Geoff Munro: A full life well lived in Bridgewater

by Brighton Council
Geoff Munro

Geoff Munro is 84 years old and has lived in Bridgewater for 50 years. He has lived a life full of family, neighbours, sports and artistic pursuits, whilst working hard and mentoring others in his close knit neighbourhood and community.

Geoff was born in Bothwell in 1938 and was child number 11 of 13 children. His father worked on a large grazing property in the district and his life was one where a strong work ethic was instilled from a very early age. Geoff and his siblings would catch the mail bus to school and then need to walk five miles (eight kilometres) each afternoon to get home.

One of Geoff’s earliest memories is of being bitten by a ‘whip snake’ or white-lipped snake when running through the bush as a four year old. There were no emergency medical services in those days, so his mother just made him lay quietly and hoped for the best. Luckily, as we know, Geoff survived to tell the tale.

Geoff left school at 15 and became a carpenter, but after some time Geoff started work as a mail sorter for what was then the PMG (Post-master General), now known as Australia Post. Geoff progressed to have his own mail runs and did the first letterbox deliveries in Granton and Bridgewater in 1974.

Geoff married his wife Helen in 1969 in Bothwell and had two children. In the early 1970s Geoff moved to Bridgewater into the same house that he lives in today, in a quiet cul de sac where five of the houses still have the same residents and neighbours as the day they moved in.

Geoff believes Bridgewater is an excellent place to live, with fabulous friends and neighbours. “Everyone is so friendly and we have never had a cross word with anyone in our neighbourhood. We have grown up with some great families around us, kids who are really good at sport, there was always sport going on in our street and in the backyards and we had all the services we needed in Bridgewater,” Geoff said.

Geoff describes the amazing coincidence that he ended up living in Bridgewater all these years, with views out over the River Derwent. The river was where his ancestor Sam Glover, on his maternal side, was one of the convicts put to work on building the original causeway over the river, where the Bridgewater Bridge is now positioned. He was there helping to build the Granton Watch House and felling trees to lay up each side to form the Bridgewater Causeway that was filled in with rubble. He was transported to Van Diemen’s Land for stealing a pair of boots and some lead. “All this time I have lived just a short distance from where he was put to work all those years ago,” Geoff exclaimed.

Geoff’s grandfather lived until he was 90. Born in 1857, Geoff was lucky enough to know him, as he only passed away when Geoff was eight years old. His grandfather was one year younger than Ned Kelly and Geoff marvels that Ned Kelly was around when his grandfather was alive.

Besides Helen and his children, sport has been the big love of Geoff’s life with wide and varied sporting pursuits that he excelled in. Geoff was the sparring partner of boxing legend Gerald Freeman, who represented Australia in the 1960 Olympic Games. Geoff has also competed very successfully in cricket, soccer, lawn bowls and tennis and in later years coached at many of the local schools and sporting clubs in soccer, tennis and cricket. Many locals remember Geoff fondly from his coaching days at the local schools and clubs. “Kids I coached as little ones still come up to me today as adults and say hello,” Geoff said.

Sadly Geoff’s wife Helen passed away in 2010 from ovarian cancer.

Geoff is also a talented musician/guitar player, painter, writer and poet. He has entered some songs he wrote in the Tamworth Country Music Festival and two of his songs have made it into the top five finalists. His song Anzac Spirit was written in honour of his three brothers who were enlisted during World War II and fortunately all returned to tell their stories.

Geoff attributes his longevity to a healthy lifestyle and staying physically active. He has never drunk or smoked and eats a very healthy diet full of fresh produce, much of it from his own garden. Yes, Geoff is also a keen gardener and loves completing and creating crosswords.

You certainly can’t keep a good man like Geoff down. In 2021, he was hit by a car when crossing the road on a green walk signal. He suffered several broken bones and tough months of recovery, but Geoff’s determination and zest for life got him through and he was back playing lawn bowls 18 months after the accident. Geoff continues to this day to be an amazing mentor and role model to many and just allround good father, friend and neighbour, who is loved and admired by many in Bridgewater and beyond.

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Geoff Munro: A full life well lived in Bridgewater
Geoff Munro: A full life well lived in Bridgewater
Geoff Munro: A full life well lived in Bridgewater
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Geoff Munro: A full life well lived in Bridgewater
Geoff Munro: A full life well lived in Bridgewater
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Geoff Munro: A full life well lived in Bridgewater
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