William John Hobbs was born at Goroke on December 16 1960 to Marion and Frank Hobbs.
It was obvious that John had some needs that meant he would require assistance to lead a fulfilled life. This was achieved thanks to the love and support of Marion, his mother, and the many people who have helped him reach his goals.
In his early years, John attended McCallum House in Ballarat and Karkana Day Training Centre in Horsham, eventually settling at Woodbine, Warracknabeal, where he resided in the hostel and attended a variety of activities. Here he remained until 2010 when a bad fall caused a neck fracture, requiring time at Royal Melbourne Hospital and Warracknabeal Hospital after which he became a resident of Rural Northwest Health’s Yarriambiack Lodge.
John was full of life. You knew when he was about. He was often loud, but enjoying the moment.
There were many things John was passionate about. He was a football fanatic, loving the atmosphere of the football, often shifting his allegiance to the winning team. He had a collection of football scarves and beanies for most clubs.
In 1978 he received a trophy for the Best Supporter of the Douglas/Harrow/Miga Lake Rovers Football Club. He was a great supporter of the Warrack Eagles.
John was also passionate about the Royal family. One of the highlights of John’s life was when he shook Princess Diana’s hand in Portland in 1985. Diana was surely charmed by his beautiful smile as she picked him out in the crowd. John was absolutely devastated when she died. He also saw the Queen when she visited Ballarat, stoically waiting for over five hours to see her.
He was fond of music and had seen many performers live, including Slim Dusty, John Williamson, Kamahl, The Seekers and Rolf Harris. When local groups like the Dixie Beats performed, John would urge them on with a bit of conducting.
John was quite a gentleman and had the art of polite conversation, asking after you and your family.
John had a great sense of humour, some would say “wicked”. He liked to make jokes and was very happy if he thought he had tricked someone.
He was thoughtful and complimentary. John loved his food but always recognised those who prepared it. Of the hostel catering staff, he said; “they are the best cooks in the whole world”. He would always thank his mother for a meal: “Thanks, Mum, I enjoyed that”
‘Hobbsy’ was easy to like with his infectious laugh and wide grin.
Often ‘the life of the party’, he gave pleasure to many, above all, his friends at Woodbine. He was unique.