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PETTITT, James Wilson BEM (1914-2007)

PETTITT, James Wilson BEM (1914-2007)

Farmer and local government councillor, ‘Jim’ Pettitt had an active involvement in community affairs throughout his life.

He was one of five children born to John Pettitt, farmer and timber merchant, and Marianne Hope Houston and grew up on the family Corriedale and Ayrshire cattle property ‘Blinkbrae’ at Bell Post Hill. He first attended Batesford State School and afterwards for one year at Geelong College in 1929. After leaving school he assisted his two older brothers Ian and Bob on the family property but in about 1937 they bought a farm at Torquay which ‘Jim’ managed. He later purchased this property. At various times during this period he was a member of the Lovely Banks Fire Brigade, Batesford Presbyterian Church, Bannockburn Primary Producers’, Geelong Graziers’ Association and the Barwon Valley Pony Club and was appointed as a government nominee to the Barwon Regional Committee, which later was absorbed by the Geelong Regional Authority.

Following the sale of ‘Blinkbrae’ in 1954 Jim bought a property in Lara which he named ‘Blinkbonnie’. In 1964, he married Wilma nee Page and the family quickly grew with two of their sons also eventually attending Geelong College. The horrific 1969 bush fires, however, exacted a severe price on the Pettitt Family with the loss of the family home and many mementoes of the family’s associations. ‘Jim’, however, was not thwarted by this setback and continued to develop the property. Not many years later in 1977 his community service was recognized by the award of the British Empire Medal. In 1991, he retired from active farming and sold ‘Blinkbonnie’. In a life of community service, Jim was especially notable for his 70 year association with the Geelong Royal Agricultural and Pastoral Society and 22 years with the Corio Shire Council. His three brothers; John Alexander ‘Ian’ Pettitt (1910-1977), Robert Wood Pettitt MBE (1913-2007), and Neil Houston Pettitt (1916-1991) also attended the College.

Sources: Geelong Advertiser 6 October 2007 p67.
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