Husband, father Fred Bailey remembered at 20 years of Community Living Australia Biggest Morning Teas

Nancy Bailey and Sandy Norris remember their late husband and dad at a Biggest Morning Tea hosted by Community Living Australia on Thursday. Photo: Peri Strathearn.
Nancy Bailey and Sandy Norris remember their late husband and dad at a Biggest Morning Tea hosted by Community Living Australia on Thursday. Photo: Peri Strathearn.

Sandy Norris describes her late dad as "a bit of a ratbag" who always had an escape route.

It was as true in his adult life - where his meat works pals gave the name "Fred's hole" to a window he would threaten to climb out when the bosses were coming - as it was in his childhood.

Fred Bailey was born in Adelaide on March 14, 1934.

In his younger years he was a Christmas pageant flautist, an apprentice bootmaker, a meat inspector, and had a stint in the army.

He was a husband and father, fond of shooting and camping.

In July of 1997, as he and his wife Nancy were planning her 60th birthday party, he went to the doctor to have a mole removed.

A biopsy showed it had become a melanoma.

The first operation was a success, but the cancer came back in November.

Fred Bailey died on his 64th birthday: March 14, 1998.

It was in his memory Community Lifestyles, now Community Living Australia (CLA), began holding a Biggest Morning Tea each year, a fundraiser for the Cancer Council.

Ms Norris, a long-standing CLA employee, wove the beautiful story of his life at the 20th annual event, held at the organisation's day services venue on the outskirts of Murray Bridge on Thursday.

"No-one is ever discriminated against (by cancer)," she said.

"I ask that you all donate so that people like this man will one day be alive."

The biggest morning tea now honours all current and former staff members, volunteers, clients and family members who have faced cancer in their lives.

Chief executive Mark Kulinski said CLA was proud to support research that could contribute to someday finding a cure.

"Hosting an annual Biggest Morning Tea enables us to show that support in a practical way, and it enables the people we support and the local team to give back to their community and get involved with a cause they believe in," he said.

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