Neville Osborne

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The Life of Neville Edward Osborne

My Father-in-law Neville Edward Osborne, was a great- grandson of Samuel Osborne, our original Queensland Immigrant.   Neville passed away in 1997 and we produced a little booklet with photographs & memories of his life, some of which is reproduced here.   My husband Jeff, Neville’s eldest son, wrote the eulogy which also appears here.  Jeff gave the eulogy at Neville’s Funeral mass at St Gerald Majella’s Catholic Church in Chermside, Brisbane.

 Eulogy – A Short Profile of the Life of our Father

Dad was born on the 7th of June 1924 in Brisbane, the fourth of five brothers, all educated at Windsor State School, together with many other relatives living at Windsor. 

After finishing school, he commenced a Bricklaying Apprenticeship.
In January 1942 Neville joined the Army – the Royal Australian Engineers.   In May of 1944, he sailed to New Guinea to construct bridges for the front line forces. In June 1945 he returned to Brisbane, and on the 25th of August that year he married Valda Howard at St Patrick’s Roman Catholic Cathedral,  Fortitude Valley.  

In January 1946 he was officially discharged  from the Army.

 He then continued on in the building industry as a bricklayer.   In September 1947 he completed his first family home, having to make the bricks before laying them.   In July 1950 he purchased acreage on Maundrell Terrace, Chermside, just on the first ridge up from this church,  [St Gerald Majella’s Catholic Church, West Chermside, Brisbane] with his brother Roy also purchasing land in the area – acreage fronting Webster Road, giving the two brothers all the land between Maundrell Terrace and Webster Road.    Later they subdivided the land for eventual sale in 1960.  After the sale, Dad purchased further acreage in the area, most of which was later sold for the school [Craigslea] which is directly across the road from this church.    He was left with two house blocks, on one of which was our home from 1960 to 1972.   Dad built a new home on the other block – this is currently our family home.

During Neville’s working career he created many varied, exciting & challenging situations for both himself and all his family, some of which were:

  • August 1956 started a general carrying business
  • April 1959 purchased a service station called “Happy Days” at Deception Bay
  • 1960 purchased a 15 acre tomato farm at Kippa-Ring, [north of Brisbane] later subdividing for housing
  • 1961 purchased a 130 acre Pig Farm at Caboolture [north of Brisbane]
  • 1962 purchased the Clayfield Sports and Hobby store
  • 1963 purchased a house at Bribie Island, and a crabbing boat
  • 1964 saw Dad re-enter the building and construction industry, with Pioneer Concrete Services – shortly afterwards moving to the Gold Coast to build Surfer’s Paradise’s first ever high-rise apartment building.
  • January 1968 started his own concrete construction company, Portland Contractors, constructing many major projects such as the SGIO (Suncorp) Building in Brisbane City, the Hamilton container wharf, the P&O Coldstores, the Story Bridge Expressway, and the previous Qantas domestic terminal to name a few.
  • In 1972 he purchased a cattle property
  • 1974 a home renovations company
  • 1976 a Citrus Orchard at Palmwoods on the Sunshine Coast north of Brisbane
  • 1978 built spec homes on the Sunshine Coast
  • In 1982 he came to work with me at my Printing company.
  • 1982 to 1995:  These 13 retired years Dad spent helping, advising and inspiring his children and grandchildren.

These are only some of the things that Dad accomplished during his life.   As I mentioned earlier, life was never dull or boring being a part of Neville’s family.   Most of the properties were purchased for the dual reasons of being income producing and as holiday destinations for family and friends, allowing Dad to mix family and business.

Whilst reviewing Dad’s diary notes, my mind keeps wandering and wondering about hereditary problems passed on through the family:  and one problem really stands out.   Dad had it, his brother Cyril has it, Danny has it, and I’ve got it.  The problem is cars.  I reckon Dad has bought and sold more cars than Byrne Ford, and the rest of us are doing our best to match him.

From 1995 to 28th November 1997 saw Valda and we children caring for, and helping Dad with his many health problems.  

During all these years he carried out his responsibilities of being a husband, a father, a teacher, a coach and a provider with love, honour and inspiration, to create a truly exciting lifestyle for all those he shared his life with.

Some of the things Dad taught us, I am sure, were passed on from his parents to Dad and his brothers.   I hope I can  pass on to my children and their children these same family values of love, honesty, ethics and morals, while enjoying life to the fullest.

And so for now Dad, farewell, but we will meet again in another place at another time.

Thank you all for taking the time to share with us this moment in the life and death of Neville Edward Osborne.


The five Osborne brothers – left to right from back row:
Roy (1915 – 1983)
Cyril (1917 – 2012)
Colin (1927- )
Neville (1924 – 1997)
Ron (1920 – 1986)

Neville & Jeff’s Birthdays, 7th June 1986

Neville & Valda on their 40th Wedding Anniversary 1985, with Jeff, Jill, Ann & Danny

Neville in his late 60s

Jeff & Sue’s Wedding
May 1987

Neville & Valda with Christine, January 1992

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