B.P., 24 September 1974
Richard John (Dick) Harslett
The passing of Dick Harslett on August 29 removed from the community one of
our most highly respected citizens.
Although it was not unexpected, news of his death after a short but serious illness spread a feeling of sorrow among the wide circle of friends of the Harslett family.
Born in Brisbane, 26th May 1914*, he came to Amiens at the age of 6, where his parents were among the early settlers of the soldiers settlement and developed what was at that time a very fine apple orchard.
Dick was educated at the Amiens state school and later at the Boys Grammar School, Ipswich.
At the outbreak of war Dick enlisted and was embarked for England and among actions overseas was involved in the siege of Tobruk, for six months.
On his return to Australia Dick saw fighting at Milne Bay and later was wounded at Buna. He was boarded out of the Army B class in 1943 and returned to the family property Mountain View at Amiens.
Although mentioned is despatches Dick was reluctant to talk of his war service.
With his brother Rob, they saw the potential of vegetable production: They gradually eliminated the family orchard and set up the Harslett Bros property which has become so well known.
With their practice of doing all things well they became regarded as one of the highest vegetable producing properties in the State and possibly the biggest celery producers in the Commonwealth, combining quality with quantity.
Always interested in his community, Dick was associated with the Amiens Bush Nursing Association, Amiens Hall Committee, St. Paul's Parochial Concil and Synodsman, and chairman Boys Athletic Training Society. He was a most active, conscientious member and past presient of Rotary. He was a councillor for over 20 years and for a period deputy chairman of the Stanthorpe Shire Council.
Dick was keen on sport and was a sportsman of no mean ability and played cricket, soccer and tennis with the Amiens teams.
In recent years he had turned his interest to bowls and was a member of the Summit Bowls Club. In the lovely garden of his Amiens home Dick had his own private bowling rink which provided much enjoyment for Dick, his wife Bessie and many of their bowling friends.
On September 2, 1943, Dick married Bessie Janette Ranson and is survived by his wife and five children, Mrs. Roger Newman, Ballandean, Messrs John and Peter Harslett and Misses Dorothy and Felicity Harslett.
Just prior to his illness Dick and Bessie had planned a trip to England and Europe where they would have been joined by their daughter Sister Dorothy Harslett. His serious illness deprived them of this pleasure.
Dick Harslett saw only good in his fellow man and was always in the forefront when help was needed and generous to the extreme.
A devoted churchman, he not only worshipped as a christian but he also practised christianity.
A devoted husband and father, his lovely home and garden was always an inspiration to visit.
The abundance of floral tributes and the large gathering of friends at the graveside, many coming long distances to pay their respects, was truly evidence that Stanthorpe had lost one of its noblest citizens, richer for his life and poorer for his passing.
* should read 1913.