Bernard (Bernie) John Mathews (SPC 1949-53, PY1954)

May 20, 2022

Bernie Mathews in his beloved Aston Healy.

We extend our deepest condolences to the extended family of Bernard (Bernie) John Mathews (SPC 1949-53, PY1954) who passed away on 23 January 2022, aged 84 years.
Bernie came to St Pats from the family farm at Werneth and had a successful stint at school where he received awards for his talents in Latin and proved himself skilled at gymnastics, the violin and at athletics. (What a combination!) He was popular with other boarders for his sense of humour, his sense of fun and his sharp wit.
He was a full-time boarder with his younger brother Peter (SPC 1957-62).

Bernie Mathews, pictured in his Leaving Class, in the 1953 College Annual.

Bernie returned to the farm after leaving school and spent many happy years being a dedicated part of the close-knit Werneth community. He played football with Rokewood-Corindhap Football Club and tennis for Werneth and was a member and Captain of the local fire brigade. He had a love of sports cars and was a skilful driver enjoying lively trips down the Ocean Road in his Austin Healy testing the nerves of his thrilled passengers and his car became well known throughout the district.
He had a passion for anything to do with flying also and gained his private pilot’s licence with the Ballarat Aero Club in the 1960’s and flew for many years.
Bernie married Lorraine Barry in 1960 and had five children with his son John attending St Pat’s from 1978-1983 and as the children became adults and left the farm Bernie became the publican at the Little Hard Hills Enfield from 1993-2005 where he and Lorraine were generous, popular and friendly hosts.
On retirement Bernie moved to Geelong to be near family and enjoyed the company of car buffs from various Geelong car clubs and catching up with his children, grandchildren and great grandchildren.
He was always quick with a joke and a story to fit any occasion and was still reciting poetry he learned at St Pat’s 70 years earlier! His memories of the school were incredibly clear and he spoke fondly of his time there. Of the dedication of the Brothers and of the many experiences he had as a boarder.
He was a great father, a ‘great’ grand-father and a ‘great’ great grand-father and is greatly missed by all that knew him.
We thank Bernie’s son John for preparing this tribute.

Bernie Mathews, pictured in his Intermediate class photograph, in the 1952 College Annual.

Bernie Mathews, pictured in the Treacy House Athletic Champions photograph, published in the 1950 College Annual.