Sawtell stalwart Betty Hobbs passes away aged 94

Mrs Hobbs devoted her life to the Sawtell community. Photo: Leah Moore Photography.


A POWERHOUSE of the Sawtell community passed away earlier this month, at the age of 94.

Betty Hobbs grew up in Earlwood in Sydney, and moved to Sawtell in 1950.

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Ms George, as she was then, trained the Sawtell Surf Life Saving Club march past group, which brought her together with Allen (Nugget) Hobbs, one of the founding members of the Club.

Mr Hobbs sold his sawmill on the beach side of Eighteenth Avenue St., and they moved to First Avenue to run a gift shop.

Later, the family moved to Circular Avenue, where Mrs Hobbs lived for the rest of her life.

She had three sons; John, Bill and Allen, who lived for only one day.

There is hardly an organisation in Sawtell that has not benefited from Mrs Hobbs’ energy.

She was a Life Member of the Sawtell R.S.L. Sub Branch Women’s Auxiliary and was given an appreciation award for 50 years then, this year, another for 65 years, having been a foundation member, Secretary, Treasurer and Publicity Officer.

She also was an office bearer in other R.S.L. sub committees.

Mrs Hobbs helped organise fundraisers for the RSL Sub Branch, Surf Life Saving Club and Meals on Wheels such as raffles, street stalls, car boot sales, mannequin parades, serving Anzac Day lunches in the RSL and holding Anzac and Poppy Day Sales.

When Torchbearers for Legacy was formed in 1967, she was the first President and continued in office for six years.

She instigated the very successful ‘Back to Sawtell Week’ held in September 1981.

At the Surf Club, as well as training the march past, Mrs Hobbs was involved with nippers every Sunday and was President of the Ladies’ Auxiliary.

The male and female Club Member of the Year awards are named after Mr and Mrs Hobbs.

Mrs Hobbs also served as Secretary to the Sawtell Women’s Bowls Club and Secretary of the Reserve Management Committee.

She was an obvious choice for the third Sawtellian of the Year in 1989.

As well as her extensive community work, she somehow found time to work for sixteen and a half years at Woolworths in Coffs Harbour as Service Manager and Section Manager until she retired in 1977.

When Mr Hobbs moved into a nursing home in 2000, she visited him every day, except Sunday, until he passed away in 2003.

Ms Hobbs is remembered with love and affection by all those who knew her.

One of her R.S.L. colleagues said, “We are indeed honoured to have had Betty as a member and a friend.”


By Andrew VIVIAN


Betty Hobbs moved to Sawtell in 1950.

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