James (Jim) Joseph Soulsby (SPC 1942-44, PY1945)
July 26, 2021
We have been notified of the passing of James (Jim) Joseph Soulsby (SPC 1942-44, PY1945), who sadly passed away in 2017. Jim was born on July 17, 1928 and died on November 25, 2017.
Jim was a boarder at St Patrick’s from Rheola, near Bendigo and his family say Jim “loved his time at SPC”. He was no academic, but he was good at all sports except boxing where his reach was too short.
Jim played in the Cricket First XI and was an excellent batsman. The 1944 College Annual described Jim as “probably the neatest batman in the team. A great variety of strokes made his batting pleasing to watch”. Jim played in the strong Second XVIII Football side in 1944 and was consistently one of their best players.
The ‘Champions 1944’ photo of Jim and his football teammates has been passed on to one of his many grandchildren. He achieved ‘Merit’ level and was proud of St Patrick’s and the grounding in sport and the faith he received there.
Jim grew up in Rheola with his father Bert, mother Gertrude (nee Mason), brothers Jack and Leo and sister Nell.
After St Pat’s, he moved to Melbourne and boarded at Don Bosco Hostel in Brunswick. He worked for the Department of Education and then for TAA. For most of his working life he was associated with the TAB both at Head Office and as a TAB agent at Hamilton in the late 1960s through to 1980. He married Patricia Mahony. They had nine children and lived at Pascoe Vale South, then in Hamilton. He was mayor of Hamilton and a stalwart of the parish and a very active member of Lions. Pat and Jim and the younger children moved back to Melbourne to Mentone in 1980 after Pat developed breast cancer.
Jim returned to Head Office at the TAB and stayed on after Pat’s death till 1987 and then ‘retired’ to work as a bookmakers supervisor at the trots and greyhounds, open the local newsagent at 4.30 am, and become a stalwart of the parish, again.
Jim married Ursula Moloney in 1995. In his 70s he answered the call from Don Bosco and became a volunteer manager at their op-shop in Brunswick. The best job he ever had.
In March of 2017 he had stents put in his cardiac arteries and a pacemaker fitted. He did well and then slowed and died suddenly in November 2017 of a heart attack.
Jim was a kind and good man, a faithful servant of the Church, community minded, energetic and ready to help. He held to his principles. His death remains a loss to everyone who knew him.
Thank you to Jim’s wife Ursula, who helped with the preparation of this tribute to Jim.