive truck and grader maintenance training at Ultimo, Dubbo, Rathmines, Georges Basin and Lara, Victoria.

He was attached to the RAAF 107 Squadron 12ACS (Airfield Construction Squadron) and then the 14ACS and was sent to Indonesia where he served in Balikpapan and on Moratai Island.

"Jim used to tell people that was where he nearly lost his life... 'twice'," Gai said.

"One time he chose to inflate a truck tyre and float out into the ocean, he was carried out wide to the depths and the enemy were just over at the next beach, real bullets were landing in the water all around him, and Jim had never learned how to swim."

The next time Jim was badly hurt was when he was transporting an aircrew to operations on Moratai Island and his truck lost petrol.

While Jim was priming the engine it suddenly exploded 'knocking him arse over head' and to his embarrassment 'there were nurses watching'.

He received second degree wounds to a large part of his body and was flown to Townsville Hospital and from there he was transferred to Concord Repatriation Hospital in Sydney.

Jim was discharged from the RAAF in February 1946 and he returned to Narooma where he met and married Thekla Kidman and had five children - John James, Paul, Frances 'Gai', Doug and Melessa.

A great innings Dad... 95 runs around the sun

Frances 'Gai' Burton

During his life Jim worked as a motor mechanic for Barker Bros and Millner for 30 years and then Kenwar Motors before retiring when he was 60.

Jim Pollock was a busy man and on weekends he transported bricks from Tathra for the construction of the new Narooma CBC Bank and he also transported sand from Handkerchief Lake for the construction of the new greens at Narooma Golf Club.

Ironically Jim was to score the first 'Hole-in-One' on the new greens in 1968.

Narooma's Jimmy Pollock also represented Group 16 Rugby League for Narooma from 1949 to 1961; Monaro Division 1952 to 1953, premiers 1951 and 1952 and was captain coach of Group 16 Narooma Premiers in 1955.

"He was awarded the weekly 'Pelaco Best and Fairest' award on a number of occasions and was also selected to play Country versus City during the 1950s. In 2012 he was voted captain of the 'Devils Team of the Century," Ms Burton said.

Jim Pollock is survived by sisters Patricia and Shirley, children John, Paul, Frances, Douglas and Melessa; 19 grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.

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