When it comes to being a Southern Highlands local there are a few unwritten rules.
But being born and raised in the region certainly ticks a box.
The region lost one of its true locals on December 24, 2017, with the passing of Kenneth Andrew Pope.
Ken, as he was more fondly known, was born in Bowral on March 2, 1934, to Donald and Bessie Pope.
He grew up in Victoria Street, Bowral, with his siblings Elsie, James and David (all deceased) and Bill and Janet, who both still live in the Highlands.
As a boy he attended Bowral Primary School and moved on to Bowral High School.
In 1947/48 a cycle club was formed in Bowral which Ken and his brothers joined and became avid cyclists. According to his family Ken “excelled in cycling”.
He was also a keen rugby league player, first playing at school before going on to play for the Bowral club. He was part of several premiership teams of the mid to late 1950s and early 60s. Ken went on to be a juniors coach for the club.
Ken left school and went to work for Ray France as a fibrous plasterer. With a downturn in the industry he commenced work at Bowral Brickworks on August 2, 1956, with the intentions of only staying for six months until things picked up. Forty-two years and 11 months later her retired from the Brickworks.
At 19 Ken was also conscripted into National Service based at Ingleburn and later at Singleton. After discharge he joined the local Civilian Military Force (CMF).
In mid-1954 Ken met a young nurse, Nancy Walters, and they were married on January 25, 1958. The first child or the coupl’s five children was born in January 1959. Ken was proud of his family and encouraged them to take part in many sports.
In 1975 Ken joined Bowral Bowling Club where he remained a member until his recent passing. He won several club and district championships in pairs, triples and fours and was a runner-up in the state triples. Ken represented the club in pennants, winning several zone championships and in later years e managed to pennants side. He also served on the board of the club and at one time was a bowls selector. He was a popular member of Bowral Bowral Club and a well-known and respected member of the Highlands community.
He was farewelled by family and friends at a funeral service at St Stephen’s Anglican Church, Mittagong, on January 3.
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