Keith Hewlett was a life member of the club and sadly passed away on 23 July. Those who knew Keith may wish to join the celebration of his life: 2:00 pm, Fri 5 August, Clarence Lifestyle Village.
Below is the tribute to him from “Twenty Years Down the Track” which was published in 2012 for the club’s 20th anniversary. Others may wish to add their own tributes or anecdotes in the comments.
In January 2011 Keith was awarded life membership of the Pandani Bushwalking Club. He either led or co-led 333 walks, a true club stalwart. Along the way he has given us great enjoyment and shared experiences discovering so many of our beautiful walks.
For many years Thursdays were “Keith’s days” inspiring a loyal band of walkers. His welcoming attitude encourages new and sometimes rather daunted walkers. His keen sense of humour is appreciated – a snake crossing our path has its length increased five-fold by the time we return to the cars! Always thoughtful, Keith provided cooled bottled water from his car to thirsty walkers after a walk when high temperatures were forecast. Keith also always has goat’s milk soap in his car boot, available to walkers who wish to purchase it!
Keith’s female walkers always carry Bandaids and attend to his scrapes, providing valuable first aid practice. Once he even encouraged one of his walkers to bake a morning tea muffin – so long as it wasn’t chocolate. He likes his bananas very ripe (they contain more potassium) and he never sits down for elevenses (ready to get going again).
These days Keith no longer has the sole responsibility of leadership on Thursdays, but we are always delighted when he is able to join the group and have his yellow hat bobbing along amongst us. His encouragement to new leaders has been welcomed. He is always willing to share his knowledge when asked, whether it’s historical, geographical – or just gossip! We ‘new’ leaders have had the benefit of his many years of experience and so have been groomed, without knowing it.
With a deep love of the bush and bushwalking and a genuine interest in and enjoyment of his fellow walkers, Keith appreciates the companionship that walking provides. He has often said that of all the places he goes, he enjoys walking on Mt Wellington the most. We hope he will continue to walk on his beloved mountain for many more years. Thank you, Keith, for all you have taught us along the way.