ON September 10, 2012, a favourite son of Korumburra, Eric Billing died at the West Gippsland Hospital Warragul after a short illness, he was 88.
Eric was born in 1923 in the Korumburra Hospital, the third child of Ida and Fred Billing of Jumbunna.
Christened Arthur Ronald Eric, he was fondly known as Eric.
Eric grew up in a family where his parents instilled in him two dominant themes, the first was that family loyalty was paramount, and the second was that of community responsibility.
So it was no surprise that when he was admitted to the Korumburra hospital for minor surgery in 1958 and lay in bed recuperating, he decided it was time to do something for the institution.
It was the beginning of a 37 year commitment to the hospital and it is understood that Eric lead the hospital through enormous changes and challenges that included two major fundraising campaigns.
Eric became well known in the district for his outstanding commitment to the community in which he lived.
His contribution to Korumburra began when he was a young father, and spans more than 58 years.
Organisations he was involved in included his membership of the Masonic movement for more than 40 years; Treasurer of Korumburra high school parents and citizens association for seven years; Secretary Vestry St Paul’s for nine years and member of congregation for 64 years; member of Probus 15 years; President of Korumburra Branch of UDA eight years followed by secretary of No14 District council UDA 12 years; past President Korumburra branch of Liberal Party for eight years; President and Vice President and Life Member of Korumburra Senior Citizens; Member of the Korumburra Cemetery Trust for more than 20 Years and secretary Outtrim Cricket Association for 10 years; Eric was past president of Korumburra Bowling Club and Secretary for six years, also delegate to South Gippsland Bowling Association and a gig as National Umpire.
He was also Korumburra Citizen of the year in 1991.
Eric was also on the organising team to build Alchera House; he was also part of the team that raised $1.5 million to build Hillside Lodge.
While community responsibility featured heavily, Eric’s life was devoted to his “soul mate” Iris.
A fond dancer, it was at a local dance that Eric met wife Iris, they danced for more than 60 years.
After Iris died 17 months ago, Eric continued to attend church and often commented that the caring and sharing and that helped him through his grief.
Eric loved his town and its people, at all times he has displayed the keenest interest in all aspects of the community of Korumburra and Korumburra has reaped the benefits of such a commitment.
His last project was to install a larger screen at Carinya’s entertainment room; in memory of Eric, please make a donation to Carinya, with the specific bequest as per his requests.
Korumburra loses favourite son